News: Nov 23 - 27

Nov 27, 2019

This week’s South Dakota news features a new generation of programs that pay landowners to plant for pheasants, a new team of social workers to help meet kid’s personal needs, and more. You can find all our “In the Moment” interviews and features by subscribing to the “In the Moment: Segments” podcast. We’ve rounded up some of the top stories for you in this week’s “In the Moment: News” podcast.

Uncertain Bounty - 2017 Drought By The Numbers

Oct 19, 2017
University of Nebraska Drought Mitigation Center

South Dakota residents are no stranger to drought.  The state’s position in the U-S and many unique landforms impact our weather—and in some years, keep the moisture away.  This year has brought extremely dry weather over most of South Dakota—with agriculture, tourism and nearly every other segment of life affected.  

Pheasant Numbers Are Down

Sep 2, 2016
South Dakota Game Fish and Parks

Pheasant numbers are down 20 percent from last year in South Dakota. But Officials with the Game Fish and Parks assure hunters that the numbers will not affect fall hunting.

The Game Fish and Parks just completed their annual brood survey. The pheasants seen along known routes were fewer than in 20-15. However . . . the Game Fish and Parks says this year’s numbers are still double what they were in 20-13 and 15 percent higher than 20-14.

Travis Runia is a Senior Game Biologist for the Game Fish and Parks. He says the pheasant population overall is doing just fine.

The pheasant is not only important in South Dakota for its cultural value, but also for what it contributes to the economy. In 2015, more than 150 thousand hunters harvested more than one point two million pheasants in South Dakota. Nearly 85 thousand hunters came from out of state. They poured millions of dollars into local economies. South Dakota isn’t a pheasant destination by accident.

Waiting To Mow Ditches Helps Protect Pheasant Nests

Jun 20, 2016

Governor Dennis Daugaard is reminding East River landowners to wait to mow ditches along the state highway system until July 10th. He says holding off on mowing is helpful for the pheasant population.

GF&P: Grassland Important For Pheasant Habitat

Jun 6, 2016
Matthew Grunig, SD GF&P

South Dakota’s Revised Pheasant Management Plan is ready for implementation. It guides pheasant management over the next five years. The plan focuses on habitat, especially on private land.

While broadcasting live from the state capitol building in Pierre, Cara Hetland visited with Kelly Hepler, Secretary of the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Department.  Hepler has been in his position since early this year after having spent most of his career in Alaska.  He discussed the pheasant habitat rehabilitation program among other issues.

A new initiative aims to help South Dakota landowners maintain wildlife habitat on their property. Habitat Pays is a joint venture between the state departments of Agriculture and Game Fish and Parks.

SD Hunting Season Information

Oct 16, 2014

South Dakota is renowned world-wide for its pheasant hunting, and rightfully so. Did you know that only three times in the past 20 years has the annual pheasant harvest been under 1 million roosters, and those "down" years had well over 900,000 harvested birds. Pheasants are just part of the hunting package you can enjoy. SD offers a variety of game animals in a variety of settings: forests, river bottom, grasslands, mountains, and the vast Missouri River reservoir system. See more at:


More Pheasants Expected for Hunting Opener

Oct 15, 2014
South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks

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.

Pheasants Forever

Concern over the loss of habitat has led the Twin Cities-based conservation group Pheasants Forever to open its first regional office in South Dakota. The group’s long-time vice president of government affairs, Dave Nomsen, opened new state headquarters in Brookings this week and has started his new role as Pheasants Forever’s first South Dakota Director. Nomsen is a graduate of South Dakota State University and served on the faculty of the wildlife department. He’s been with Pheasants Forever since 1992.

Stories of Redfield

Jul 24, 2014
City of Redfield

As part of SDPB's Landscapes of South Dakota series, Thursday's Dakota Midday broadcast live from the historic Chicago and Northwestern Railroad Depot in Redfield, South Dakota.

Pheasant Count Down From 2012

Dec 3, 2013

According to state Game, Fish and Parks surveys, this year’s pheasant brood has dropped 64 percent from 2012.  The numbers are down 76 percent from the 10-year average.  South Dakota Department of Game Fish and Parks Secretary Jeff Vonk says the brood count in late summer is as low as Game, Fish and Parks has seen in 30 or 40 years.  Governor Dennis Daugaard has convened a pheasant habitat summit Friday in Huron at the Crossroads Hotel and Convention Center to discuss the future of pheasant habitat and hunting in South Dakota.



Pheasant Hunting And Tourism

Oct 21, 2013

Pheasant numbers are down in South Dakota this year. According to a report from the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department, the population is low because months of persistent drought in 2012, a cold, wet spring in 2013 and a reduction of habitat have affected pheasant brood counts.

"The Mystery of the Pheasants"

Oct 17, 2012

Former South Dakota Attorney General Mark Meierhenry and five-time State Treasurer David Volk have written a new children's book, "The Mystery of the Pheasants," which tells the history South Dakota's state bird, from its arrival from China, through its successful adaptation to the plains, and onto the traditions of hunting throughout the region.  Learn more at