What Hunters Ought to Know About South Dakota’s Prolonged Looking Season

Pheasant Hunting in South Dakota; Photo credit: Travel to South Dakota

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For the first time in the history of pheasant hunting in South Dakota, the season will be extended to the end of January. This is what locals say about late-season pheasant hunting in South Dakota.

When it comes to the best spots to hunt pheasant, South Dakota tops many lists. Each year, hunters in the state harvest an average of 1.2 million roosters, which operate approximately 5 million acres of freely accessible hunting.

While a few extra weeks at the end of the season might not be big news, it is a lot Highland game hunters Took note. That extra time extends the fleeting fall hunting season enough for one last outdoor hurray.

“Pheasant hunting is always great in South Dakota, but the number of wild birds can vary from year to year. This year the mild weather and great coverage have produced some of the best hunting opportunities in a while, ”shared Sal Roseland, owner of R&R pheasant hunt in Seneca, SD “The extended dates this year mean there is still time to plan a hunt this season.”

We spoke to experts from South Dakota pheasant Guiding and tourism departments learn more about harvesting pheasants in the cold late season at the end of January.

Late-season pheasant hunt tips from South Dakota experts

We met Chris Hull, a guide and spokesperson for South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks. Hull answered a few questions for those who want to go into the fields this fall.

GearJunkie: How’s the pheasant hunt in South Dakota this year? What can hunters expect later in the extended season?

Chris Hull: It’s been a really solid – if not a great – year. Early harvest and great weather helped the hunters a lot.

What do hunters from abroad need to know about the license requirements?

Our non-resident small game licenses are good for two 5 day periods. Any license purchased after December 15 would also be valid for the 2021 season. So if you bought a license and hunted for 5 days in December or January, your second 5 day period can be used anytime during the 2021 season.

What type of land is available to the public for hunting in South Dakota?

There are a few. Game production areas (owned by South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks), walk-in areas (private property leased from GFP), Program to improve the nature reserve (CFP-leased areas in the James River Valley drainage), waterfowl production areas (federally owned), CHAP (controlled hunting access – leased private land but limited planned access), school and public trust land, BLM land, and state park lands cover the most of the list.

South Dakota, Pheasant HuntPheasant Hunting in South Dakota; Photo credit: Travel to South Dakota

What resources do you recommend for finding land to hunt?

Our Public hunting atlas is available in print, online and through ours GFP outdoor cell phone application.

What cover should hunters look for in the late season?

Once the snow hits, look for muds, stocks of native grasses like switchgrass, etc., heavy tree belts, kosha weeds and trains. Look for those areas that are close to the food available.

What are hotels and restaurants doing to prevent the transmission of COVID between guests when people travel from out of state?

This is a bit of a moving target, but hunters should know that we are committed to keeping the outdoors open. We never closed any of our parks or hunting seasons. The cities in our “pheasant belt” roll out the orange carpet well. The sites are mostly open and welcome hunters with open arms.

Are there places where hunters can camp near the pheasant hunt in winter? Or sleep in pop-ups, RVs or trucks?

Yes. Our State parks are open to camping and camping cabins. Comfort stations are closed, but vault toilets are open whenever possible. Places like Roy Lake State Park to the northeast and Spring Creek near Pierre have cabins that also stay open.

Do you have any special equipment recommendations for hunters in the late season?

Overlay. One of the biggest mistakes people make is not trying to shoot or testing the fit of their gun with winter gear. This gun can be wonderfully pulled up with a sweatshirt and vest, but if you have to add a jacket it can get stuck a little and cost you a bird or two. That can make or break a trip! Use hand and foot warmers too!

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