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 PIERRE, S.D. – Old Man Winter’s icy clutches often create long and difficult days for the people of South Dakota, but wildlife also must endure the brutal cold and snow.

Motorists have recently reported seeing many pheasants along roadsides, causing worry that they are not finding food in snow-covered fields.

“Even in tough winters like this, our wildlife can cope well if the right habitat exists,” said state Game Fish and Parks Terrestrial Chief Tom Kirschenmann. “A hard winter reminds us how important it is to provide good winter habitat and food plots to get through these difficult times”.

Motorists are seeing not only lots of pheasants, but also grouse, antelope and deer in snow-covered fields.

For birds, the plowed roadsides offer a source of grit to help digest the seeds they are feeding on. Larger animals may use the roads as travel corridors.

“We see good numbers of pheasants and deer near roads this time of year, and motorists should use caution,” said Kirschenmann.

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