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Survey: N Dakota pheasant numbers drop slightly

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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- Wildlife officials say North Dakota ring-neck pheasant numbers are down slightly due to harsh winter conditions. But lush nesting habitat this summer should bolster the birds' population by the fall hunting season.

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State Game and Fish biologist Stan Kohn says officials heard about 11 percent less crows from ring-neck roosters during the annual crowing count survey.

The survey involves wildlife officials from across the state who drive 20-mile routes, stopping every two miles for two minutes to listen for a male pheasant crowing to attract hens.

Kohn says early signs point toward a strong pheasant population this fall due to near ideal nesting habitat this summer.

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