Photo: Gary Noon,

UNDATED (LEARFIELD) – The Minnesota pheasant hunting season opens Saturday morning. The DNR’s Greg Hoch (HOKE) says the annual roadside pheasant index is up this year.

“Last year it was 37.6 birds,  this year it was 53.5 birds, so we’re up significantly from the last couple of years,” said Hoch.

He says numbers still haven’t recovered to where they were years ago.

“It’s been good relative to the last couple of years, but only about half of what it was about a decade and a half ago,” said Hoch.

Hoch reminds us that all pheasant hunters must wear at least one visible article of clothing above the waist that is blaze orange or pink.