For pheasant hunters, it sounded too good to be true.

And it was.

South Dakota officials on Thursday nixed an idea to boost the daily bag limit of pheasants to five birds, and the possession limit to 25, for the rest of the hunting season. Instead, the state's Game, Fish and Parks Commission voted to leave the limits as is: Three birds daily and 15 in possession. Five votes were needed to make the unusual change, but only four of the commission's eight members supported the proposal.

The change was considered because the late crop harvest has reduced hunting success since the season opened in October. Officials didn't believe the increased bag limits would hurt the pheasant population.

We'll never know if the late-season boost in bag limits would have attracted more late-season hunters to the state. But Minnesota hunters have done well in South Dakota in recent weeks, based on reports I've heard.


Meanwhile, Minnesota's daily pheasant bag limit, two birds since the season opened in October, increased to three birds on Dec. 1. Likewise, the possession limit, formerly six, jumped to nine. Both changes are through the end of the season on Jan. 3.

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