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.