Projections were pretty right on when the projected outlook said 2011 South Dakota pheasant hunting would not be as good as in years past. This doesn’t mean that pheasants aren’t available, it just means that it might take a little more work to get them.
Perspective is what is needed when you hear numbers are down. What might be down in South Dakota can be referred to as abundant in many other states. There hasn’t been a harvest of birds less than 1 million pheasants in South Dakota since 1992 and that was over 950,000. South Dakota Game Fish and Parks states that since 1926 the harvest has only been less than half a million 4 times.
Below is a map from South Dakota Game Fish and Parks which shows where the most birds were harvested and how many hunters obtained those birds by county. Dakota River Ranch in Brown County is one of the counties with the most dense population of birds with more than 200 per square mile.
2009 pheasant density map from South Dakota Game Fish and Parks
I’ve been at some great hunting lodges and you can bet I’m not going anywhere else. The hunting was beyond great, the owners and staff offered us so much more than great hunting, quality lodging and excellent meals. They provided us with memories that will last a lifetime.
By far the best pheasant hunting experience to date.