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South Dakota may be celebrating another bumper year of populations but it isn’t the only state. Most states who have declared pheasant numbers from roadside surveys have reported that numbers across their jurisdictions have increased. Yet one state has been very quiet on the subject until very recently: North Dakota.

Now North Dakota has submitted its findings from its own roadside pheasant survey and the outlook is again positive for hunters. According to initial reports, there is a 30% increase in the pheasant numbers seen across the state.

North Dakota has also provided more details, with brood observations up 23% and brood size also seeing an increase of 9%.

“Our late summer roadside counts indicate pheasant hunters are going to find more birds in the southern half of the state this fall, with the southwest having the strongest population of young roosters,” Stan Kohn, Upland Game Management Supervisor for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department stated, as news of the roadside count was released. “Hunters will also find average habitat conditions on the landscape.”

Across the state there were variations of results. Southwestern North Dakota saw the best results with roadside counts up by 34% while the southeast of the state saw a fairly positive rise in sightings of 27%.

The counts from North Dakota are positive and in line with what other states have been reporting. South Dakota saw increases up to 42% while Minnesota saw pheasant populations rise by about 33%.

This is good news for those looking to start their hunting adventures this year on October 10th as pheasant harvest should be good.

However, there is some bad news. The northwest of the state had poor pheasant counts. Their numbers were down 18% from last year and broods were significantly down by 32%. This would be a concern to many and perhaps spur conservation efforts in that area.

Are you hunting in North Dakota this year? What can be done to improve pheasant numbers in Northwest North Dakota?

Let us know in the comments below.

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