Flooded roads, fields await pheasant hunters

Local News

Flooded field in Hanson County Wednesday. Kevin Kjergaard / KELOLAND News.

EMERY, S.D. (KELO) — Signs of an abnormally wet spring and fall will greet many non-resident pheasant hunters on opening weekend. 

KELOLAND News is checking out conditions in Hanson County, near Emery, Wednesday morning. Farmers have told KELOLAND News there’s still plenty of pheasants to be found, but getting to the birds may be a little harder. Many fields are still dealing with standing water from a wet September. 

Pheasants in a field Wednesday in Hanson County. Kevin Kjergaard / KELOLAND News.

In addition to flooded fields, like the one in the featured photo, many county gravel roads are still recovering from floodwaters. Officials with the Game, Fish and Parks Department and farmers have said hunters need to be mindful of closed township roads. 

Flooded road in Hanson County Wednesday. Kevin Kjergaard / KELOLAND News.

While the GFP’s annual brood survey showed a 17-percent decline, officials said the number of roosters “remained nearly unchanged.” 

According to South Dakota Tourism Department, nearly 120,000 people hunted pheasants in South Dakota last year during the three-month season — pumping in an estimated $208 million to the local economy. 

The non-resident, traditional pheasant hunting season begins Saturday and runs through Jan. 5. Hear more from local farmers and pheasant enthusiasts about the upcoming season Wednesday on KELOLAND News.

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