UNDATED (LEARFIELD) – This year’s roadside pheasant survey showed a 17-percent decrease in the overall pheasant index this year from 2018.

“Overall about a 17 percent decline and looking at some of the finer details of the breakdown of our counts, things probably came mostly from delayed or reduced breading success,” said the DNR’s Tim Lyons.

He adds that while the numbers are down the birds are still abundant in some areas.

“If hunters want to find fields that maybe dried out faster escaped flooding altogether, those should still have had really good production and should still hold a lot of birds come this fall,” said Lyons.

Lyons says the prolonged winter likely delayed the start of the breeding season and heavy spring rains may have reduced chick survival.