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.

Pheasant Survey Indicates 47% Increase for South Dakota’s 100th Hunting Season

This year's pheasant brood survey shows a 47 percent increase over last year. The 2018 statewide pheasants-per-mile (PPM) index is 2.47, up from the 2017 index of 1.68. The full report provides an overview of upland habitat; which remains a concern for all wildlife across the state. Just as changes in landscape-level habitat conditions have produced peaks and valleys in the pheasant population for 100 years, habitat will again be the key to preserving pheasant hunting for another century. More details are below.

Traditional Pheasant Season
Youth Only
Resident Only

2018 Pheasant Outlook
2018 Pheasant Economics