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Doug Leier: Recreation and Fish biologist Jerry Kobriger has been gathering wildlife information for practically 60 years – Grand Forks Herald


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Doug Lear is an outreach biologist for the North Dakota Division of Looking and Fishing. You’ll be able to attain him at [email protected]


WEST FARGO – I am such a fan of numbers and statistics that they impress me. Not simply what the numbers say, however how the numbers are generated.

Once I took a statistics course in school, I knew I used to be about to expertise a studying curve most actual time. Happily, the professor weighed the stats with a human component past the precise grades, and taught us first-hand how attendance and assembly deadlines contributed to our grades.

What I take away from that is that the significance of how the numbers are generated means roughly as a lot because the uncooked numbers present, in terms of teams of wildlife.

Holding the identical variety of pheasant broods throughout the identical days and with related climate will increase confidence within the numbers. Remember the human component for what you see as unattainable to clarify. When you and I had been wanting on the identical image, we’d have the same perspective, however the odds are that our eyes will see issues a little bit in another way. Which is why the “numbers” of retired biologist Jerry Cooperger and longtime highland gamer are so spectacular.

Coopereger retired in 2007 however continued to help the Division of Fishing and Fishing in conducting spring and summer time census surveys and brood censuses. He has 59 years of expertise in counting poultry, prairie hens, pheasants, sage grouse and puffed grouse.

“I enjoy getting out early in the morning. It’s a nice time to be here. It’s just great work and you don’t have anyone looking over your shoulder all the time.” “That is one of many issues that baffles me. Some individuals virtually rely right down to the minute they will retire, and after they get out of right here. And I’ve by no means felt that means. No. She did not.

In practically 60 years of gradual roaming the North Dakota panorama, trying to find pheasant cubs in roadside ditches or steep clumps on clumps, Koupriger could not assist however discover adjustments within the panorama, regardless of how delicate.

“The only thing in the badlands, of course, is oil development,” Cooperger stated. “When I started, I was going to a meeting with the Forest Service and I was riding with the ranger, and I said, ‘How long do you think this oil field is going to last? And he said, “Well, they’re expecting about 20 years.” That was 1964. So you can see the change. And that’s something everyone notices because it’s so obvious.


“There are a lot of other subtle changes that you can’t catch right away,” he added. “It’s like if you look in the mirror in the morning and tomorrow morning, there’s no change. But if you have a back button on that mirror like you do on a computer, you can go back, and go back, to day one. Who is this guy? I mean, there’s a lot of Changes in land use you don’t notice.”

Determining the highs and lows of doing survey work for nearly six decades is a difficult question, but one that Koubriger answered after a pause.

“A number of highlights, I think, would be to find a new dance floor, especially if there hasn’t been one in the area before or when doing brood surveys and finding sharp broods,” he stated. “I feel the one factor that bothers me about this species is that the variety of partridges has truly gone down. In a single yr, hunters harvested practically 1 / 4 of one million partridges, and in 1992 they took an enormous drop and by no means recovered. I do not know why, and I do not suppose anybody else He is aware of why. I imply, they’ve some ups and downs, however nothing like they had been again earlier than that huge downturn.”

Whenever you hear the outcomes of polls, indexes, and inhabitants estimates for sport and fish, take into account that the division has an extended historical past of utilizing related strategies and methodologies, and when the human issue is taken into consideration, it is unattainable to repeat until the following Jerry Cooperger comes alongside.

Statistically, I’d recommend that the chances are very slim.


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