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LETTER: What's becoming of SD's pheasants?

(metro creative)

To the Editor:

To the State of South Dakota:

I just returned from my 24th year of pheasant hunting in South Dakota. It makes me sad to see what your state bird environment has become.

I hunted in Iowa before coming to South Dakota, I watched the pheasant population die off in Iowa. I can't fault the farmer for farming their land the way they do, they are trying to make a living.

I fault the state for allowing the removal of all natural habitat. There needs to be incentives to the farmers to put in cover crops and not take out all the natural cover. The cutting of road ditches has got to stop. That takes out thousands of acres of nesting cover.

We started coming to South Dakota with around 10 hunters and now are down to three. People don't want to come any more and not see birds. I feel sad for that people that come out to the outfitters and game farms and think that is real hunting. We are lucky enough to have a farmer that still lets us hunt. We always bring products from Wisconsin as gifts and they treat us very well. I will sell all my guns before I would pay someone $200 plus a day to hunt.

I'm sure this will fall on the deaf ears of the officials of South Dakota and probably wouldn't ever get a response. But as I sit by the fire with my dog, I think it's time to write every hunting publication I can think of and tell the truth about what has become of the pheasant capital of the world.

John McIlquham

Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin