Flooding could impact pheasant hunting in SD this year

Local News

Excitement is building for the opening weekend of pheasant hunting season this Saturday.

Over the next few days thousands of out-of-state hunters will be arriving in South Dakota to shoot some birds, but along with their hunting gear, they better pack some patience.

It’s one of the most exciting times of year for hunters; South Dakota’s pheasant opener.

But due to all the flooding this year, some favorite hot spots may still be under water or tough to get to.

“There’s a lot of these township roads are pretty rough with all the flooding we had a few weeks ago, and whatnot, there’s a lot of washboard little, you know, every dip has had water over the road at some point or another you gotta be smart about it if there’s, you know, if it’s been raining and and whatnot. The roads are pretty greasy and pretty slimy and they get tore up pretty easy so,” Todd Terveen said.

Todd Terveen is a farmer by Emery. He also runs a hunting lodge. He had to use four wheelers last week to get hunters, for the in-state pheasant opener, to some of the fields.

“Some of these guys have been here for several years in a row and, and they’re, they’re used to walking the fields a certain way, this kind of throws a little different curveball to them and makes it a little more of a challenge to them,” Terveen said.

Last week’s weather also proved to be a challenge for area businesses that sell hunting licenses.

“It was a little slower than normal, but it was more weather that had to do anything. Then we had more effect than anything with that with the snow and the cold, but I mean, people are still excited to get out for this weekend,” Nick Heitkamp of Dakota Angler said.

Heitkamp expects over the next two days with warmer temps in the forecast, his sales will pick up too.

As far as the number of pheasants this year, both people we talked with have seen lots, even though the state says the numbers are down slightly.

“With the march rains that we had and stuff that that pretty much flooded out a lot of the low lying areas where they do a lot of their nesting. So a lot of them they moved to higher ground and it was good I think it was a pretty good survival rate on under pheasants this year,” Terveen said.

“The amount of moisture you’ve had this summer is also potentially had a number on the, on the pheasants but, I mean, we’re still seeing pretty strong numbers from what I can tell,” Heitkamp said.

The pheasant opener starts at noon on Saturday.

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