Rooster Road Trip “All Access”: North Dakota Preview

6c97c31f-aa35-46b1-be55-f1b16e5123b3 Overview
North Dakota is annually a Top-3 pheasant state, and when pheasant numbers are strong, like they are this year – particularly on southwest North Dakota – the quality of pheasant hunting can rival that of anywhere in the U.S.
What distinguishes the pheasant hunting in North Dakota? It’s a very diverse landscape. For those who love pounding cattails, look to the potholes center and east. The west is rugged and features larger tracts of grassland to cover.

Pheasants Forever in North Dakota
  • North Dakota is home to 28 Pheasants Forever chapters and 4,300 Pheasants Forever members.
  • Thanks to 7,033 Pheasants Forever projects, 67,739 acres have been improved for pheasants and other upland wildlife in North Dakota.
Projects Profile
Included among the projects Rooster Road Trip 2015 will tour are:
  • Private Land Open To Sportsmen: About 730,000 acres in the state’s Private Land Open To Sportsmen (PLOTS) program await hunters this season. The goal of the PLOTS program is to provide access for hunters, and quality upland habitat that holds birds is a key component. During this decade, Pheasants Forever Farm Bill wildlife biologists in select North Dakota locations have worked with landowners to help them through the process of voluntarily enrolling the program.
  • Pollinator plots on PLOTS: A special plot of wildflower and grasses that positively influence upland birds, bee and butterfly populations on a Private Land Open To Sportsmen tract. This creates amazing brood-rearing habitat for pheasants, but the mix is also ideal for monarch butterflies and honey bees that are important resources for agricultural crops in terms of the pollination.
2015 North Dakota Pheasant Hunting Forecast Top 5 Places in North Dakota to Hunt Pheasants
Mott - Considered the “Pheasant Capital of the Nation,” Mott is located along the scenic Cannonball River in the heart of North Dakota’s prime pheasant range. The buttes and grasslands that surround Mott are the perfect backdrop for an epic hunt.
Crosby - Bird hunters have had easy limits in the far northwestern part of North Dakota for the past couple of years. Pheasant counts are slightly down in the region, but pressure is light in this area. Noted for providing some bonus sharptails and Hungarian partridge for a complete upland experience along the north border.
Ellendale - Southeastern North Dakota saw a strong 27 percent increase in bird counts over last year. Often called the “Pheasant Capital of North Dakota.”
Wing - Abundant public lands, including PLOTS, make Wing an upland destination to circle on your map.
Scranton - Bowman County offers some of the best pheasant hunting in North Dakota and the Scranton area has been solid for years. North Dakota Game and Fish bird counts indicate the region saw a 34 percent increase in birds over 2014, which was up 30 percent over 2013.
  • License – a nonresident must choose between a 14-consecutive-day or two 7-consecutive-day license periods and may purchase more than one license per year ($100)
  • Shooting Hours – 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset
  • Daily Bag Limit - 3
  • Possession Limit - 12
-Anthony Hauck is Pheasants Forever’s director of public relations. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @AnthonyHauckPF