International Information Discover America

Home > Outdoors > Hunting

Hunting in South Dakota

The South Dakota Pheasantennial 2008

PheasantennialCelebrating 100 Years of Tradition

The year 2008 marked the 100th anniversary of the successful introduction of the Chinese Ring-necked Pheasant onto the prairies of South Dakota.

2009 Dream Hunt

Congratulations to our winner, Thomas Keegan of Salmon, Idaho. Thomas and three friends will accompany Pheasants Forever TV host Ron Schara on a 2009 Dream Pheasant Hunt. Thank you to everyone who participated in our 2009 Dream Hunt sweepstakes!

History of the Pheasant in South Dakota

The Chinese Ring-necked pheasant is indigenous to Asia but was successfully introduced into the pacific-northwest of the United States in the late 1800s. The pheasant came to South Dakota in 1908 when a group of farmers purchased a pair of birds from an Oregon farm and released them into a field near Redfield.

The hearty pheasant not only survived but thrived on the prairie, prompting the state to purchase and release 48 additional pairs of birds. In 1919, the pheasant population was high enough for the state to hold a one-day pheasant hunting season.

A century later, the combination of habitat, wildlife management and fortunate weather patterns have made South Dakota a pheasant haven and a world-class hunting destination. Book your Pheasantennial pheasant hunt and come feel the rush of the flush.

Pheasant Facts

  • Weight: males 41-46 oz; females 31-34 oz
  • Length: on average 30"-36"
  • Flight speed: 38-48 mph
  • Habitat: Mixture of grain fields, grasslands, and woodlands. Pheasants thrive in habitat where there is plenty of cover for nesting, feeding and hiding from predators.
  • Diet: A majority a pheasant’s diet consists of grains—such as corn, wheat, oats, barley, and buckwheat—that have fallen to the ground. However, they also eat a variety of seeds, insects and berries.