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Fish & Game: Hunting in South Dakota

Don Dubuc travels north for wild pheasant in this week's Fish & Game Report

DRAPER, S.D. — They say, "if you build it, they will come." We recently traveled to a corn field 1,400 miles away - not for baseball, but for different "game."

So why would you come all the way to Draper, South Dakota to hunt wild pheasants? Because they live here. 

Besides being fit to walk four to five miles a day in snow or mud, what else does a southerner need for South Dakota?  

"Actually, believe it or not, it's quite simple adequate footwear. That's the biggest thing," said Jeff Jurgensen of Bad River Ducks and Birds.

"We can loan you a set of boots, but they're not going to fit you like if they're your own boots.  Don't worry about your shotgun shells, you bring the wrong ones we got the right ones. If your shotgun doesn't work, we can get you one that works. Five degrees to fifty degrees - be prepared for that. Layers of clothes are good."

"Everybody needs to come to South Dakota, because its humbling," said my Bayou Wild TV co-host Martha Spencer. "If you're into bird hunting, it's not the same. They are bigger birds, faster birds, and you're in a much bigger area. I think when we quail hunt and tower pheasant hunt, it's a lot more predictable." 

And only roosters, not hens, are legal.  

"It's not like duck hunting," Martha said. "There's a little more thinking because there's dogs on the ground, there's people in front of you. I like to think I'm a cautious hunter, which made me not take some shots."

"I think it's a great place to come if you 're stressed out, cause you don't leave the area, you don't go into town, you don't go sightseeing. You're here for one thing: that's to have a good time and shoot birds."