License Sales Down For Pheasant Opener

Oct 21, 2019
South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks

Game Fish and Parks officials say the number of pheasant hunting licenses for opening weekend is down from last year.

Overall, license numbers are down for both resident and non-resident by about four thousand.

Shon Eide is the Game Fish and Parks licensing supervisor. He says a couple factors might play into those numbers.

The pheasant population is down and has trended downward since 2011.

Eide says the weather on Sunday also affected license sales.


In The Moment ... October 16, 2019 Show 680 Hour 1

Pheasants were introduced to South Dakota in 1908 and pheasant hunting became a thing in 1919.

The 2019 pheasant season opens this weekend, the 100th year of pheasant hunting in South Dakota. SDPB's Nate Wek recently visited Aberdeen where the city is blaze orange with pheasant fever!

In the Moment ... February 12, 2018 Show 275 Hour 2

South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks communications specialist Chris Hull joins us to discuss how the state plans to celebrate 100 years of pheasant hunting.

In The Moment ... October 23, 2017 Show 204 Hour 1

Emily Kiel is Communications Director for the South Dakota GFP. She's also a lifelong South Dakota hunter. She joins us for a look at this year's Pheasant Season opener, where the bird count is down, but the traditions remain strong.

Pheasant Season Starts

Oct 14, 2016
Pheasants Forever

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.

South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks

Chinese ring-necked pheasants were first successfully introduced in South Dakota in 1908 in Spink County. That was also where the state’s first pheasant hunting season took place.

Today pheasant hunting is big business in the state. According to the South Dakota Department of Tourism, pheasant hunting generates an estimated 223 million dollars annually. But pheasant numbers have been falling since 2007. Concern about the declining pheasant population and its statewide impact led Governor Dennis Daugaard to form a pheasant habitat task force.