Pheasant season opened in South Dakota to non-residents on October 19, 2019. Although the number of birds may be down by 17%, hunters can still expect to get their limits this season! One South Dakotan outfitter, U-Guide, set their non-resident hunters up for success and had a limit for everyone on opening day.
One problem some hunters are facing early in the season though is the wetter than normal conditions. Some areas of South Dakota, including Rapid City, have seen their annual yearly rainfall totals already. The Weather Channel reported this news of heavy rains in South Dakota as of July! With more rain than normal, the birds will likely have more places to go for food.
Going into weekend number three of non-resident season may get tougher to find your limit but they are there. U-Guide posted a 2.75 bird per hunter average near Meadow Creek just last week. They 108 roosters, 12 grouse, and 2 partridge. U-Guide had their hunters over predominately soybean crop (58%), as well as corn, sorghum, and sunflowers.
Moving Anytime Soon?
Have you ever wanted a longer hunting season just for paying state taxes as a resident? Have you wanted to move out to the Midwest to escape the city? Then Maybe South Dakota is for you! Pheasant’s may not have come from South Dakota, but then again neither have you if you are moving there.
South Dakotans get an extra week as residents to hunt before any out-of-towners come in and flood the public lands. Resident season started on October 12th.
So why not check out South Dakota? Longer hunting seasons, great towns, and the unemployment rate is lower than the national average (2.9%) so there are jobs!
Are You Looking for Where to Go?
Like most other states hunting information is readily available, you just have to find it. South Dakota’s Game, Fish & Parks department provides the 10-year averages for a lot of areas. The past statistics are also available as to how many birds were taken each season, how many hunters went (resident and non-resident), and the averages of the surveys. More information can be found here: https://gfp.sd.gov/pheasant/
Seems like the Midwest is wet in general! Kansas duck hunters are facing a similar problem. Check out are article on their wet season opener here:
How did you do pheasant hunting this year? Let us know in the comments below!