Minnesota's pheasant hunting season opens Saturday, October 10 and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has great news for hunters across the state.

The Minnesota DNR released the results of their annual roadside pheasant survey and it shows a 42% increase in the state pheasant index from 2019 and a 37% increase over the 10-year average.  Hunters in Southwestern Minnesota received the best news of all as there is a 146% increase over last year in that part of the state.

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Weather played a significant role as even though the spring was cooler than average, rainfall remained at or below average in Minnesota.

“The weather this spring and summer was favorable for pheasants and enabled more hens to raise chicks, which drove the increase,” said Tim Lyons, DNR upland game research scientist. “We didn’t get hit by spring snow storms or heavy rainfalls like in 2019 and that really is what let hens nest earlier and be successful. Successful nests earlier in the breeding season also means that chicks will be in better shape going into the fall and winter, which can improve their odds of survival.”

The DNR added that this year’s statewide pheasant index was 53.5 birds per 100 miles of roads driven. All regions of the pheasant range reported an increase in pheasant counts. You can click here to see the entire report.

Minnesota's statewide pheasant hunting season goes from October 10, 2020 through January 3, 2021.  Shooting hours are from 9:00 a.m. until sunset.

By clicking below, you can access the Minnesota pheasant hunting page, which is filled with useful information for all hunters.

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