Category Archives: Hunt Mitchell

Hunting More Than Pheasants

There has been a lot of talk recently about the decline in pheasant population in the Mitchell area, and it’s impact on hunters visiting our great city. The Daily Republic ran an excellent report on the various stakeholders involved, and it’s clear that there is no easy solution. Farmers and landowners have no obligation to forgo profit to provide bird habitat, nor should they be forced to. Pheasant hunting, it seems, may decline in eastern South Dakota – and with it, the economic boost it provides to our communities.

But like many products, hunting is not dependent on only one factor. Our birds may be playing hard-to-get (or hard-to-find), but I’m not convinced that hunters come to Mitchell exclusively for the ring necks. They’re simply a catalyst, a symbol of so much more.

Mitchell is a city that loves to play host. We open our arms wide for visitors – whether they come to see our excellent attractions, watch our phenomenal athletic teams, participate in our events and festivals, or hunt pheasants. Like Lumiere sang in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, “Why, we only live to serve!” Mitchell is at it’s best when we’re helping others enjoy our city. And hunters know it.

Chamberlain has the most birds in the state; this is not a trend I see changing anytime soon. For hunters who are after birds and birds alone, Chamberlain is the place to go – and I have no problem admitting this.

But if you want more? Well, as the saying goes, it’s Mitchell more than ever. Our hunters know it’s not just about limiting out (though that’s nice too). It’s about the tradition; the hospitality; the rustic pampering; the getaway; the evening after the hunt; the memories; the stories you’ll tell. And for that, we await you.

Mitchell is home to the most hunting guides, the most hunting dogs, and the most hunting lodges in all of eastern South Dakota. We offer a range of lodging options, from campgrounds to plush hotels. Our dining options run the gamut from customized filed lunches to fine restaurants, and our nightlight provides variety your entire hunting party can agree on. And, of course, we have exceptional hunting outfitters!

Let us be your escape; your home from the field. Let us help you create your favorite traditions, and craft the stories you’ll tell in the years to come. In Mitchell, pheasant hunting is a legacy you can live. Because you may hunt for birds. But hunting is the ‘more’ that only Mitchell can offer.

Give ‘Snowbird’ a whole new meaning!

With weeks left to go in the pheasant hunting season, now is a great time to plan or create your favorite outdoor tradition. Brood numbers are up this year, but due to the summer drought, those birds are playing hard-to-get. Deterred? Don’t be!

There are many reasons a late-season hunt is a great getaway. Safety is always top priority, and hunting later in the season avoids a crowded landscape. When the snow falls (this weekend?!), visibility increases. Rover will thank you, too – cooler weather is less stressful on your four-legged best friend. And if you’re looking for a low-cost vacation with your buddies or your family, late-season hunting is the answer as lodging rates are lower towards the end of the season.

So go ahead – give ‘snowbird’ a whole new meaning! The fields are open, and your memories are waiting.

Pheasant numbers are up!

Pheasant numbers up for Mitchell area; CVB anticipates excellent hunting season.

With pheasant numbers up, Mitchell should see another excellent pheasant season this year. The South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks department has released their annual August pheasant brood counts and the numbers are up statewide as well as for the Mitchell area.

“Mitchell is definitely a destination for pheasant hunters,” said CVB Director Jacki Miskimins. “We are one of the best pheasant hunting spots in the country, and with brood numbers up we’re looking forward to a great season.”

The pheasants per mile count (PPM) for the Mitchell area is 3.91 for 2012, up 38% from 2.83 in 2011. For Game, Fish & Parks survey purposes the Mitchell area includes parts of Davison, Hanson, Charles Mix, Douglas, Aurora, Hutchinson, Jerauld, McCook, Miner, and Sanborn counties. Statewide PPM is up 18% to 4.21.

“For nearly three months each year, Mitchell is a highly-sought hunting destination. Our bird numbers are always great, but the services and accommodations available for hunters are extraordinary. We have the highest concentration of hunting guides in all of South Dakota. The services available in Mitchell make the city a destination even after opening weekend; our late-season hunt is very successful, as well.”

Miskimins notes that the economic impact on the community is significant. “In 2011 alone, pheasant hunters spent $7.5 million in Davison County and $6.6 million of that came from out-of-state visitors.” Miskimins adds that it’s not just about the numbers. “Our hunters come for so much more than just hunting. Many of the hunters that come to Mitchell are doing so as part of their family tradition. This is their annual trip, the big event that spans generations. It’s wonderful that our community gets to be part of their experience, and we’re thrilled that our bird numbers will help make a great season for them this year.”

The 2012 pheasant hunting season officially opens at noon on October 20 and runs until sunset on January 6, 2013, though several area hunting preserves enjoy expanded seasons.

