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South Dakota Pheasant Hunting–One of the Best in the U.S.


The ring-necked pheasant is the state bird of South Dakota, and fittingly so; the Asian native has taken to South Dakota as if it were indigenous to the area. The bird was successfully introduced to the state in 1908 after previous attempts proved unsuccessful, and, although the pheasant is thought of as the all-American bird, it was not given a place in John James Audubon’s book, Audubon's Birds of America because of its Asian origin. The successful growth of the pheasant population in South Dakota over the past century has made South Dakota pheasant hunting the best in the country.

The Black Hills is the only area of South Dakota where pheasants are not found, and the south-central region is where most of the birds are located. South Dakota consistently reports the largest numbers of pheasants in the United States and is a magnet for hunters wanting to experience South Dakota pheasant hunting. The state offers the various habitats pheasants need to thrive. Woodlands and brushy thickets are necessary in the winter to provide shelter from snow and wind, with wetland cover also offering winter protection. These habitats also protect the birds from predators. In the spring grassland habitat is needed for hen pheasants to build and maintain nests. Areas in which more than half the land is farmed attract large numbers of pheasants, which get most of their diet from grain left on the ground, and nearby gravel roads provide the grit the birds need to break up and digest their food. Regions where these favorable conditions exist together are the best for South Dakota pheasant hunting.

Habitat is vital to increasing and sustaining high pheasant populations and ensuring the continued success of South Dakota pheasant hunting. High pheasant losses in winter, about 65% to 75%, could be lessened if more food and shelter were available. As in other pheasant hunting states, more intensive farming methods have caused the pheasant population to decline. There is now less grain on the ground for food, and chemicals have also taken a toll. Pesticides kill insects needed by the young birds, the weeds and brushy cover the pheasants require have been eliminated, and nitrate fertilizers can poison the birds. Unfortunately, when the pheasant population dips, and so does South Dakota pheasant hunting, with serious consequences for the state economy.

South Dakota pheasant hunting provides a huge economic boost to the state. In 2005, pheasant hunting brought in over 153 million dollars. As important as hunting is, to South Dakota it is important to create and maintain high quality habitat that can support the pheasant population needed to bring hunters into the state. To guarantee the continued success of pheasant hunting state agencies as well as groups such as Pheasants Forever are working to ensure that South Dakota pheasant hunting remains a viable, successful sport for future generations.

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Pheasant Hunting Reports In Minnesota News

Minnesota pheasant hunting prospects: A closer look - Press (blog) Press (blog)

Minnesota pheasant hunting prospects: A closer look Press (blog)
Nicole Davros, author of the report, knows statements like that are likely to erode the confidence of hunters. “I know people will see that headline and think pheasant hunting just won't be that good this year, and they either won't buy a license or ...
Little Change Seen For Minnesota Pheasant HuntersCBS Local
Minnesota pheasant index up slightly, but still way below long-term averagesMinneapolis Star Tribune (blog)
Pheasant population up slightly; habitat loss still poses biggest threatCoon Rapids ECM Publishers

all 36 news articles »


Neighboring states report more pheasants than Minnesota - St. Cloud Times

Neighboring states report more pheasants than Minnesota
St. Cloud Times
With Minnesota showing a slight upswing in pheasant numbers, many of our neighboring states look even more promising as hunting destinations. Iowa's pheasant numbers have jumped to a six-year high in 2014. The state's August roadside survey indicated ...
Cross Column: Minnesota pheasant numbers up slighty for 2014 seasonMankato Free Press

all 4 news articles »


Dayton to convene Minnesota pheasant summit - Minneapolis Star Tribune (blog)

Minneapolis Star Tribune (blog)

Dayton to convene Minnesota pheasant summit
Minneapolis Star Tribune (blog)
“For almost 60 years, I have enjoyed pheasant hunting in Minnesota,” said Dayton. “But the decisions we make today will determine whether future generations of Minnesotans will have those same opportunities. I look forward to convening this Minnesota ...


Gov. Dayton announces plans for Minnesota Pheasant Summit - Coon Rapids ECM Publishers

Rick Kupchella's BringMeTheNews

Gov. Dayton announces plans for Minnesota Pheasant Summit
Coon Rapids ECM Publishers
Despite this slight increase, the state's pheasant population is still 58 percent below the 10-year average, and 71 percent below the long-term average. The Minnesota Pheasant Summit, to be held after this year's hunting season concludes, will discuss ...
With population dwindling, state plans first-ever pheasant summitRick Kupchella's BringMeTheNews
Governor to convene pheasant summit this yearMinneapolis Star Tribune

all 32 news articles »


Ranch's rolling hills and ridges perfect for hunting - Appleton Post Crescent

Appleton Post Crescent

Ranch's rolling hills and ridges perfect for hunting
Appleton Post Crescent
The Wedigs, who have family roots in Lafayette County, resided previously in Minnesota and frequented a couple of local hunt clubs in the area. ... A dog points to a pheasant at Tanglewood Ranch and Hunt Club in Mineral Point, Wis., on Friday, Sept.