By Tim Spielman
Minn. — Based on comments and anecdotal reports from the recent DNR roadside counts, it appears officials are optimistic – but probably not overly so – regarding the upcoming fall hunt.
Wendy Krueger, DNR area wildlife manager in Slayton, said pheasant counts this year were better than last year, but not as good as 2010.
During the past few months, the birds have been aided by a mild winter, and, for the most part, a dry spring – over-winter survival was good, as was production this year.
Following a second consecutive harsh winter, last year’s count was down 82 percent from 2010, Krueger said.
“It’s hard to get any lower than that, and it didn’t (in 2012),” she said.
Tabor Hoek, private lands specialist for the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources, reports the same.
“Anecdotally, I hear things have improved from last year,” he said.
The state’s conservation officers, some of whom participate in the roadside counts, also have weighed in on the topic, both good and bad.
Read the reports from multiple Conservation Officers