Aberdeen Leading The Way In Boosting Pheasant Habitat

Pheasant hunting in the Brown County area, and in particular, Aberdeen, is more than just a sport. In the North-Eastern part of South Dakota, the annual pheasant hunting season is a way of life, steeped in tradition. With the 2019 pheasant hunting season looming on the horizon, hunters from every corner of the country are gearing up for what they anticipate will be the best season in years. And thanks to the conservation and habitat rebuilding efforts of this community, the Aberdeen area is flush with pheasants.

Through collaborative efforts by the Aberdeen Hotel Alliance, Pheasants Forever, and the Aberdeen Pheasant coalition, along with several local business and land owners, the pheasant population in Aberdeen is the best it has been in years. Together, these groups paved the way for land owners in Brown County to begin taking part in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), a Department of Agriculture program that is doing its part to replenish and develop the pheasant habitats in and around Aberdeen.

All of the sites entered into the CRP, are seeded to produce dense nesting cover, as well as brood-rearing habitat. Fields of sweet clover and alfalfa are planted to attract insects, which then become a source of protein for the newly hatched chicks, while swaths of tall, intermediate, and western grasses provide pheasants and their brood proper cover from predators such as hawks and owls. According to Emmet Lenihan, a farm bill biologist and key member of Pheasants Forever, "this habitat does what it's supposed to do, it generates pheasants". That's the kind of talk that hunters heading to Aberdeen want to hear.

In addition to the terrific number of pheasants that this newly developed habitat is creating, the hunters themselves have also found it to be extremely beneficial to their outings. The habitats are easily walked through, and offer clear lines of sight in every direction, making for more successful hunts. And given that nearly all this new habitat is enrolled in the South Dakota Game, Fish and Park's walk-in program, they don't have to venture to far off the beaten path to bag the birds they're looking for.

Creating these new habitats will keep the pheasant population flourishing for years to come, and will keep hunters coming back to Aberdeen year after year. The rush of the flush is alive in Aberdeen, and the birds are flying. Pheasant season is almost upon us, so book your trip today at and get yourself ready for the thrill of the hunt. Aberdeen hotels are dog friendly, and many also offer bird cleaning facilities on-site, making it easier than ever to enjoy your hunting adventure.