Fall is almost here and preparations for pheasant hunting have begun.
We know that coming to South Dakota and Hunting the Greatest is a bucket list trip for some, and a yearly tradition for others. We can't wait to hit the fields and to roll out the orange carpet for our visitors.
Drought has reared its ugly head across the entire pheasant belt and many places in South Dakota are no exception. That being said, pheasant hunting here should still be a "can't miss" opportunity.
South Dakota's pheasant population had a great winter, leading to high spring populations. These adult birds should be available for hunters this fall. These are smart and wary birds and successful hunters will need to adjust their hunting tactics.
“South Dakota is the greatest place in the world to hunt pheasants and that all comes back to our quality habitat and millions of acres of public hunting opportunities. Whether your hunting preference is sloughs, grasslands, woody habitat or the rolling prairies, you will have an abundance of options, and you will not regret putting our state at the top of your list.”
Kevin Robling, GFP Department Secretary
Similar to pheasants, the prairie grouse outlook is mixed. This spring brought record lek counts for adults, but drought conditions deteriorated grassland habitats in the grouse range and hampered grouse production.
Even the most veteran bird hunters tend to make a big mistake...they leave their fishing rods at home. Fall is a time when fish are actively feeding in preparation for winter and can produce some of the best bites of the year. Fish move back to the shallows and are within a cast's reach of anglers. Take advantage of the bite and spend your time after the hunt with an awesome sunset on a lake or river.