Pheasant, Grouse, Partridge, Other Seasons Close
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - South Dakota's pheasant season isn't the only one coming to a close Sunday.
Hunting seasons for prairie chicken and grouse, partridge and bobwhite quail also close this weekend.
The extended "antlerless tags only" season for East River and West River firearm deer hunting, which opened Saturday, Dec. 29, closes on Sunday as well.
Pheasant hunting guides say dry conditions have made for a difficult season despite summer brood counts showing that bird numbers were up across the state.
Huron-area guide Steve Bublitz says early-season hunts were tough because the birds would escape into the dry, heavy weeds and the hunters' crunch gave pheasants a heads-up.
Hunters killed more than 1.5 million pheasants last year, when brood counts showed a pheasants-per-mile index of 3.57. Surveys this summer show an index of 4.21.
Mitchell-area guide Mike Kuchera says bird numbers seemed down in his area due to the summer's extreme heat and drought.
State game biologist Travis Runia says the department will wait to speculate on the success of the hunting season until it gets its harvest data.
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