The Minnesota pheasant hunting season opens on Oct. 10 at 9 a.m.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ annual roadside pheasant survey showed a 42% increase in the state pheasant index this year relative to 2019. The 2020 roadside survey is 37% above the 10-year average.

Hunters should check the regulations before they head out into the field. Hunters ages 16-64 must purchase a small game license and pheasant stamp to hunt pheasants in Minnesota, and all pheasant hunters must wear at least one visible article of clothing above the waist that is blaze orange or pink.

Small game harvest numbers are also up from 2019 despite fewer licenses being sold.

The small game hunter mail survey by the Minnesota DNR estimated that slightly fewer small game licenses were sold in 2019, continuing the downward trend in overall license sales over the last 20 years.

Despite fewer ruffed grouse and ring-necked pheasant hunters, hunters have harvested more grouse and pheasants in 2019. The survey also showed a 38% increase in duck hunters and a 72% increase in Canada goose hunters from 2018 to 2019.

For more information about the opening of the pheasant hunting season and the increase in small game harvest visit

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