South Dakota Pheasant Forecast – Aberdeen Pheasant Coalition and everything looks to be positive and great in Aberdeen, SD.
Here is a simple equation that any outdoor enthusiast can appreciate:
Habitat + Pheasants = Pheasant Hunters + Economic Growth
We know that pheasant numbers are directly correlated to good habitat (for nesting, brood rearing, and winter cover). We know that pheasant hunters bring millions of dollars into the Aberdeen Area economy each year. Therefore:
More Habitat = MORE Pheasants
More Pheasants = More Hunters
More Hunters = Better economy
It’s no secret how important pheasants are to Aberdeen…and how important habitat is to our pheasants. Not one group understands that better than the Aberdeen Pheasant Coalition. The Aberdeen Pheasant Coalition (APC) is a group of Aberdeen area businesses and organizations working to raise $100,000 for sustainable habitat. This money will be used as extra incentive for landowners to enroll property into the USDA’s CRP program and the South Dakota Game, Fish and Park’s public Walk-In hunting access program. At this level, 4000 acres of excellent pheasant habitat will be made open and available to public hunting in the Aberdeen area. The APC is spearheaded by the local Northern South Dakota Pheasants Forever Chapter #77. What is good for pheasants is good for Aberdeen! Current members include:
Harms Oil, Harr Motors, Dakotah Bank, Kessler’s Grocer, Plains Commerce Bank, Ken’s Super Fair Foods, SoDak Sports, Aberdeen Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, Aberdeen Hotel Alliance, Young Guns, Great Plains Bank, Geffdog, Mattern’s Sporting Goods and Bait, Hitch ‘n’ Post, and Pheasants Forever Northern SD Chapter 77.
Their efforts will lead to a bright future for Aberdeen area pheasants, and that means a lot to local businesses and residents. In addition to having good habitat, though, we need a little help from mother nature. So far, 2020 has been a whirlwind of environmental factors. Rain, heat, and dry conditions have worked in conjunction to create ideal habitat, breeding and rearing conditions for birds. Nick Cochran has been serving the Aberdeen area as conservation officer for the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks department for 15 years. Few people know the area, habitat, and wildlife better than he does. Without a statewide brood count in 2020, we can look to folks like Nick for objective anecdotal evidence regarding what to expect for pheasants in 2020. This is what Nick is seeing in the field:
“The winter of 2019 and 2020 started out as a tough one for South Dakota’s wildlife in the Aberdeen area. Luckily the weather got nice in February and the wildlife had good survival rates. The deer and pheasants all looked healthy. They had good winter habitat to help them survive, and good forage throughout the winter. Spring flooding of the James River Valley relegated nesting habitat to upland areas. At least the flooding happened before the pheasants started nesting, preventing them from having to re-nest.
With all the moisture that we have received in the Aberdeen area the habitat looks great!! The CRP and grass plantings on private and public lands are doing well and will provide some great cover for pheasants. With all this great habitat it has been hard to see pheasant broods. I have noticed that the pheasant brood size and numbers of broods has been better in the southern part of Brown County. The crops are looking good and there will be a good mixture of corn fields throughout the county. In the areas where it was too wet to plant, hunters will be sure to notice the sloughs and weed patches thick with cover. The cattails are having a great growing season as well. Anyone hunting the late season months will have plenty of good habitat to walk through.”
The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission has recently approved an extension to the pheasant season in South Dakota! Shooting time will begin at 10 a.m. throughout the season which now ends on January 31, 2021.
HuntFishSD will be posting reliable information about wildlife, outfitters, and hunting tips/tricks all throughout the hunting season. Check back often for words you can trust. It’s going to be a great season in the Aberdeen area!! Can’t wait to see you here.