As expected given the increases in neighboring states, North Dakota’s pheasant counts are up from last year.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department this morning released results from its roadside pheasant survey, and birds and total broods are up statewide from 2013. Stan Kohn, the department’s upland game management supervisor, said total pheasants are up 30 percent from last year while brood counts are up 37 percent. On the downside, the average brood size was down 4 percent.
The final summary is based on 253 survey runs made along 106 brood routes across North Dakota.
“With the good spring weather for most of the nesting and early brooding period, I suspected a better production year and it looks like it did occur,” Kohn said in a news release.
Even though average brood size is down slightly in all districts, Kohn said the number of broods observed will in most cases offset the small decline.
“Late-summer roadside counts indicate pheasant hunters are going to find more pheasants in most parts of the state, with more young roosters showing up in the fall population,” Kohn said.
Here’s the breakdown by region:
Southwest: Total pheasants were up 22 percent and broods observed were up 23 percent. Observers counted 19 broods and 154 birds per 100 survey miles. The average brood size was 5.7.
Southeast: Birds are up 2 percent, and broods are up 16 percent. Observers counted six broods and 50 birds per 100 miles. The average brood size was 5.4.
Northwest: Pheasants are up 21 percent from last year, with broods up 26 percent. Observers recorded seven broods and 57 birds per 100 miles. Average brood size was 5.1.
Northeast: Marginal even in good years, the northeast had two broods and 16 birds per 100 miles. Average brood size was 4.2. Number of birds observed was up 126 percent, and the number of broods recorded was up 166 percent.
North Dakota’s pheasant season opens Oct. 11 and continues through Jan. 4.