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postheadericon Pheasant hunting in south dakota – great hunting experience guaranteed

Pheasant Hunting In South Dakota – Great Hunting Experience Guaranteed

The ring-necked pheasant is the state bird of South Dakota, with good reason. South Dakota consistently reports the greatest population of this native Asian bird. While it is thought of as distinctly American, the bird didn’t even make it into John James Audubon’s book, “Audubon’s Birds of America” because it was only introduced to the state in 1908, after many previously unsuccessful attempts. Because of the exponential growth of the pheasant population in the last century, South Dakota is considered the king of pheasant hunting destinations.

South Dakota offers the perfect habitat for the pheasant to thrive; with woodlands and bushy thickets for cover, wetlands, grasslands, and crops for feed, the pheasant has made itself right at home in this state. The Black Hills is the only area of South Dakota where the pheasant isn’t found; the best region is the south-central part of the state. The woodlands and thickets offer the bird the necessary cover in the winter months, while the grasslands are necessary for hens to build and maintain their nests. Areas where much of the land is farmed attracts a great number of pheasants for feeding purposes, and nearby gravel roads are an excellent source for the grit the birds require to digest their food. Regions with these characteristics make for great pheasant hunting.

Protecting pheasant habitat is vital to maintaining a healthy population. In recent years the pheasant has seen a decrease in numbers due to agricultural practices. Intensive farming methods, as in many of the other pheasant hunting states, have depleted the amount of food available to the birds, with chemicals also playing a major role in the decline. Pesticides kill the insects which the young birds feed on, and the killing of the weeds and bushy cover has eliminated the necessary cover. Also, the use of nitrate fertilizers poisons the birds. As with any major hunting state, when the pheasant population in South Dakota dips, so do local economies.

South Dakota sees a major economic boost from the influx of pheasant hunters every year. In 2005, pheasant hunters brought more than $153 million to the state. Wildlife conservation efforts are imperative to keep South Dakota’s economy in balance. With the help of groups like Pheasants Forever spreading awareness and protecting habitat, the pheasant population will hopefully be around for years to come for many hunters to enjoy.

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