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Pheasant hunters in North Dakota had a successful 2002 hunting season, as harvest statistics showed an increase in the number of birds bagged compared to 2001, according to Lowell Tripp, North Dakota Game and Fish Department upland game bird biologist, Oakes.

Last fall's pheasant harvest was 517,821, up from 421,586 in 2001. "A good reproductive season in 2002 and a 4 percent increase in hunters accounted for the higher harvest," Tripp said.

The number of hunters increased from 75,825 in 2001 to 78,995 last year. The number of resident hunters increased from 53,589 to 56,155, while the number of nonresident hunters increased from 22,236 to 22,840. Birds bagged per hunter increased from 5.46 to 6.56, and the average hunter spent 4.3 days afield.

Counties with the highest percentage of pheasants taken were Hettinger, 12.6; Stark, 10.4; Burleigh, 8.3; McLean, 7.7; Mercer, 6.7; Sargent, 6.1; and Emmons, 5.6. Statistics indicate pheasants were taken in 50 counties last year.

Annual pheasant season statistics, Tripp said, are determined by a mail survey of resident and nonresident hunters.
 
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