When the cornstalks turn brown, South Dakota turns orange. The October weekend that opens pheasant season is basically a holiday as visitors and residents take to the fields in a state known for being home to the nation’s best pheasant hunting.
But there’s more to hunting than just feathers and shells. For many, a South Dakota hunting trip is a beautiful reunion. Friends and family travel from far-off distances to make their annual pilgrimage home. In the field, you’ll hear the sounds of laughter amid crunching stalks and happy dogs. You’ll see generations of experience guiding and teaching the young hunters in the party, showing them how to properly handle their weapon and aim just right in order to land their first bird. After a good day’s hunt, folks gather around tables across South Dakota. Food, stories and laughter are shared. Those members of the hunting circle that have passed on are remembered fondly as the next generation of hunters absorb the sense of connection that can only be created by the proud tradition of hunting in South Dakota.
Pheasant hunters aren’t the only ones to create and maintain these traditions. South Dakota also offers opportunities to hunt big game, waterfowl, turkey and more. Friendly hosts, private lodges and nearly five million acres of public land welcome both residents and non-residents to this world-class hunting haven. The South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks website makes online licensing and tag registration easy.
Sure, some hunting stories get politely exaggerated every year. Some shots don’t always hit the target. But no matter what, everything combines to create a consistently magical gathering of old friends and new. To experience hunting in South Dakota is to find paradise in the middle of America. Come make some memories of your own this year. Come #HuntInSD.