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Pheasant Country was started in 1985 by several Mitchell business owners who wanted to increase the pheasant population in order to keep hunters coming to the Mitchell area. To implement the plan, Pheasant Country worked with landowner/members to set aside 10 or more acres of their property to plant food plots and trees. To raise the funds necessary to pay the landowners it was decided to hold a Banquet and auction the Friday night before the opening day of the pheasant season. The Pheasant season always opens on the third Saturday of October, however before planning your trip be sure to visit our Game Fish and Parks web site link for exact dates. The Banquet is held at the World Famous Corn Palace.
All of the work is voluntary and there is no paid staff so 100% of the funds raised goes to our habitat, hunting and youth programs. Pheasant Country started out working with 18 landowners, but today approximately 300 landowners participate in the program and there are now over 3,000 acres of food plots planted. Since 1988, Pheasant Country has contributed over $600,000 in wildlife food plots and shelterbelt tree programs in the Mitchell area.
Over 700 people attend the Banquet from all across the United States and Canada last year. A sit-down pheasant dinner is served, original South Dakota artists are on hand, and raffles and auctions are held.
Pheasant Country Ltd. is an organization of Pheasant enthusiasts, landowners and business people from the United States and Canada who want to increase the Mitchell area pheasant population.
Every year thousands of visitors travel to the South Dakota to spend time in the great outdoors hunting pheasants. It's a wonderful experience to spend quality time in the cornfields, sloughs, shelterbelts and creeks during the autumn of the year in the South Dakota. The weather is usually comfortable and the autumn colors are breathtaking.
You will also have an opportunity to meet and socialize with the hospitable residents of South Dakota.
However, we know that the satisfaction with your trip to South Dakota is higher when there are more pheasants. Therefore it is our goal to introduce and maintain programs that improve pheasant habitat. It is proven that habitat development will increase pheasant populations.
Our programs include incentives for Landowners to:
• Establish and set aside food plots consisting of corn, sorghum or sunflowers for winter food.
• Establish groves of trees that will help reduce winter losses and provide nesting and roosting habitat.
• Sponsor programs for youth hunters to introduce them to pheasant hunting and to teach safe and ethical hunting.
These programs are funded by the generous donations of many supporters and from the net proceeds from our annual Banquet that is held on the Friday night before the Pheasant Season opener.
• Each February Pheasant Country hosts a steak dinner for landowner members.
• Each April Pheasant Country's Seed Giveaway Program distributes 2,500 bags of seed to be used by landowner members to use in planting their food plots and also to Game, Fish and Parks for use on public shooting areas. National seed companies generously donate this seed to Pheasant Country.
• The Wildlife Shelterbelt Program started after the severe winter of 1996/97, and we have shared in the cost of over 550 acres of new trees planted in the area. This program helps farmers pay part of the cost of planting trees. These trees give pheasant's invaluable shelter during harsh winter conditions.
• $7,500 donated to the Blue Stem Public wildlife area.
• $5,000 donated to Chuck Muth Wetlands Project Public wildlife area
• $5,000 donated to Davison County Shooting Sports Club to help build a new indoor range
• $2,500 given annually as a major sponsor of the South Dakota Youth Trap Shoot
• Donated $2,500 to help purchase a new grain/seed drill in cooperation with the Hanson County Conservation District. This drill is used to plant native grasses for wildlife habitat such as the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).
• Contributed over $600,000 to participating landowners since 1988 for Food Plot and Shelterbelt programs in the Mitchell area.