Doug Smith
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Pheasant numbers in North Dakota are up 30 percent from last year, according to the state's roadside pheasant survey.

Meanwhile, brood observations were up 23 percent, while the average brood size was up 9 percent.

“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,” said Stan Kohn, upland game management supervisor for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department. “Hunters will also find average habitat conditions on the landscape.”

Pheasants were up 34 percent in southwestern North Dakota and up 27 percent in the southeast. In the northwest, pheasants were down 18 percent from last year, with broods down 32 percent.

The northeast district, generally containing secondary pheasant habitat, pheasant numbers were down 17 percent.

The increase in North Dakota mirrors survey results in Minnesota and South Dakota; ringneck counts in South Dakota are up 42 percent, and they are up 33 percent in Minnesota.

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.