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!