Dakota’s roadside surveys conducted in late July and August indicate
total pheasant, sharp-tailed grouse and gray partridge numbers are up
from last year.
Game and Fish Department upland game biologist RJ Gross said the survey
shows total pheasants observed per 100 miles are up 10% from last year.
In addition, broods per 100 miles are up 17%, while the average brood
size is down 5%. The final summary is based on 275 survey runs made
along 101 brood routes across North Dakota.
was the first year in a while that we’ve had good residual cover to
start the year, and good weather for nesting and brood-rearing,” Gross
said. “In the southwest portion of the state, which is our primary
pheasant district and most popular hunting area, local populations are
said hunters should not overlook pheasant opportunities in northwest
and southeast North Dakota. “Two good years of chick production should
translate to more birds for hunters to pursue,” he said.
from the northwest indicate pheasants are up 49% from last year, with
broods up 75%. Observers recorded five broods and 39 pheasants per 100
miles. Average brood size was six.
from the southeast show birds are up 32% from last year, and the number
of broods up 27%. Observers counted six broods and 51 birds per 100
miles. The average brood size was six.
from southwestern North Dakota indicate total pheasants were down 7%
and broods observed up 2% from 2018. For every 100 survey miles,
observers counted an average of six broods and 41 pheasants. The average
brood size was five chicks.
northeast district, generally containing secondary pheasant habitat
with lower pheasant numbers compared to the rest of the state, showed
two broods and 15 pheasants per 100 miles. Average brood size was four.
Sharptails observed per 100 miles are up 113% statewide from 2018, and partridge are up 58%.
game management supervisor Jesse Kolar said sharptail numbers are still
roughly 50% below 2012-15. “However, we observed slight increases in
all metrics this year during our surveys, especially in counties east of
the Missouri River where we observed the highest numbers of grouse per
100 miles since 2013,” he said.
survey results show statewide increases in number of grouse and broods
observed per 100 miles, and in average brood size. Observers recorded
1.7 sharptail broods and 13.6 sharptails per 100 miles. Average brood
size was five.
partridge numbers have shown a slight increase, Gross said the majority
of the partridge harvest is incidental while hunters pursue grouse or
pheasants. Partridge densities in general, he said, are too low to
target. Observers recorded 0.5 partridge broods and 6.8 partridge per
100 miles. Average brood size was 10.
2019 regular pheasant season opens Oct. 12 and continues through Jan.
5, 2020. The two-day youth pheasant hunting weekend, when legally
licensed residents and nonresidents ages 15 and younger can hunt
statewide, is set for Oct. 5-6.
The 2019 grouse and partridge seasons open Sept. 14 and continue through Jan. 5, 2020.