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PIERRE S.D.- South Dakota's upland game bird hunter's will have a few more hours to enjoy in the field this year. In a change from previous years, grouse and partridge hunters will be able to hunt from sunrise to sunset statewide.

"This change is really just to simplify things and make things fair for all hunters," said Tom Kirschenmann, Senior Upland Bird Biologist for Game Fish and Parks. "Previously, West River grouse and partridge hunters could hunt all day for the entire season where East River hunters would have to follow pheasant hunting shooting hours once that season started. It was confusing."

South Dakota will once again be split into two units for pheasants.

Unit 1 (all of South Dakota except the counties in Unit 2) will have a season running from October 21, 2006 through January 7, 2007, except for Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge and Renziehausen GPA and Game Bird Refuge in Brown and Marshall Counties, which are open December 11-31.

Unit 2 (Butte, Meade, Lawrence and that portion of Pennington County west of the Cheyenne River) will have a season running from October 21, 2006 through November 5, 2006.

Shooting hours will be noon to sunset from October 21 to October 28 and 10 a.m. to sunset the remainder of the season

The prairie grouse and partridge seasons will run statewide from September 16, 2006 to January 7, 2007, with the exception of the Lacreek National Wildlife Refuge which opens on October 21 for grouse and partridge.

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