Saturday is South Dakota's pheasant opener and hunters should find more ringnecks in comparison to last year. The state Game, Fish and Parks annual brood count survey showed a 76 percent statewide increase in the pheasants-per-mile index over 2013. Last year’s sharp decline in pheasant numbers led to Governor Daugaard’s creation of the Pheasant Habitat Work Group. The group presented its recommendations in September.
Pheasant hunting is big business. Each year an estimated 100 thousand hunters come to South Dakota and the state Department of Tourism estimates that pheasant hunting generates $223 million in retail economic impact.
Tom Kirschenmann, section chief of terrestrial resources for the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks, joined Dakota Midday and discussed habitat and the 2014 pheasant season.