Economic Impact of the 2007 Pheasant Hunting Season Hits Record Level

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PIERRE, S.D.—The combination of 1.5 million acres of marginal cropland enrolled into the Conservation Reserve Program and favorable nesting and brood-rearing weather conditions set the stage for something special last fall in South Dakota.

With the highest pre-season pheasant population since 1945, approximately 78,000 resident and 103,000 nonresident pheasant hunters harvested just more than 2.1 million ringnecks during the 2007 pheasant season.

While pursuing South Dakota ringnecks, these hunters stayed in local motels, purchased gas and ammunition from local convenience stores and stopped in cafés and restaurants across the state.  In 2007, resident and nonresident hunters spent an estimated $219 million dollars during the pheasant season.

Estimates of expenditures by resident and nonresident upland game hunters while hunting in South Dakota were based on formulas from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation-South Dakota and were adjusted for an annual inflation rate of 3 percent. These county-specific spending estimates were generated by applying mean per-hunter spending estimates to the number and distribution of pheasant hunters as derived from the 2007 S.D. GFP upland game harvest surveys.

 “We had great conditions and great success in 2007,” Wildlife Division Director Tony Leif said. “Now all South Dakotans must turn their attention to the continuing debate on a new Farm Bill. The loss of approximately 300,000 acres of Conservation Reserve Program land in 2007 and more on the horizon makes it a priority for us to work with our congressional delegates and speak out for the future of South Dakota wildlife.”

To view the statewide report containing county-specific information, please visit the GFP Web site at http://www.sdgfp.info/Wildlife/hunting/Pheasant/Economics.htm.