Pheasant hunting season opens Saturday in South Dakota, a state known far and wide for its bounty of the prized upland game bird.
The season draws hunters from around the world, and it rarely disappoints. Only three times in the past 20 years has the annual pheasant harvest been under 1 million roosters.
An annual survey indicates a 20 percent drop in South Dakota's pheasant population from last year. But state senior upland game biologist Travis Runia says officials still expect a good hunting season.
About 150,000 hunters killed more than 1.2 million pheasants last year in South Dakota, spending $170 million in the process.
The state has more than 1 million acres of land open to public hunting. The pheasant season runs through next Jan. 1.