Pheasant numbers increase in Minnesota from 2021, exceed 10-year average

(ABC 6 News) – Pheasant hunting season opens in Minnesota on Saturday, October 15, and bird numbers are expected to be strong, according to new data from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The DNR’s annual roadside pheasant survey says pheasant numbers in Minnesota increased 18% from 2021, and exceeded the 10-year average by a similar account.

This year’s statewide pheasant index was 48 birds per 100 miles of roads driven. Compared to 2021, all regions saw an increase in pheasant numbers except the southwest, which saw a decrease of 8%, according to the DNR.

The DNR says weather and habitat are the main influences on Minnesota’s pheasant population trends.

Weather causes annual fluctuations in pheasant numbers, while habitat drives long-term population trends.

“The weather really cooperated this year in terms of producing favorable nesting conditions for pheasants,” said Tim Lyons, DNR upland game research scientist. “Pheasant numbers are generally as good or better than last year.”

To learn more about how the DNR monitors pheasant population trends, and pheasant hunting areas, CLICK HERE.

Meanwhile, the 4th annual Disabled American Veterans Hunt in LeRoy, MN is scheduled for Friday, October 7 at Three Arrows Hunting Preserve.

RELATED: 3rd annual Disabled American Veterans pheasant hunt

There will be two hunts, 8:00 to 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Lunch will be served for both groups from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

The event is open to all Disabled American Veterans in Minnesota who enjoy pheasant hunting and FREE to all participants.

To learn more and register for this event, CLICK HERE.