Roadside survey shows decline in North Dakota pheasant numbers; grouse and partridge hold steady

The results of the annual upland late summer counts were expected, given the widespread dry conditions, said Jesse Kolar, upland game supervisor for Game and Fish in Dickinson, N.D.


“Recent weather patterns have shifted toward a drier period, particularly this year with a warm, open winter and exceptional drought across much of the state,” Kolar said. “Hunters should expect to find similar numbers to 2020, with the exception that there will be fewer acres of typical grassland cover to walk.”

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Jesse Kolar, upland game management supervisor, North Dakota Game and Fish Department

The survey tallied an average of 45 pheasants per 100 miles, down 23% from last year, and five broods per 100 miles, down 30%, the department said. The average brood pheasant brood size remained unchanged at six.

The final summary is based on 266 survey runs made along 102 brood routes across North Dakota.

Here’s a look at pheasant counts by region:

Northwest: Observers counted eight broods and 68 pheasants per 100

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