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Pheasant Season Starts

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Pheasants Forever
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The non-resident pheasant season starts this weekend in South Dakota. Officials say pheasant numbers are down, but there is still good hunting.

South Dakota Game Fish and Parks officials say pheasant numbers saw a 20 percent decrease from last year, but are still higher than 2013 and 2014. Officials say there are still large pheasant populations in south central, southwestern, South Dakota and along the Missouri valley.

Travis Runia is an upland game biologist for the Game Fish and Parks. He says it should be another great season for the state, despite any challenges.

“It’s sure exciting to have opening weekend here already and it is going to be a little bit warm and there are going to be a few crops still standing around the state so that should make it a little more challenging for our hunters. They’ll want to make sure they have plenty of water for the dogs and the hunters alike. There’ll probably also be a need to hunt at night as bird start to come out of those large fields of standing crops and into the grasslands where they’ll be a little bit more accessible to those hunters,” says Runia.

Runia reminds hunters it’s important to be careful when hunting in a group. The non-residential pheasant season continues until January 1st.