PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — It’s not the news pheasant hunters want to hear: the annual pheasant count is down from 2018 numbers.
According to the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department’s 2019 brood survey, the statewide Pheasants Per Mile (PPM) index for 2019 is down 17% compared to 2018. There’s an average of 2.04 birds per mile compared to 2.47 last year. However, the GFP stressed in its report the number of hens and broods counted were down, while the number of roosters “remained nearly unchanged.”
Weather was likely the biggest culprit for a decrease in the pheasant count.
The GFP’s report noted “Historic winter snowfall and spring/summer rainfall has resulted in many road ditches containing water. Additionally, approximately 3.8 million acres of cropland went unplanted. Although it is unknown how these circumstances may have influenced pheasant behavior and visibility during this survey, the impact on the detectability of pheasants was most likely negative.”
KELOLAND News will have more coverage of the report as well as local reaction throughout the day online and on-air.
Page 1 of GFP 2019 Pheasant Count