The Minnesota Pheasant season opens on Saturday and as we told you back in September, despite a mild winter last year, the population is estimated to be down 26 percent.

Part of the decline is due to a loss of habitat in farm areas. Another big reason is the drop in the Conservation Reserve Program, which takes environmentally sensitive farmland out of production and turns it back to grassland.

According to Pheasants they say that areas around Brown County, and portions of Lincoln and Yellow Medicine counties, have the most pheasants, but they can be found elsewhere. It just might require a little more work and patience.

The official Governor's opener is in Marshall, festivities open on Friday. The season closes on January 1

Pheasant. Minnesotans love to hunt it, and eat it served up many different ways. My favorite is Pheasant Italiano. iStock