Stan Kohn, upland game management supervisor for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, said the survey shows total pheasants are up 30 percent from last year. In addition, brood observations were up 23 percent, while the average brood size was up 9 percent. The final summary is based on 259 survey runs made along 105 brood routes across North Dakota.
“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,” Kohn said. “Hunters will also find average habitat conditions on the landscape.”
Statistics from southwestern North Dakota indicate total pheasants were up 34 percent and broods observed up 31 percent from 2014. Observers counted 25 broods and 207 birds per 100 survey miles. The average brood size was 6.2.
Results from the southeast show birds are up 27 percent from last year, and the number of broods up 21percent. Observers counted eight broods and 62 birds per 100 miles. The average brood size was 5.5.
Statistics from the northwest indicated pheasants are down 18 percent from last year, with broods down 32 percent. Observers recorded six broods and 46 birds per 100 miles. Average brood size was 6.3.
The northeast district, generally containing secondary pheasant habitat, with much of it lacking good winter cover, showed two broods and 15 birds per 100 miles. Average brood size was 4.3. Number of birds observed was down 17 percent, and the number of broods recorded was down 7 percent.
The 2015 regular pheasant season opens Oct. 10 and continues through Jan. 3, 2016. The two-day youth pheasant hunting weekend, when legally licensed residents and nonresidents ages 15 and younger can hunt statewide, is set for Oct. 3-4.