South Dakota Wild Pheasant Hunting - FAQ

What is the recommended gun and shot for pheasant hunting?

I have found that the best all around gun is a 12 gauge pump or automatic using number 4 shot. The problem I have with an over under or a side by side is that wild pheasants tend to bust in groups, especially late in the season. It is a beautiful sight to see 30 or 40 birds flush at once, but if you only have two shots is can be frustrating.

What is the best time of the year to hunt wild pheasants?

That is a tough question because I don’t think there is a bad time. However, the earlier in the season the better your odds are for nice weather. It is true there are more roosters around the first week, but as the season goes along and the crops are harvested the birds move around. As long as the fields are well rested in between hunts there isn’t a big difference. I prefer late season hunts because if you are truly hunting wild pheasants they become much smarter later in the season.

How do I know if I am hunting wild pheasants or released pheasants?

That is a touchy subject. If you hunt with Taylor Guide Service you don’t need to worry about that. I will mention this because it should be obvious anyway, if you are hunting pheasants anytime in South Dakota besides the normal season as set by the Game Fish and Parks you are hunting on a preserve. Please refer to our Pheasant Facts page for information on wild pheasants.

What are the nearest airports?

Most of my hunters fly into Sioux Falls. However, some say it is less expensive to fly into Omaha. Pierre is also an option. Another option is Rapid City and you can do some site seeing in the Black Hills before or after the pheasant hunt.

What kind of clothes should I bring?

Always think layers. It is usually cold in the mornings, but warms up as the day goes on and there will be quite of bit of walking. Always wear safety glasses and hunters orange.

What do we do for lunch?

Please bring a cooler with lunch and drinks. We will stop for lunch whenever you want.

What kind of dogs work best for pheasant hunting?

That is obviously a matter of personal taste. I have always used Labs. I would say that in over 15 years of guiding, the best dog for pheasant hunting in this part of South Dakota is the Labrador. However, I have seen other breeds that do well also.

Are pheasants good eating?

Yes!!! Please Google “pheasant recipes” for some great ideas.