With all due respect, we disagree!

We’ve seen the Pheasants Forever Blog article, “The 25 Best Pheasant Hunting Towns in America,” and Mitchell’s rating as the 16th best pheasant hunting town, and with all due respect, we disagree.

South Dakota still maintains the largest pheasant population in the country and is the top destination for the traveling pheasant hunter. Even with the harsh winter of 2010-2011, South Dakota still maintains the right to be called “The Pheasant Capital.” In our opinion, the top 10 should include Mitchell and other South Dakota towns including Aberdeen, Pierre, Chamberlain, Mobridge, Winner, and Lemmon.

Let’s look at factors such as area bird counts, annual harvest, acres of accessible public hunting land, local Pheasants Forever chapter activities and available lodging for the traveling bird hunter.  We think the following stats for South Dakota and the Mitchell area boast well for our case that the top 10 places to pheasant hunt are all in South Dakota!

  • South Dakota 2011 Pheasant Population: 6,600,000
  • South Dakota Pheasants Per Mile (10yr Average): 6.04
  • South Dakota 2011 Harvest: 1,555,307
  • Mitchell Area/Davison County 2011 Harvest: 37,893
  • South Dakota birds per hunter: 9.47
  • Mitchell Area/Davison County birds per hunter: 8.00
  • CRP enrollments in the state of South Dakota are currently at 1.17 million acres.

The local Pheasants Forever Chapter in Mitchell recently accepted the award for the largest Pheasants Forever Banquet Membership Chapter. With over 700 chapters across the United States and Canada, this marks the first time South Dakota has been granted such an award! For years, the Mitchell group has hosted its annual banquet on the eve of the state’s pheasant-hunting opener, regularly drawing more than 600 attendees, making it the largest outdoors-related event in the region. The money generated from the event stayed locally and was used to fund local hunting-related causes, with most of the money directed into food plot and conservation programs throughout the Mitchell area. Each spring, the group provides free seed to enrolled landowners; the seed is then planted and generally left alone, providing acres of food plots. Typically, the group donates approximately 3,000 bags of seed each year.

Not only is the hunting great, but the people are friendly, and the accommodations and the shopping extraordinary.  Mitchell boasts 17 hotels with over 1,000 rooms spread around the city, several wonderful bed & breakfasts, and many more hunting lodges and guide services for your convenience.  In addition, we also offer a wide variety of restaurants, sports bars, coffee houses, and retail shops.

Mitchell is just a little more than an hour from Sioux Falls, which is serviced by several national airlines. Mitchell also has a municipal airport along the northern edge of the city.

For all your hunting & fishing needs, stop by Cabela’s, World’s Foremost Outfitter of hunting, fishing, and outdoor gear.  This amazing “outdoorsman’s mecca” is located just south of Interstate 90 at Exit 332, and also features amazing museum-quality trophy mounts, a spectacular conservation mountain, and fantastic freshwater aquariums showcasing fish native to the Missouri River, which runs through South Dakota.  Also, make a stop by Leader Sporting Goods while you’re here, which has been outfitting outdoorsmen and handymen since 1917 and offers a wide variety of outdoor gear, firearms and tackle.

With all that information, it’s no wonder that Mitchell, South Dakota has been regarded as one of the best pheasant hunting spots in the nation, a position it has maintained for decades.

Join us for your next pheasant hunting adventure in Mitchell, South Dakota!

Sometimes, the early bird doesn’t get the worm.

Mitchell, South Dakota is famed for its nationally recognized pheasant hunting, attracting visitors from across the country. It’s an opportunity unlike any other, experiencing the thrill of the hunt amongst family and friends, and partaking in a rich tradition of sportsmanship and skill.

What many don’t realize is that late season hunting presents a myriad of advantages that may not be enjoyed by earlier visitors. Among the top reasons to schedule a late season hunt:

SAFETY: Late season is ideal for family hunts, with less crowding throughout the landscape.

SNOW: Cooler weather is less stressful on canine companions, and affords a unique experience for out of area hunters who are not accustomed to snowfall.

STRATEGY: Pheasants are “bunching up” and surprising hunters with bursts of 30-40 birds. This calls for specialized hunting tactics, which truly test a sportsman’s dexterity.

SAVINGS: Lodging rates are lower when visiting later in the season. One of Mitchell’s timeless traditions is fast approaching. The first significant snowfall often arrives in early November. Boasting the top number of birds per hunter per season, there’s nothing quite like a late season hunt!

The season ends January 1, 2012 so visit our website to book your next hunting adventure! A list of guides and services in Mitchell, SD and a list of lodging facilities in Mitchell, SD are available on our website or request a Hunting Guide to Mitchell now!