Pheasants walking and flying over gravel road.

Pheasant Hunting Tips

Time your hunt: The South Dakota pheasant hunting season begins on the third Saturday in October. The first week of hunting begins at noon, followed by a 10 a.m. opener for the remainder of the season. When making your decision on what time to plan your hunting vacation, take into account that during the early season, there will be more roosters, but the weather can be very warm and crops may still be in the fields, which makes the hunting grounds less populated with pheasants, as they will prefer to hide in the uncut fields. Normal years, however, provide nice hunting temperatures during the early season and abundant shooting opportunities. During midseason, the crops are likely to be mostly harvested which forces the birds into more huntable habitat. The weather during this time is likely to be cooler. And lastly, during the late season, pheasants are more likely to be grouped up and much more wild. During this time of the season, strategy and hunting with knowledgeable guides is much more important. This is also a time when large flocks are seen, and the shooting can get hot & heavy!

Keep it down: Pheasants have pretty good hearing and it is important that you make an effort to remain as quite as possible. Close doors quietly and try to use hand signals for communicating as often as possible. Too much noise will cause the birds to head for thicker cover.

Learn regulations: Make sure that you know the pheasant hunting regulations of the state in which you are in. This is important so that you know the tag and recording requirements so fines can be avoided.

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