Good News For South Dakota Pheasants

South Dakota’s pheasant population is up 42 percent over last year, the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks department announced Thursday. The statewide PPM index is similar to 2011 when hunters harvested 1.56 million roosters.

t10.15.2014 -- Sam Cook -- cookPHEASANT1026c3 -- Along a rural road near Windom, Minn., a rooster pheasant sits in a tree on a frosty October morning.

This year’s population index is more than double the 2013 level, when hunters harvested just under one million pheasants. The index continues to lag behind the 10-year average due to the extremely high counts from 2005 through 2010.

South Dakota’s traditional statewide pheasant hunting season opens Oct. 17 and runs through Jan. 3.

The highest counts in the survey were recorded in the Chamberlain, Pierre and Winner areas.