Minnesota - In each of the past two years, hunters in Minnesota have harvested nearly 600,000 roosters, the most since 1964. pheasant nesting and brood-rearing conditions this year and abundant habitat, Minnesota hunters can expect more of the same. The state's pheasant index remained at its highest level in 20 years, (107 birds per 100 miles driven) topping 100 for the third consecutive year. Protected grassland habitats in the state's pheasant range account for approximately 6% of the landscape - the highest number in more than a decade - and those areas are the major contributing factor to the increased population.
Hunters will want to take note of the southwest portion of the state, where observers reported 223 birds per 100 miles driven; the south-central area, with 121 birds reported per 100 miles driven; and the west-central area, where 118 birds were reported per 100 miles driven. Season Opener: October 13.
Wisconsin - The Badger State's rural mail carrier survey showed a 22 % increase in pheasants, and the outlook for the state's pheasant hunting is equally as good. Wisconsin hunters have harvested 200,000 pheasants annually the past two seasons, and look to hit that mark once again. While the southern half of the state has traditionally been the pheasant stronghold, DNR biologist Sharon Fandel reported that hunters can expect more birds in Dunn, Pepin and Polk Counties in the west/northwest region. Season Opener: October 20.