Upland Birds
Archery, Shotgun


The state bird of South Dakota, Phasianus colchicus, the ringneck pheasant, is one of most widespread game birds the world over. Originally from Asia, they were introduced to North America in the 18th and 19th century, quickly making a new home in the Midwest and West. One of the earliest success stories dates to 1811, when Judge O.N. Denny released about 100 pairs of Chinese ringnecks in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Since then, state agencies across the country have released birds to start and maintain wild populations for hunters. They're plentiful in the upper Midwest and are considered the most successful game species introduction in the United States. Pheasants are often raised and “planted” at sportsmen’s clubs to train bird dogs and sharpen the hunter’s wing shooting. Wild pheasants often take hold in agricultural fields where crops are planted in rows, which provides both food and cover. Corn, alfalfa, wheat, oats and hay with adequate water and some wild grasses make excellent pheasant habitat.