posted on February 24, 2015 05:01
The end of the 2014 pheasant hunting season has arrived and the results are due to be published. The belief is that this season will be declared a success for South Dakota.
This should be a relief to many after such a disappointing previous year. However, a closer look at the numbers reveals that those interested should be cautious. The number of non-resident licenses sold during the year has remained stable and is still 20,000 below the 95,000 sold in 2012.
Tim Kessler, who is a member of the Pheasants Forever national board and was part of Governor Dennis Daugaard’s pheasant habitat workgroup, states that 2014 should be considered a success. According to many experts, there should have been an improvement in pheasant harvest, although the results will not be known for some time.
Tim believes that if the harvest numbers are up, it should encourage more non-resident hunters to come back to the state in the next season.
Early indications also demonstrate that hunters have had a successful season. All of those who hunted on the private lands of Kessler were able to achieve their harvest limits. Part of the reason for the improved hunting season was the weather conditions that led to a good brooding season.
Though there were some disappointments. Success was very dependent on which habitat the hunters were in.
Of course, without a significant improvement in the harvest numbers, there will not be the harvest of 2012, which was 1.4 million. In 2013, the harvest was 982,679.
Nick Cochran, the state’s Game, Fish and Parks conservation officer, has stated that he expects the numbers to be somewhere in between the 2012 and 2013 numbers. “We’ve had more young pheasants and that’s a good sign. The numbers aren’t going to be like the highs we had in the mid-2000s, but, from what I’ve seen and from whom I’ve talked to, everything points to this being a good year.”
Did you have a successful hunting season? Did you achieve your harvest limit?
Let us know in the comments below.