American Woodcock 2017 Status Report Released

The 2017 American Woodcock Population Status Report is now available. This report summarizes the results of these surveys and presents an assessment of the population status of woodcock as of early June 2017. The report is intended to assist managers in regulating the sport harvest of woodcock and to draw attention to areas where management actions are needed.

The American woodcock is a popular game bird throughout eastern North America. Reliable annual population estimates, harvest estimates, and information on recruitment and distribution are essential for comprehensive woodcock management. The Singing-ground Survey (SGS) was developed to provide indices to changes in abundance. The Wing-collection Survey (WCS) provides annual indices of woodcock recruitment. The Harvest Information Program (HIP) utilizes a sampling frame of woodcock hunters to estimate harvest and days spent afield.

The American Woodcock Singing-ground Survey data for 2017 indicate that the index for singing males was significantly less than in 2016 in the Eastern Management Region, and not significantly different from 2016 in the Central Management Region. The Eastern Management Region had a significant, declining 10-year (2007-2017) trend of -0.89%/year. The 10-year trend in the Central Management Region was not significant. Both regions have a significant, long-term (1968-17) negative trend (-1.05%/year for the Eastern Management Region and -0.56%/year for the Central Management Region).

The 2016 recruitment index for the U.S. portion of the Eastern Region (1.42 immatures per adult female) was 2.9% more than the 2015 index and 12.3% less than the long-term regional average, while the recruitment index for the U.S. portion of the Central Region (1.32 immatures per adult female) was 10.9% more than the 2015 index and was 14.3% less than the long-term regional average.

Estimates from the Harvest Information Program indicated that U.S. woodcock hunters in the Eastern Region spent 96,100 days afield and harvested 44,400 woodcock during the 2016-17 season, while in the Central Region hunters spent 300,200 days afield and harvested 158,000 woodcock. Learn More.

Last Updated: August 16, 2017