NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — On Saturday morning, pheasant hunters will be heading out in the fields to look for a limit.

But North Dakota Game and Fish leaders are cautioning many hunters, they likely won’t limit out in one walk.

The season officially opens statewide on Saturday. Game and Fish leaders say this year, it’s the Williston and Watford City area that’s shaping up to have the most success.

The spring crow count this year was down about 20% compared to 2021. And NDGF upland game biologist Rodney Gross says that’s true in the southwest part of the state, which in past years has held some of the state’s highest numbers for pheasants.

“We saw a lot of young birds. Especially in the northwest part of the state,” Gross said. “That’s the best part of the state this year as far as production. and that makes sense because wherever the prairie potholes were, those little wetlands that still had moisture and habitat around them, that was still available for nesting birds.”

Gross says one other bird that did well in 2022 was partridge.

He says many hunters may see the game birds in more places this year because partridge thrive in warm, dry weather and hatch in July.

Pheasant season is open through New Year’s Day.