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Traditions Remain Strong for South Dakota’s Pheasant Hunting Opener

PIERRE, S.D. – Communities across South Dakota rolled out the orange carpet for pheasant hunters today, the third Saturday in October, for the 2017 pheasant hunting season opener.

“The pheasant hunting opportunities in South Dakota continue to be the best in the country,” said South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Secretary Kelly Hepler. “Traditions around the South Dakota pheasant opener are special. Whether it’s a first-time hunter harvesting their first rooster, or an avid outdoorsman meeting up with long-time friends and sharing a hunt, this is what we live for and why visitors flock to our state.”

Reports from the fields across the state indicate the following:

Central Region, Ross Scott, GFP Regional Game Manager
Average bird count: 1 bird per hunter.
Most hunted area in region: Lyman, Gregory and Brule counties.

Northeast Region, Nick Rossman, GFP Regional Game Manager
Average bird count: 0.5 bird per hunter.
Most hunted area in region: Day, McPherson and Edmunds counties.

Southeast Region, Brad Baumgartner, GFP Regional Game Manager
Average bird count: 1 bird per hunter.
Most hunted area in region: Aurora, Jerauld and Davison counties.

Western Region, Trenton Haffley, GFP Regional Game Manager
Average bird count: Less than 1 bird per hunter.
Most hunted area in region: Perkins, Bennett, Haakon and Harding counties.
Over 8,000 new acres have been enrolled in the Walk-In Area hunting access program within the pheasant range, noted Secretary Hepler; adding to over 1 million acres of existing publicly owned and privately leased land open for public hunting in South Dakota’s the primary pheasant range.

South Dakota’s traditional statewide pheasant hunting season began today and runs through Jan. 7, 2018. If individuals have yet to purchase their hunting license, they can do so online or at any local licensing agent. For more information, visit http://gfp.sd.gov/hunting/small-game/pheasants.aspx or http://gfp.sd.gov/licenses/general-hunt-fish/default.aspx.