PHEASANT HUNTING FORECAST 2023: SOUTH DAKOTA
SHOULD BE ANOTHER GOOD SOUTH DAKOTA PHEASANT SEASON
By Andrew Johnson
Thanks to timely rains and strong production, hopes run high that this year’s season could be similar — or perhaps even better — than the 2022 season
By many accounts, South Dakota’s 2022-2023 pheasant season was one of the most successful in recent memory. In fact, harvest surveys conducted by the state’s Game, Fish and Parks Department estimate that hunters bagged north of 1.15 million pheasants last year — the highest total in the last five years.
The real story from last year, however, was that winter came early and stayed late. Starting the week before Christmas, round after round of snow — often in the form of days-long blizzards — coupled with long stretches of sub-zero weather were the norm rather than the exception, reminding pheasants (all wildlife, actually) and pheasant hunters how unrelenting a prairie winter can be.
And while there’s no doubt there was likely above-average pheasant mortality due to the harsh winter weather, recent field reports from around the state all point to the 2023 season being better than anticipated. Taking it a step further, many wildlife officials believe it will rival last year’s season thanks to strong production this spring.
For the full 2023 South Dakota Pheasants Forever Pheasant Forecast, click here.