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SD Game, Fish, and Parks releases latest pheasant harvest numbers

Dept of Tourism

South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks reports a strong year for pheasant harvesting numbers.

The 2022-23 pheasant season resulted in a total harvest of 1,158,000 birds.

That’s an average of nine birds per hunter, which is greater than surrounding states that average three to six birds per hunter.

Kevin Robling is the GFP Department Secretary. He said the average number of birds per hunter proves South Dakota's claim to be the best pheasant hunting state.

"South Dakota is the greatest state in the country to pheasant hunt. The harvest numbers show exactly why: hunters are going to find abundant birds across the state all season long," said Robling.

GFP said the state now offers 1.48 million acres of private land enrolled for public hunting. The agency’s goal is to increase the amount of land to 1.5 million for the next pheasant season.

"Quality habitat is key for abundant wildlife populations, which is why this is the number one priority for our department. Hunters also need to have access to these areas to be able to enjoy these populations," said Robling.

Traditional pheasant season begins Oct. 21 and runs through Jan. 31.

Evan Walton is an SDPB reporter based in Sioux Falls. Evan holds a Master’s in English Literature from Southern New Hampshire University and was honorably discharged from the United States Army in 2015, where he served for five years as an infantryman.