According to an article on the North Dakota Game and Fish website, the pheasant population in North Dakota is something to "crow" about.

The state's annual crowing count just finished up and the North Dakota pheasant counts are up a whopping 30% statewide.

The pheasant crowing counts are conducted by trained observers each spring in North Dakota.  Each driver will drive specific 20-mile routes, stopping at predetermined locations, and count the number of pheasant roosters heard crowing over 2 minutes.

I know just about every morning that when I let my pup out to do her business each morning where I live south of Lincoln, a rooster pheasant lets me know he's there.  I've really been hearing them crowing all spring.  It's something I look forward to every year, the sound of a pheasant.

Rick Rider
Rick Rider

Pheasant crowing count numbers are up statewide with southwest North Dakota having the biggest increase.

Southwest North Dakota showed 19.5 crows per stop, up from 14.1 in 2022.  Northwest North Dakota showed 16.6 crows per stop, up from 13.7 in 2022.  Southeast North Dakota had 12.8 crows per stop, up from 9.7 in 2022.  Northeast North Dakota, which is not a primary range for pheasants was at 3.3 crows per stop, up from 3.0 last year.

Here's a detailed map from the North Dakota Game and Fish showing the 2023 crowing counts.

North Dakota Game & Fish
North Dakota Game & Fish

Current conditions are looking good across the state with good moisture this spring and early summer.  This will help out with insect hatches, which provide food for chicks during the rearing process.

Pheasant chicks began hatching in early June through July.  The weather always plays a big role in their survival.

The second phase of determining the pheasant population for the upcoming season will take place during the North Dakota Game & Fish summer roadside counts, which begin at the end of July.

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