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2023 Minnesota August Roadside Survey


The 2023 range-wide pheasant index (53.3 birds/100 mi) increased moderately by 10% compared to
2022 (48.3 birds/100 mi). Despite a harsh winter with persistent, deep snow, warmer and drier
conditions in spring and summer provided suitable breeding conditions in many parts of the state.
Pheasants increased in the West Central and Southwest regions but decreased in the Central, East
Central, South Central, and Southeast regions compared to 2022. Still, the pheasant indices in the
Southwest, South Central and West Central regions were above the statewide average. Range-wide
indices of other species exhibited variability in trends among regions. The gray partridge index increased
substantially in the Southwest and Northwest regions in 2023. Collectively, weather appears to have had
a large influence on species trends. The increase in pheasants and partridge in some regions may be
associated with less severe drought conditions during the breeding season. Conversely, declines in other
regions, particularly for pheasants, could be attributable to relatively more severe winters or because
those regions experienced more severe drought during the breeding season.