South Dakota pheasant hunting may pick up in late season

ABERDEEN, S.D. (AP) - Officials say it's been a slow pheasant season in South Dakota, but late-season hunting is often the best option when bird numbers are below average.

Aberdeen American News reports that the state's 78-day pheasant season began Oct. 21 and ends Jan. 7. With half the season ahead, pheasant hunters can take advantage of temperatures dropping.

Travis Runia is the senior upland game biologist for the state's Game, Fish and Parks Department. He says once the majority of harvest has completed, there is less cover for pheasants to hide from hunters. Runia says winter weather forces the birds to seek thicker cover to survive.

The number of hunters usually dwindles later in the season, which could also mean less competition on public lands.