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Dennis Daugaard

Another pheasant season brings optimism amid habitat concerns

Minnesota pheasant hunters will head afield on Saturday's opener with the optimism of true believers _ bird numbers are up from last year.tmpplchld But they also likely will be pondering the future of ringnecks and ringneck hunters, given the precipitous recent decline of both. They also might be eyeing our South Dakota neighbors, who are dealing with the same issues: loss of habitat, a declining pheasant population and fewer hunters.tmpplchld Both states have hatched plans to restore ringneck populations in hopes of maintaining their hunting traditions. But if the nation's pheasant Capitol _ long blessed with an abundance of habitat and near-perfect pheasant-producing weather _...