Pheasant Crowing Counts Up Statewide
According to an article on KFYR-TV the pheasant population in North Dakota is something to crow about. The spring statewide crowing counts that are conducted every year show pheasants are up 15% statewide. This is good news for pheasant hunters as they begin to think about the pheasant opener this October.
In the article, biologist R.J. Gross said, “We entered spring with a larger breeding population compared to last year.” The hens should be in good shape with all the left over cover from 2019's very wet summer and fall. However, there is some concern over drought in central and western North Dakota. The majority of the pheasant chicks were born in end of May and early June. They are very dependent on insects and during dry conditions, bugs can be very hard to find. The dry conditions could hammer brood rearing success. The expected moisture today and tonight should help with drought conditions over the pheasant range in the southwest part of the state. However, severe weather events can be very damaging for chicks and especially hail.
Every morning this spring when I would let my labs out in the morning I would hear pheasants crowing. It was something I looked forward to each and every day. My Yellow Lab Callie's ears would "perk-up" when she would hear the roosters crowing. We live south of Lincoln and I have really noticed a LOT of pheasants this spring all over Bismarck Mandan. It was a relatively mild winter and with so many crops left up over the winter and early spring, the birds had plenty of cover and food. With a little luck, we could be in for a very good pheasant season in 2020.