1950s pheasant hunter

A photograph of a hunter and his dog after a successful pheasant hunt in the 1950s. 

100 Years Ago

The cement pouring has been completed on the east approach of the Broadway bridge and the second pier, which was finished first, has the frame taken off today, and this will be put up at once on the third pier and in all probability the cement work will be completed on that one this week. The plan and contract call for finishing the driveway over the bridge this fall and the balustrade next spring. Mr. Turner has received a cement outfit which works automatically and enables him to hoist the cement fourteen feet as quickly as if it were poured right into a foundation. This is a wonderful improvement in building and will help expedite the work on this contract greatly. The forms on the east approach will be taken down in a few days and the grading crew will immediately start the filling in on the east side. Those who have not seen the work on Broadway bridge can hardly realize what change is being made in that vicinity.

50 Years Ago

The army of pheasant hunters that invaded South Dakota’s rain-soaked fields over the weekend may have felt they were playing roles taken straight from Bill Mauldin’s famous World War II cartoon, “Willy and Joe.” Drenched to the bone and slogging through mud to their ankles, most still managed to retain their sense of humor and bag a respectable-considering the weather-2.30 pheasants per day. Conservation Officers of the Department of Game, Fish and Parks checked nearly 3,000 hunters at locker plants in five eastern South Dakota cities. They found that hunters were generally well satisfied with the number of pheasants seen and those who failed to bag their limit generally blamed the weather. A Game, Fish and Parks Representative said the one bright spot the rain didn’t mar was seen in the young-to-old ration of male pheasants. He said the ration across the state was determined to be 8.86 young birds bagged for each old one. B.J. Rose, State Game Specialist in Pierre, said the ratio last year was 6.82 young-to-old. “This indicates that South Dakota has had a good year for pheasant reproduction,” Rose said. “It holds out the promise for good pheasant hunting throughout the remainder of the season.” GF&P personnel said fall pheasant hunting is always dependent upon a good hatch of young pheasants.

25 Years Ago

Opening day means baseball to much of the country, but in South Dakota it means pheasants. About 75,000 residents and 65,000 nonresidents hunted for pheasants in the state last year. About the same number of hunters are expected to hunt pheasants this year, according to Steve Riley, pheasant biologist for the Game, Fish & Park Department. The 1996 pheasant hunting season opens at noon on Saturday and continues through December 22 throughout much of the state. The season continues through December 31 on some public land along the Missouri River. “A lot of people only hunt one day. Some only hunt two days. There’s no question they’re the first two days. After that it tails off considerably,” Riley said. What draws hunters to South Dakota is that the state has the most pheasants of any place, he said. “They have a better chance at harvesting more birds per hunter.” People from every state in the nation come to South Dakota to hunt the state’s official bird. Many hunters or people who are considering coming to South Dakota to hunt pheasants call Riley to ask how pheasant hunting will be. When the season opens on Saturday, Riley is expecting another good hunt. The state’s pheasant population hasn’t changed much in the past year, and he expects the harvest to be similar to last year.

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