posted on December 01, 2013 16:45
South Dakota has always been the go-to state when it comes to pheasant hunting. The tradition is ingrained in their culture, and hunters from around the country reserve hotels months in advance to have an opportunity to hit the fields on opening day.
While other states also have good reputations, South Dakota has been known to be the best place to hunt pheasants for years. But with this year’s poor pheasant production, some are starting to wonder if the title “Pheasant Hunting Capital Of The World” is still relevant.
Even with a down year, Pheasant hunting is still big businesses in South Dakota. The state estimates that pheasant hunting generates $223 million annually and that there are over 4,500 jobs related to pheasant hunting and the tourism industry.
The main reason why there was such a poor production of birds was because of unfavorable weather conditions, but even Dave Nomsen, Pheasants Forever Vice President of Governmental Affairs, admits that a loss of habitat has also contributed to the low numbers.
South Dakota’s Governor comments that, “We want to do what we can now to ensure [hunting] opportunities for future generations.”
This loss of habitat is something the state plans to address moving forward. On December 6th, the Governor is hosting an open discussing to explore ways to enhance and maintain the pheasant habitat around the state.
With all that said, here’s something to keep in mind. The last time hunters killed less than 1 million birds during the South Dakota season was back in 1992, and since 1926, hunters have killed less than 1 million birds only 21 times. Consistently, South Dakota has proven to be the best. Hunters don’t typically go home disappointed.
Do you think South Dakota still has the best pheasant hunting in the world?
Leave your thoughts in the comments!