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PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Department of Tourism is reminding both resident and non-resident hunters that despite decreased brood counts in 2017, South Dakota is still home to some of the best pheasant hunting opportunities in the world.


“Harsh weather conditions over the past year have certainly taken their toll on this year’s pheasant crop,” said Jim Hagen, Secretary of the Department of Tourism. “However, let’s not forget that the average pheasant population in South Dakota for the past 20 years has been 7.4 million birds annually, despite varying brood counts. That population is significantly higher than any other state in the union, and has allowed hunters to harvest more than 1 million birds in each of the last three years, or 9.5 birds per hunter, per year.”


In 2016, South Dakota’s pheasant season attracted 142,887 hunters, of which 81,141 were non-resident.*


“Not only is pheasant hunting a tradition in this state, it’s an economic driver that provides jobs and income for many South Dakotans,” continued Hagen.


Data from the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish & Parks shows that pheasant hunting in South Dakota brought in $287 million in direct visitor spending and generated nearly $20 million in state tax revenue in 2016.**


The South Dakota Department of Tourism is comprised of Tourism and the South Dakota Arts Council. The Department is led by Secretary James D. Hagen.



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For a downloadable infograph of the importance of pheasant hunting, go to this link: