South Dakota pheasant hunters see blue skies, lots of birds

October 18, 2021

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Pheasant hunters making their annual trek to South Dakota were greeted with warm weather and blue skies on opening day.

Wildlife officials say that despite extreme drought conditions in the spring, when pheasants nest and hatch, a mild winter and positive field reports from throughout the state should help the success rate.

Phil Miller, a dentist from Georgia who makes yearly hunting trips to South Dakota, says he likes the state’s “welcoming culture.” He says he bagged more pheasants Saturday than the previous two years combined.

Wildlife officials said more than 1.1 million pheasants were bagged by 121,000 hunters in South Dakota last year, when the state Legislature extended the season from 79 to 107 days.