Photo: Gary Noon

MANKATO (LEARFIELD)  —  The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is predicting a strong pheasant hunting season this fall.

The D-N-R’s annual roadside survey showed a 42-percent increase in the state pheasant index from 2019 and a 37-percent increase in the ten-year average.

Researcher Tim Lyons says the lack of spring storms, heavy rainfall, plus favorable summer weather enabled more hens to raise chicks.  The statewide pheasant index was 53-and-a-half birds per 100 miles of road driven.

In southwest Minnesota, observers counted a whopping 90-point-five birds per 100 miles. The season opens October 10th.