Minnesota’s 2015 pheasant opener came Saturday with warm temperatures and high winds across much of the state’s pheasant range. Hunting in Lac qui Parle County near the South Dakota border, our group saw temperatures up to 86 on Saturday and 93 on Sunday. Monday brought relief in temperature — low 60s — but also brought winds of 35 to 40 mph.
We found some birds Saturday and Sunday but our group of three could scratch out only one rooster in Monday’s winds.
It’s too early to get a good feel for pheasant numbers, which, according to Department of Natural Resources roadside counts, were up 33 percent (although well below long-term averages). A lot of corn remained in the field. Once the corn is harvested, and the pheasants move into grasslands, we’ll have a better idea of how the population is.