Hundreds of thousands of pheasants mysteriously disappeared from eastern and central South Dakota in the past year. Not enough chicks hatched this summer to offset the losses.
Possible reasons are many. Drought turned severe in August a year ago and didn’t let up in many places until a cold and wet spring this year. There has been continued conversion of farm acres from conservation reserve to crops. That has meant less dense nesting cover and easier meals for predators.
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