Forecast: North Dakota hunters can look forward to better hunting this year. Summer roadside counts show that statewide pheasants are 30 percent more abundant than last year. 
"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,” says Stan Kohn, upland game management supervisor for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department.
Data from southwestern North Dakota indicate total pheasants are 34 percent higher than last year. Observers counted 25 broods and 207 birds per 100 survey miles.
In the southeast, birds are 27 percent more abundant than last year. Observers counted eight broods and 62 birds per 100 miles.
In the northwest, pheasant numbers were down 18 percent compared with last year. Observers recorded six broods and 46 birds per 100 miles.
In the northeast, the number of birds was down 17 percent from last year. Observers noted two broods and 15 birds per 100 miles. Pheasant habitat general lacks good winter cover in this area.
Despite the favorable forecast, Kohn shares the concern of many pheasant biologists—continued loss of CRP acres and native grassland conversion. “All of this affects the amount of nesting and brood rearing habitat on the landscape. As we lose grassland habitat we lose ground nesting bird populations,” Kohn said.
Season Dates: October 10, 2015 through January 3, 2016 (exception – delayed opener area opens October 17, see season info link below)
Youth Season Dates: October 3 & 4 (age 15 and younger)
Daily Bag Limit: 3
Possession Limit: 12
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