SD Pheasant opener kicks off the season with a new start time

 The 2019 South Dakota Pheasant opener is just short of two weeks away. (KOTA TV)
The 2019 South Dakota Pheasant opener is just short of two weeks away. (KOTA TV) (KOTA)
Published: Oct. 9, 2020 at 11:22 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Given the climate of the last several months, it’s safe to say many people are looking forward to hunting season.

This Saturday is pheasant opener for south Dakota residents, and if you’re planning on hunting this weekend, there’s been a few changes.

Kevin Robling, Deputy Secretary for South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks, said, "There’s one major change and that’s the actual start time a hunter can hunt. This year the commission changed that start time to 10 A.M. "

This Saturday marks pheasant opener for South Dakota residents on public land or private land leased for public hunting. Traditionally, start time was at noon.

But, this year they made the change to allow for more time and opportunity.

“To allow more time to enjoy the outdoors because it is a great time of year, I mean the outdoors are open,” said Robling.

“We want as much time for people to enjoy those opportunities. That was one reason. The other reason is, we just wanted to streamline and simplify the start times to make it easier for folks to know it’s 10AM season long.”

Robling also says his producers across the state are reporting healthy pheasant numbers. This year, they’re anticipating a possible uptick in hunters in South Dakota.

He said, “In what we’ve seen over he fishing season is, in our resident fishing license sales we surpassed the three year average by quite a lot actually. And fishing license sales, if they’re any indication to what we hopefully will see with resident small game license sales, if that follows a similar trend we’ll definitely see more hunters taking the field, especially resident hunters.”

Before hunters head out this weekend, Robling wants to give a few reminders to ensure a safe season saying, “Be aware of large farming machinery equipment and respect those folks that are trying to get those crops out of the fields and also there is a fire danger. We are fairly dry and don’t park in the long grass and be real cognizant of the fire danger out there.”

Opening day of the pheasant hunting season for non-residents is next Saturday, October 17th.

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