The history of South Dakota pheasant hunting is filled with lore. Among them:
• The state allowed hens to be harvested sporadically from 1926 to 1946. Since then, only roosters could be legally taken.
• Hunters harvested 1 million birds for the first time in 1926, just 18 years after pheasants were introduced into the state.
• The best season in state history was 1945, when 175,000 hunters killed an unbelievable 7.5 million roosters. That's 43 birds per hunter. Last year, in comparison, which was a banner year, hunters averaged about 12 birds per hunter.
• The South Dakota Legislature made the pheasant the state bird in 1943.
• The highest daily bag limit was in 1944, when hunters were allowed 10 roosters and five hens in the daily bag. (Hunters shot 6.4 million birds, the second-highest total ever.)
• The daily limit has been three roosters since 1964.