SM Link

GFP News - october 18, 2014

details on south dakota's 2014 pheasant opener from across the state

PIERRE, S.D. - With the annual pheasant brood survey up 76 percent (statewide pheasants-per-mile index) from last year, today was filled with excitement for upland bird hunters across the state for the opening day of South Dakota’s traditional pheasant hunting season.

“Today is a day when resident and nonresident hunters, both women and men of all generations, take to the fields and share in an annual tradition,” stated Jeff Vonk, Secretary of the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks. “For many friends and family, it becomes a tradition or ‘holiday’ where more than just field experiences are shared; conversations, meals, ammunition, laughs and comradery are all a part of this opening day.”

Soon after the 2014 pheasant brood survey was released in late August, upland bird hunters from across the country and world began gearing up for this weekend. Survey results showed pheasant numbers rebounded the strongest in central South Dakota; especially in the Pierre, Chamberlain, Mobridge and Winner areas. This year’s results also indicated higher pheasant numbers throughout much of eastern South Dakota as compared to 2013.

Reports from the fields across the state indicate the following:

Central Region, Nathan Baker, GFP regional game manager

Northeast Region, Jacquie Ermer, GFP regional game manager

Southeast Region, Julie DeJong, GFP regional game manager

Western Region, John Kanta, GFP regional game manager

At the time of this release, there was one accident report of a minor injury to a young child who took one BB to the shin in McPherson county. At this time, the report is still being compiled. No other accidents were reported.

“We know bird numbers are higher this year due to excellent reproduction in parts of the state where quality habitat conditions still exist, primarily on grasslands including those enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program as well as fields of cereal crops such as winter wheat. We continue to work in cooperation with the Governor’s Pheasant Habitat Workgroup on their final report recommendations as well as partner organizations and landowners to provide an improved future for habitat so that the availability of pheasants along with pheasant hunting opportunities in our state are sustained for generations to come,” concluded Vonk.

South Dakota’s traditional statewide pheasant hunting season began today and runs through Jan. 4, 2015. If individuals have yet to purchase their hunting license, they can do so online or at any local licensing agent.

For more information, please visit or

See what memories are already being made by visiting our #SDintheField page. Hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts are encouraged to share their photos and videos using #SDintheField and take part in the tradition; not only in the field, but in the online conversations as well.



Other News and Information

One-Year Archives