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Reid Brandborg, Evansville, Minn., with a ringneck pheasant from southeastern North Dakota in 2005. Just a few years ago, populations on the fringes of the ringneck's range were the highest they've been in decades. Now, weather and other factors have resulted in lower populations across the region. Nick Simonson

Low pheasant numbers raise questions as to why counts are down

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All signs point to a tougher pheasant season this year. Crowing counts and roadside observations show a general down trend in pheasant numbers throughout their range in the upper Midwest, particularly the northern fringes of that range.

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