MONTEVIDEO, Minn. (AP) — Wildlife managers are predicting decent hunting for Minnesota's pheasant season, though the late harvest means the birds will have ample cover with Saturday's opener.

Getty Images

Wet conditions across the state's pheasant range mean the corn and soybean harvests are running about a week behind their normal pace, which means late-season hunters may have better luck at finding and flushing ringnecks.

At least the birds will be out there. The state's pheasant index — an imperfect measure of population trends — is up an estimated 29 percent from last year thanks to another mild winter and good nesting conditions this spring. It's the second year of improvement after the harsh winter of 2013-14 cut the population.

The western city of Montevideo is hosting the Minnesota Governor's Pheasant Hunting Opener.