‘Strong’ bird numbers expected for 2022 pheasant season

Bird numbers are expected to be strong for Minnesota’s 2022 pheasant season.

Pheasant numbers have increased by 18% from 2021, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources annual roadside pheasant survey.

“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.”

The statewide pheasant index this year was 48 birds per 100 miles of roads driven.  Compared to last year, all regions saw an increase, except for the southwest, which saw an 8% decrease.

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 pheasant hunting season opens on Saturday, October 15.

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