Start of SD pheasant hunting season is slowSIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Hunters seeking pheasants in South Dakota are dealing with conditions that are anything but ideal, but one state official says there is reason for hope.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Hunters seeking pheasants in South Dakota are dealing with conditions that are anything but ideal, but one state official says there is reason for hope.
Crops are still in the field because of widespread flooding that hampered the fall harvest, providing plenty of hiding places for the birds during the residents-only season over the weekend. Some fields are wetter than normal as well.
"It makes it tough to hunt when you have a lot of corn in the field," Game, Fish and Parks conservation officer Jared Hill told KELO-TV. "It takes big groups of hunters and you're walking through tall corn, which is hard to see and hard to get pheasants out of it. They'll kind of run circles around the hunters."
Hill said hunters should stay positive as the traditional season opens to all hunters Saturday, because the pheasants are there.
Officials estimate the population is up 3 percent from last year. Hill said hunters killed about 1.6 million birds last year, and he expects the same or even more this year.
"The pheasants are still out there, so the main thing would just be, it might be a little tough early on, but as the season goes on, it's going to keep getting better and the pheasants are still going to be out there," he said.
The Argus Leader reported that an annual event for those flying in from out of state is set for Friday at the Sioux Falls airport. At the welcoming ceremony, local tourism officials and businesses greet hunters and provide information on lodging, area attractions and restaurants.
The pheasant season runs through Jan. 2.