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On the 13 December 2014, there was a pheasant summit held in Marshall. Hosted by Governor Mark Dayton, the summit set out ideas how the local residents, government agencies and charities can help improve the local pheasant population. Despite a recent rise; the population is significant lower than the 10 year and long term average.

To help discover some of the best ways to improve pheasant populations, Mike Max from WCCO-TV took “Maxi Cam” to the pheasant hunting champions: South Dakota. Mike Max, with the help of guide Ryan Sauter, took to the field to discover how the pheasant populations are being supported in the pheasant hunting capitol of the country.

From the start, Sauter wanted to find thick, heavy cover. This is the normal hideout for roosters in December and other cold months.

Sauter explained that the number of farmers who have conserved and supported natural habitat is relatively low as more are now putting their land into production. However, he went on to explain:

“We found it’s not necessarily profitable to tear up all your slews and potholes and farm those, so if you leave those then [the wildlife populations will build] up,” Sauter said. “[You’ll] get a better hatch, more birds,” he added.

During their hunting trip, the weather conditions were not the best for either bird or hunter. Mike Max and his group faced 30 mile an hour winds that were gusting into the faces and bitter cold temperatures of 30 degrees.

However, despite this, the group had plenty of fun while hunting. By the end of day they had achieved their bag limit and it was time to leave the fields. Mike Max later stated “a near-perfect day of hunting – South Dakota style.”

Were you able to get out hunting yet this past season? What happened on your trips?

Let us know your experiences in the comments below.

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