UNDATED -- Good news for Minnesota pheasant hunters, there are more birds in almost every part of the state.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says the annual roadside survey shows an 18% increase in pheasants compared to last year and a similar percentage above the 10-year average.

This year's statewide pheasant index was 48 birds per 100 miles driven.

DNR officials say every region saw an increase in pheasant numbers except the southwest, which saw a decline of 8%.

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Weather and habitat are the main influences on Minnesota's pheasant population trends and good spring weather produced favorable nesting conditions.

Minnesota's pheasant hunting season opens on Saturday, October 15th.

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