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We all know that the habitat for pheasants is shrinking and that the population of the much prized bird has dropped by around 68%.

In response to the continuing trend, Gov. Dennis Daugaard decided to hold a summit in December 2013, to seek out solutions to stem the loss of both the pheasant population and their habitat. The event was classed as a step in the right direction and hope was raised that South Dakota could reclaim its habitat and bird populations.

At the meeting, Gov. Dennis Daugaard named a group of 13 members that would further explore the recommendations to sustain the Pheasant numbers. There are a range of people on the board from farmers to the Secretary of Agriculture.

However the members of this group have been criticized.

One of the main criticizisms, was that at least one non-resident hunter from Minnesota should have been included in the group. The claim, by Eric Nerland whose family own a farm in Eastern South Dakota, does have a point. Around 20,000 ringneck hunters make a trip from Minnesota to South Dakota every year.

"They have a resource funded by non-resident license fees, and yet they don't have anyone from that group on the panel,'' said Nerland.

South Dakota does regularly attempt to entice hunters from Minnesota to the area. This has a positive economic boom on the State which aids all who live there.

The complaint was also stated in the newspaper The Daily Republic. In an editorial, the newspaper commented that there were “too many bureaucrats” and that residents from south to central South Dakota were poorly represented. Considering this is the heart of pheasant country, it would seem that this is an oversight.

Despite the makeup, there is hope that the group will be able to develop recommendations to the governor that can provide practical solutions for South Dakota pheasant habitat improvement. It is expected that the group will provide this by late summer.

Do you think that there should have been more local residents in the group?

Let us know in the comments below

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