Pheasant Season Opener Expected to be Unusual - - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Pheasant Season Opener Expected to be Unusual

Bismarck, ND -

There are low expectations for this years' pheasant opener.

The North Dakota pheasant season starts Saturday.

But there are several factors that will make finding the birds a little more complicated.

"People are going to have to change their expectations about what pheasant season is going to be like this year," says Randy Kreil, Wildlife Chief for ND Game and Fish.

As hunters prepare for one of the most exciting weekends of hunting.

North Dakota Game and Fish officials are saying... prepare yourself for disappointment.

"The 2013 pheasant season is going to be different. work harder to find birds, work harder to find places to hunt. And frankly, not what we are used to," says Kreil.

Weather is a major factor, primarily last weekends snow storm...

Kreil says, "the storm hit area of state that looked the best for pheasant hunting."

Statewide pheasant numbers are down 30-40%.

Pheasant country, up until last weekend, had healthy numbers.

"Antidotal information, pheasants died in storm from pictures. we don't' know scope or magnitude of storm. We'll have a better idea after this first week of pheasant season."

The forecast for this weekend is also not ideal... Wildlife Chief Randy Kreil reminds hunters to be aware of sloppy road conditions...

"be smart about where you drive, call ahead, talk to contacts and ask about situation and if still good idea to come hunt."

Overall, he says it will be a complicated pheasant opener.

Unlike one North Dakota hunters have seen in a long time.

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