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AAA SOUTH DAKOTA PHEASANT HUNTING > Articles

South Dakota Pheasant Hunting Information  

There is only one upland game bird that matters most to a South Dakota resident, thatís the pheasant. Each season many, if not most, SD families and friends set a date to get together during the South Dakota pheasant hunting season and relax and enjoy their time spent together.

The cackling, running, spectacular, wise, elusive, beautiful, erratic, gaudy immigrant belongs to the South Dakotans. Sure, other states have them also, but not in the numbers we have. South Dakota pheasant hunting in its worst year is better than other states pheasant hunting during their best years.

Each year, South Dakota pheasant hunting enthusiasts take to the fields in search of the elusive upland bird that has thrived so well in our state. Some of these local pheasant hunters have great pheasant hunting dogs; others prefer to drive corn fields with friends and family, with-out the aid of any dog. Many of these hunters feel it is the time spent with their families and friends that make the hunt such traditional event. Sure, if you ask, they tell you they enjoy harvesting the ring neck pheasant, but they flock to these fields year after year, regardless if the birds are in abundance or not. The local South Dakota pheasant hunting philosophy is about important time spent together, and the camaraderie that follows.

The South Dakota pheasant hunting season is monitored by the South Dakota game, fish and parks department. The regular season is scheduled as follows: Opening day is on the third Saturday of October yearly, the South Dakota pheasant hunting season continues through-out the end of December yearly.

During the first week of the South Dakota pheasant hunting season, the scheduled daily start time is always at 12 noon central time. This start time was developed by the South Dakota game, fish, and parks department, and has caused some out-of-state pheasant hunters to ask why and who this has come to be.

The South Dakota pheasant hunting season started at 12 noon many years back. South Dakota locals have a variety of reasons, or theories to why this is. It has been said that many years ago, when a law was decided over a cup of coffee, a landowner said that he had wanted to go pheasant hunting with his family, however he would need time in the mornings to get his daily chores done, and take care of his families livelihood. Others say, that early morning start times for the South Dakota pheasant hunting season would constitute an unfair advantage for the pheasant hunter, as these pheasants would be near the road ditches collecting gravel, thus resulting in a slaughter of the pheasants. Local game wardens state that with the great numbers of pheasants in SD, early morning start times are not necessary to harvest limits on a daily basis, therefore starting later in the morning or at 12 noon will give the pheasants the time they need to seek cover before the pheasant hunting is allowed. Either way, it has worked very well, it is not only the law, it does give the wily ring neck pheasant that slight edge over the pheasant hunter. Some say with all the intelligence and craftiness the South Dakota pheasants possess, he certainly does not need any help hiding or running away from pursing pheasant hunters.

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