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 PIERRE, S.D – Mother Nature greeted South Dakota’s hunters with ideal temperatures, blue skies and moderate breezes for Saturday’s opening of the traditional pheasant season.

“We really couldn’t have asked for a much better day to open our pheasant season,” said South Dakota Game Fish and Parks Wildlife Director, Tony Leif. “Dry weather has helped move the fall crop harvest along and concentrate a good crop of birds in the remaining cover. It was a successful day and it will only get better from here.”

Successful reports came in from many parts of the state. In the northeastern portion of South Dakota, hunters had varied success.

“Hunting pressure was actually fairly light,” said GFP Region 4 Game Manager Scott Lindgren. “From east to west, hunters averaged about ½ a bird per hunter to limits in the west. I expected a few more reports of good success across the region, as a majority of the beans and about half of the corn has been harvested, but hunters found success in CRP, food plots and stripped corn fields. “

In the central portion of the state, hunter success was a little higher. “Central South Dakota hunters averaged about2-3 birds per hunter,” said Region 2 Game Manager Andy Lindbloom. “Our crop harvest is well ahead of last year. Combine that with good weather and good weather, and that made for full bird bags.

With a dry forecast for next week, Lindbloom said hunting should only get better. Higher number of birds reported seeing.

In the Southeastern portion of the state, hunters found good success in Beadle, Sandborn, Aurora, Jerauld and Minor counties, with 2-3 birds being the average. “Many bigger groups hunting found good success hunting corn strips and had limits by 3 pm,” said Region 3 Game Manager Ron Schauer. “Further south and east hunters averaged 1-2 birds per person. Many of those areas still have around 70 percent of the corn in the fields, so I expect hunting to only get better.”

All three game managers reported fewer violations and accidents compared to last year, as well as slightly lighter hunting pressure than in previous years.

The South Dakota pheasant season will run until January 2nd, 2011. Hunters are allowed 3 rooster pheasants a day. For more information on the South Dakota pheasant season, visit:

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