Article Title

Crowing Cock Count

Document Type



The crowing cock count is one of the major techniques used to census the pheasant population in Iowa. Together with the roadside census (Bennett and Hendrickson, 1938) and the rural mail carrier count, it forms the basis of determining the pheasant population indices. Successful in estimating the numbers of mourning doves in Nebraska by counting their calls, McClure (1944) devised a system of counting pheasant calls as an index to their population levels. At first, aerial bombs of the fireworks variety were detonated to increase the intensity of the calls. In a later study (McClure, 1945) one minute counts during the peak of crowing were found to be sufficient without detonations. Presently most workers (Ginn, 1950, etal) are using two minute counts at the peak of the crowing season on predetermined routes. The procedure for making the counts as outlined by Kimball (1949) of South Dakota and modified somewhat to meet Iowa conditions have been used in collecting the data presented in this paper. Using the entire force of 54 Conservation Officers and the personnel of the biology department, it is possible to census every county in Iowa (99) in a period of from four to six days. While the system is not without faults (Smith, 1949) it is considered an accurate index of the spring pheasant population. It can be accomplished in a minimum of time and with comparatively little expense. The three years of data, covering the years 1950, 1951, and 1952 compares favorably with population levels determined by the roadside census and other methods of measurements, as well as with the hunting success records.

Publication Date


Journal Title

Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science





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©1953 Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.



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