Photo © Sam Stukel


What is South Dakota known for? Pheasants and Mount Rushmore of course! Without a doubt, South Dakota is the pheasant hunting capitol of the world. Pheasants and pheasant hunting are solidly engrained in South Dakota culture for good reason. 

First successfully introduced in 1908, this game bird native to China thrives in South Dakota’s diverse landscape of grasslands, croplands, wetlands and shelterbelts. Since 1919, the tradition of pheasant hunting has brought friends and families together in holiday-like fashion. Every year opening weekend brings unprecedented enthusiasm, excitement, and activity to cities and rural communities across the state.

Second Century of Pheasant Hunting Begins in South Dakota

There’s no place like South Dakota to hunt pheasants in 2019! Abundant pheasant numbers and lands open to public hunting will kick off the second century of pheasant hunting in South Dakota.  In a statewide snapshot, bird numbers are on par with previous years. The full report provides an overview of upland habitat, which remains a concern for all wildlife across the state. For the long term, providing high quality habitat is key to sustaining healthy pheasant populations.  More details are below. 

Traditional Pheasant Season
Youth Only
Resident Only

2019 Pheasant Outlook
2018 Pheasant Economics