Dakota Uplander: Pheasant Hunter’s Checklist

By Nick Simonson The minutes are winding down to the start of a new pheasant season, and whatever the destination for Saturday’s opener might be, odds are that a good deal of gear, guns and pet equipment will be headed along for the trip.  It has been said that success is where preparation and opportunity…

Dakota Uplander: Fingers Crossed

By Nick Simonson When pheasant hunting, few pieces of habitat excite me more than an area of grass or cattails which ends in a narrow taper in the middle of a harvested field.  These fingers of habitat point to success nearly every time I walk them.  They’re simple to identify and assess, generally easy to…

Dakota Uplander: Behind the Pheasant Brood Count Numbers

By Nick Simonson Is now the time to panic? If you were privy to the numbers behind the recent pheasant brood count survey press release and took a Statistics 101 course in high school or college, you might say yes, as tallies dipped to 10-year lows and approached recent records.  This year, total roadside count…

Dakota Uplander: Grouse & Partridge Preview

By Nick Simonson While the drought experienced this summer by much of North Dakota has had an obvious impact on upland bird recruitment, hunters will still find opportunities this weekend and throughout the autumn to pursue sharp-tailed grouse and Hungarian partridge as the seasons open on Saturday, and for these predictable birds, identifying those places…

Dakota Uplander: Drought Takes Its Toll on SW ND Pheasants

By Nick Simonson As drought conditions continue to grip the heart of North Dakota’s pheasant region, agents of the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, employees of Pheasants Forever and area hunters report that the dry weather has been having a negative impact on the number of young birds they have been seeing. “Anecdotally, I’ve…

Dakota Uplander: Ruffies Remain an Option

By Nick Simonson Recently, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources released its annual spring drumming count survey for Ruffed Grouse, indicating a 57 percent increase in male birds observed on survey routes.  With this significant spike, agents predict that state’s population of its most popular upland bird is nearing its 10-year peak in the decadal…

Dakota Uplander: Crowing Counts Nearly Done, Nesting Underway

By Nick Simonson With the North Dakota Game & Fish Department (NDG&F) wrapping up their spring crowing count surveys for pheasants, agents are able to provide some insight into conditions meeting nesting birds, and what awaits hatching chicks. While some winter mortality of pheasants and other upland birds is expected after a tough start to…