Final year, North Dakota pheasant hunters bagged about 327,000 roosters, which was a bit larger than the annual harvest in 2017.
Beginning Saturday, Oct. 12, hunters can start the 2019 version of the state’s pheasant season, and if preseason predictions pan out, the numbers may well just go up once more.
State Game and Fish Division upland game biologist R.J. Gross stated lately that the agency’s late summer season upland game brood survey indicates total pheasants observed statewide have been up 10% from final year. In addition, the quantity of pheasant broods observed was up 17%.
“This was the initial year in a whilst that we’ve had fantastic residual cover to start off the year, and fantastic climate for nesting and brood-rearing,” Gross stated.
The survey covers much more than 100 distinctive 20-mile routes spread all through the state. “They’re roughly 20 miles lengthy,” Gross stated in a current edition of the Game and Fish Department’s webcast, Outdoors On line. “This year we did 275 routes, so it is a small more than five,000 miles, so we are surely place the boots to the ground out there.”
Statistics from the northwestern aspect of the state indicate pheasant numbers are up 49% from final year, with broods up 75%. Considering the fact that the drought of 2017, which was statewide and impacted pheasant numbers everywhere, Gross stated, the northwest has had a really fantastic improve, really the final two years.
It is quite significantly the identical situation in the southeastern aspect of the state as properly. Benefits from the southeast indicate bird numbers are up 32% from final year, and the quantity of broods was up 27%. Production has been really fantastic down there the final two years, Gross stated. “So, I feel pheasant hunters in the southeast are going to be pleasantly shocked this year.”
In the southwest, total pheasants have been down 7% and broods observed up two% from 2018.
“The southwest, which is traditionally exactly where every person desires to go, nonetheless has the most pheasants,” Gross stated, “but it was also hit hardest by the drought in 2017. We saw much more broods there this year, just a slight improve, and then just a slight lower in the quantity of pheasants per 100 miles. Exactly where we saw broods and pheasants, we saw a lot of them.”
That may well be prevalent theme elsewhere in the state as properly, as Gross stated quite a few locations that currently have pheasants will most likely have a couple of much more this year. What surveys the final couple of years have not shown is pheasant variety expansion. “They’re just not spreading out to the marginal habitats like they utilized to,” Gross stated
As you take the field this fall, fully grasp there is variability from area to area and county to county. Your preferred pheasant field may well make a couple of much more birds, or possibly your walks will not be as productive as you anticipated.
Either way, it is nonetheless pheasant season, a time that avid bird hunters anticipate year-round. And it does not close till Jan. five, 2020.
Remain secure and have a fantastic time in North Dakota’s outdoors.