Sep 12, 2013 at 8:47 am
MADELIA, Minn. (KNSI) Minnesota pheasant hunters might have to work a little harder to find birds this fall.
The Minnesota DNR's 2013 pheasant index shows the pheasant population down 29-percent from last year.
DNR Wildlife Biologist Marrett Grund says much of the blame can be pinpointed on the weather. Deep snows impact survival rates and the ability of pheasants to find food.
Grund says while a 29-percent year to year drop is alarming, what's even more concerning to him is a long-term drop in pheasant numbers, which dates back annually to 2005.
He says that indicates it's about above and beyond weather, "since we don't have bad winters every year." He says it's about loss of habitat and poor quality habitat for pheasants to live.
This year's pheasant season opens October 12th. Hunters are expected to harvest 246,000 roosters this year.
Temp: 40°F (4°C)
Wind: 22 NW
Weather: rain, mist