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2010 SD Pheasant Outlook


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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

PIERRE, S.D. - This autumn, hunters in South Dakota will enjoy pheasant numbers that continue to be some of the best in the state's history. The 2010 brood survey count shows a small increase from the 2009 survey.

The Game, Fish and Parks Department completed its annual pheasant brood survey in mid-August, and tallied a statewide pheasants-per-mile count that is up about 3 percent from last year.

"We had a very good year in 2009, and this peek as we go into fall tells us that hunters can look forward to some great opportunities in the coming pheasant season," said Game Fish and Parks Secretary Jeff Vonk.

The official pheasant population estimate is based on data reported by hunters during the pheasant season, and does not come until after the season is over.

In 2009, South Dakota's official pheasant population estimate was 8.4 million, and hunters averaged 9.9 roosters each for a total season harvest of more than 1.6 million.

Every year from late July through mid-August, GFP personnel survey 110 established routes scattered across the state to estimate pheasant production and calculate a pheasants-per-mile index. The survey is not a population estimate, but rather compares the number of pheasants seen on the routes and establishes trend information.

"We've had a roller coaster ride of weather conditions over the past year," Vonk said. "Pheasant numbers will be down in a few areas, but they held strong in many other areas because of excellent reproduction in parts of the state where we have good habitat conditions."

Survey routes are grouped into 13 areas, based on a local city, and the index value of each local city area is then compared to index values of the previous year and the 10-year average.

The 2010 statewide pheasants-per-mile average is 6.45, compared to the 2009 average of 6.26 and the 10-year average of 5.71.

"Our goal has been to increase quality hunting areas that are open to the public. South Dakota has worked intensely with private landowners and other conservation partners to promote habitat programs," Vonk said. "Statewide Conservation Reserve Program acres have slipped to slightly more than one million acres, but there is encouraging news. Landowner interest in the program remains high and additional acres will likely be enrolled through the recent general CRP signup."

South Dakota's regular pheasant season opens on Saturday, Oct. 16 and runs through Jan. 2.

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"Pheasant numbers will be down in a few areas"

Just how few Mr Vonk? Everthing south of Huron and east of the Missouri?

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

Overall it's up. Check the home page report for more detailed listings by area.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end...   A great week of fishing with walleyes and saugers caught in good numbers.   The go-to presentation, again, was a jig and frozen emerald shiner.  Emerald shiners are a staple in LOW and walleyes love them.  Other minnows worked also, but emerald shiners are a favorite of anglers for good reason.   The Lighthouse Gap area, Morris Point Gap and just in front of Pine Island held nice fish in 17 - 21' of water.  Various schools of walleyes and saugers across the south shore.     A quarter ounce jig in gold, glow white, pink, orange, chartreuse, or a combo of these colors tipped with a minnow worked well again.   Some big pike and jumbo perch being caught by walleye anglers. On the Rainy River...  Some nice walleyes were caught on the river this weekend, although most anglers normally head to the lake.  12 - 15' of water is holding some nice fish.   Sturgeon fishing on the Rainy River is closed until the keep season starts up again July 1st. Up at the NW Angle...  Some nice walleyes being caught along with a mixed bag.  12 - 25 feet of water.  Points, neck down areas and bays with warming water were holding good fish this week.    The go-to presentation was a jig and minnow as on the south shore.  A mixed bag as is common around the Angle.  
    • leech~~
      Nice work!   Here's two words you hardly ever hear anyone say anymore.  "grateful and humbled"   
    • Brianf.
      RLG, thanks for the shout-out!     Jeff and I are still trying to wrap our heads around what happened this past weekend.  We are humbled and full of gratitude  for having won 'The Classic' for a second time.     We practiced through all the rain on Thurs and the wind on Friday and found six different spots holding big fish.  Fishing was good on both days with several 'overs' in our catch...but would it hold up for another day?   We didn't know.     On tourney day, we made a long run to our first spot where I lucked out on a 26.5"er on my second cast.  Jeff followed up with a thick 27" er a few minutes later, which turned out to be the big fish for the event at 7.26lbs.  We finished out our limit and weighed-in at 10:30 am for the welfare of the fish in our livewell.    There were some big weights in this event which would have won in most other years, but - for whatever reason - this was our day.  Everything just went our way.  Again, we are just super grateful and humbled by this success.  We also want to congratulate all the other anglers who did well and give a big 'thank you' to the tournament organizers who put on such a great event!  
    • SkunkedAgain
      I had a good start to the season on opener. Fishing was slow but consistent. I had four eaters in the box by lunch dragging perch raps. Crappies were biting. I haven't been up since so don't know how things have changed since then, but I'm sure the walleye continue to migrate out into the main basins.
    • redlabguy
      Let’s start this by congratulating Brianf and son for winning their second City Autoglass Walleye Classic last weekend. These guys know how to fish.  We just got to the lake for the season. Chores are almost done and I’m ready to fish.  red(new dog is more yellow)labguy
    • Jetsky
      I tried starting a 2024 Lake Vermilion Fishing Report topic but it doesn't show up on this board.   Maybe somebody else knows how to do it?
    • Mike89
      then use the BB gun after catching them!!!    and then enjoy rabbit dinner for revenge!!!   
    • leech~~
      Yep crazy. 🤪 I played goalie in HS and my two grandsons play hockey now.  
    • gimruis
      Hockey gear in general is very expensive.  I was in a Pure Hockey last month to get my skates sharpened and while they were doing it I looked around at gear.  A new pair of CCM/Bauer customized skates can easily top 1000 bucks.  Then you need everything else.  It would be several thousand before you had everything.  And then your kid grows like a weed so you need to buy bigger gear.   Then there's goalie gear.  That's enough to buy a small boat.   Nothing cheap about that sport by any means.
    • leech~~
      That's a good idea Mike.  But, my sweet wife who's never killed anything in her life, wants them all dead and their skulls on poles! 👹  🤣
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