North Dakota Pheasant & Upland Game Season 2023 Outlook
The North Dakota Game and Fish just finished up their annual roadside brood survey count for pheasants and upland game.
After almost perfect nesting conditions in North Dakota this past spring, our upland gamebird populations might just be something to crow about. The upland gamebird season is shaping up to be a banner season.
The annual roadside brood counts by the numbers.
According to a North Dakota Game and Fish press release, pheasant, and upland gamebird hunters will see more birds in the field this year. We're already coming off of a good crowing count survey, which means we had a good carryover of pheasants from last season, despite record snowfall.
North Dakota’s roadside surveys conducted in late July and August indicate pheasant, gray partridge, and sharp-tailed grouse numbers were all up.
Hunters should expect to find similar or higher numbers of birds than last year, with good numbers of hatch-year birds according to the press release.
Total pheasants observed (65 per 100 miles) are up 61% from last year and broods (7.5) per 100 miles are up 70%. The average brood size (6.3) is up 2%. The final summary is based on 282 survey runs made along 100 brood routes across North Dakota.
Observers in the northwest counted 13.5 broods and 113 pheasants per 100 miles, up from 11 broods and 96 pheasants in 2022. The average brood size was six.
Results from the southeast showed 5.4 broods and 49 pheasants per 100 miles, up from five broods and 29 pheasants in 2022. The average brood size was six.
Statistics from southwestern North Dakota indicated 9.8 broods and 86 pheasants per 100 miles, up from five broods and 48 pheasants in 2022. The average brood size was six chicks.
The news is just as good for Sharptails and Hungarian Partridge.
It looks like Sharptails had above-average production and have rebounded back to the good years of 2011-15. The southwest part of North Dakota had a big increase in grouse numbers.
Sharptails observed per 100 miles are up 116% statewide. Brood survey results show observers recorded 2.6 broods and 29 sharptails per 100 miles. The average brood size was six.
Partridge observed per 100 miles are up 200%. Observers recorded 2.4 broods and 36 partridge per 100 miles. The average brood size was 11. Partridge numbers are tied with an all-time high going all the way back to 1992.
The grouse and partridge seasons continue through Jan. 7th, 2024.
The pheasant season opens October 7th and continues through Jan. 7th, 2024. The two-day youth pheasant hunting weekend, when legally licensed residents and nonresidents 15 and younger can hunt statewide, is set for September 30th and October 1st.