Survey indicates South Dakota pheasant numbers up sharply
MITCHELL, S.D. — The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department is reporting a 47 percent increase from last year in its annual pheasant brood survey.
The statewide count is similar to 2014, when hunters killed an estimated 1.2 million pheasants. Game, Fish and Parks Secretary Kelly Hepler says better weather helped this year, with the average pheasant brood size increasing 22 percent over last year.
However, numbers in western South Dakota decreased by 5 percent. And though overall numbers are trending higher, only two areas surveyed this year – Mitchell and Sisseton – beat the 10-year average.
This year’s pheasant hunting season will be the 100th in state history. The traditional statewide season opens Oct. 20 and runs through Jan. 6.