North Dakota pheasant estimate up but drought is wild card

Local News

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Wildlife officials say North Dakota’s spring pheasant population estimate is up 3% from last year but worry that an extended drought could cut into hunting prospects in the fall.

The number of roosters detected this spring was up in the northwest, southeast and northeast regions. The southwest area, which is generally considered the state’s main pheasant hunting region, was recorded at 18.4 crows per stop, down from 19.6 in 2020.

Wildlife officials say drought is causing delayed growth in nesting cover, brood-rearing cover and croplands across the state.

Reports say that extended drought could prevent insect hatches, reducing food available to chicks.

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