Not as many pheasant hunters in the field meant fewer roosters in the bag in 2009.
Last fall’s pheasant harvest was 651,700, down from 776,700 in 2008. The number of total hunters decreased 18 percent to 88,400. The number of resident hunters was down 20 percent to 59,700, while nonresident pheasant hunter numbers decreased 15 percent to 28,700. Birds bagged per hunter increased from 7.2 to 7.4, and each hunter spent an average of 4.4 days afield.
Counties with the highest percentage of pheasants taken by resident hunters were Hettinger, 7.6; Burleigh, 7.0; Morton, 6.6; McLean, 6.2; and Stark, 6.0.
Top counties for nonresident hunters were Hettinger, 21.4 percent; Bowman, 8.1; Emmons, 5.9; McIntosh, 5.7; and Dickey, 5.5.
Annual pheasant season statistics are determined by a mail survey of resident and nonresident hunters.