GFP Commission extends SD pheasant season to Jan. 31

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At its September meeting, the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission extended the state's pheasant season through Jan. 31 and made the daily start time 10 a.m. throughout.

According to a news release from the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department, South Dakota pheasant hunters will be able to begin hunting pheasants at 10 a.m. CT (9 a.m. MT) for the entire pheasant season, including the resident-only season, which begins this year on Oct. 10.

The news release also said hunters will also have the opportunity to hunt ringnecks for a couple of extra weeks as the GFP Commission extended the state’s pheasant season to Jan. 31. 

Traditionally, hunters couldn’t hit the fields until noon for the first few weeks of the season. Also, the season typically closed the first Sunday in January. Now, these extensions will provide additional opportunity for hunters and bring South Dakota in line with pheasant hunting states like Nebraska and Kansas that surround the pheasant hunting capital.

“It’s very exciting to offer these expanded opportunities to those who want to experience the greatest pheasant hunting in the nation,” said Kelly Hepler, GFP secretary.

“Behind Gov. Noem’s Second Century Initiative, this is one more way we are working to secure South Dakota’s great outdoor heritage and the next 100 years of pheasant hunting in our state,” Hepler added. 

The commission ultimately decided to retain the daily bag limit of three pheasants for the statewide season, but did vote to adopt an unrestricted harvest opportunity for those hunting on a private shooting preserve from Sept. 1 through the end of the statewide pheasant season. The commission amended the original proposal and voted to approve the modification allowing preserve hunters the opportunity if they obtained a statewide nonresident small game license plus a habitat stamp and, for residents, a combination license and the habitat stamp.