Pheasant Hunting South Dakota vs Kansas

Trying to decide between South Dakota Pheasant Hunts or  to venture down and experience a Kansas Pheasant Hunt? Let us help make your decision a bit easier!

In 2013 the number of pheasants per mile in South Dakota is down 64% from 4.19 pheasants per mile to 1.52 pheasants per mile according to the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department.

Because of cold winters and drought conditions in South Dakota, more and more pheasants are being imported from Kansas. Why go all the way to South Dakota to hunt and shoot pheasants from Kansas?

The average low temperature in South Dakota during the month of November ranges 19 to 23 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes for icy, cold, wet and miserable mornings even with the highest quality gear. In Kansas on the other hand, lows in Nov are about 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Our temperatures are just right for safe, comfortable but at the same time crisp upland game bird hunts.

Instead of hunting in the cold for our pheasants in other states, come to Kansas for the pheasant hunting experience of a lifetime.

2014 South Dakota Outlook

On the surface, the 2014 outlook for upland game birds and pheasants in South Dakota may seem positive but considering numbers were down 1.4 million in 2013 there really only one way to go.  Even the best pheasant forecast for South Dakota in 2014 could equate to lower numbers than previous years. Some reports indicate ring-necked pheasant populations declined 64% in South Dakota this year.

Travis Runia, from the South Dakota Game, Fish and Park’s Department gave a presentation in May 2014 about pheasant harvest and population estimates from 2013. According to Runia “below normal winter snowfall likely resulted in above average overwinter survival of pheasants. With more hens available for nesting, the potential for an increase in population exists, given favorable nesting conditions.” Runia also pointed out that “Areas around Sioux Falls shattered all time June rainfall records, which almost certainly resulted in destroyed nests and reduced survival of pheasant chicks.”

2014 Kansas Pheasant Hunting Outlook in Comparison

With the exception of southeastern Kansas, differences in pheasant populations across Kansas are primarily the result of rainfall received in June and July. June was the 2nd wettest month in Kansas history.  This increase is having a positive impact on pheasant numbers in southwest Kansas.  Pheasants depend on insects for food during Summer months and grasslands to provide cover throughout much of the year.  Insect populations and grassland growth are both directly impacted by the amount of rainfall received.

According to Jeff Prendergast with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, “Following three years of extreme drought across most of the state, spring precipitation will be necessary to replenish soil moisture and create adequate conditions for pheasant production.” Prendergast also mentioned that “Summer rains delayed wheat harvest and created excellent conditions for re-nesting.” According to 10 Gauge Outfitter’s own Tim Weddington, “the number of hatchlings that I have been seeing during prairie dog shooting has been impressive to say the least. Should make for a good pheasant season.” The pheasant outlook for 2014 may not be ideal for some parts of Kansas but, unofficial pheasant counts from Kinsley, KS to Wellington, KS indicate over 100% improvement from 2013.

    10 Gauge Outfitters offers some the Best Kansas Pheasant Hunting for both small pheasant hunting groups or corporate pheasant hunting trips, with our lodge that can accommodate up to 20 people. We specialize and pride ourselves in tailoring your Kansas pheasant hunt into a truly unforgettable experience.


    886 90th Ave
    Kinsley, KS 67547