Pheasant numbers have declined by 25 percent from 2020, but numbers remained on par with the 10-year average, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ annual roadside wildlife survey.
“While the decline from last year sounds significant, pheasant numbers are actually fairly good and hunters will likely still see plenty of birds when the season opens Oct. 16,” said Tim Lyons, DNR upland game research scientist. While down from last year, this year’s pheasant indices are on par with or exceed 10-year averages in all regions of the state.
Weather and habitat are the main influences on Minnesota’s pheasant population. Weather causes annual fluctuations in pheasant numbers, while habitat drives long-term population trends.