Pheasants are South Dakota's favorite non-native species. They were introduced in the 1800's and thrived.
There were only about 100,000 birds when South Dakota's first state-regulated pheasant season began in 1919. Now the birds number in the millions. Over the years, the number of hunters - especially non-resident hunters - has increased as well.
This South Dakota Department of Tourism Film from the early 1960s offers a glimpse of both familiar and somewhat vintage views of the annual pheasant hunt.
The clip below is an outtake from a 1960 broadcast of "The American Sportsman. " Joe Foss, World War Two aviation hero, South Dakota Governor and American Football League Commissioner, offers gun and field safety tips to a pheasant hunting party that includes actor Robert Stack, Gen. James Doolittle, and others.
Joe Foss (1915-2003) was a Sioux Falls area native an served as South Dakota Governor from 1955 - 1959.