Posts Tagged ‘pheasants legal shooting time’

What’s the Ideal Legal Shooting Time?

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

South Dakota’s 10 a.m. shooting time allows hunters to have a leisurely morning, which also boosts the economic impact pheasant hunters bring to the state. Photo by Anthony Hauck / Pheasants Forever

Three days into a 5-day day hunting trip, I don’t think too many people would complain about South Dakota’s 10 a.m. start time for pheasants. It’s nice to catch a few extra zzz’s, grab a hearty breakfast and not feel a rush to stake out a hunting spot.

The story goes that South Dakota’s 10 a.m. start (save for the first days of the season when it starts at noon) was instituted so farmers could have time to get the chores done before hunters came knocking at their door. It’s become tradition, but it’s also economic – with 100,000 nonresident hunters coming in, the state likes giving them a chance to spend money in the morning.

Legal shooting times for pheasants vary by state. In Nebraska, North Dakota and Kansas, you can go after ringnecks a half hour before sunset. In Iowa, shootin’ can commence at 8 a.m. And in Minnesota, hunters have to wait until 9 a.m. to hit the fields.

Each state surely has legitimate reasons for their respective shooting times; in my native Minnesota, the most repeated reason I’ve heard for its start time is so birds are more dispersed when hunting begins as to level the playing field.

Personally, I like different times in different states – it adds to the unique experience in each one. But if you had to choose just one, what would be the ideal time start time to chase roosters in the morning?

Anthony’s Antics Afield is written by Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor. Email Anthony at and follow him on Twitter @AnthonyHauckPF.