Share your Mitchell, SD experience with us! By submitting your experience, you consent to approval for us to publish your name, city, state, story and image on our website and in any other promotional materials. We reserve the right to refuse inappropriate comments.
Experience Outdoor Hunting
Premier Pheasant Hunting
The diverse landscape of South Dakota is characterized by an assortment of habitats and an abundant array of natural resources. For many outdoor enthusiasts, no other wildlife species in the state is as recognized or valued as the ring-necked pheasant. Though pheasants are not a native species to North America, they have become naturalized to this mosaic of grassland and agricultural land habitat found in much of South Dakota.
From the first successful releases of pheasants in 1908 to the current estimated population of around 10 million birds, South Dakotans and our visitors have built a rich and deeply rooted tradition around pheasants and pheasant hunting. The opening weekend in October is an event anticipated not only by pheasant hunters, but also family and friends who are reunited during this social gathering.
South Dakota is one of the top two pheasant harvest states and claims the top number of birds per hunter per season. Located in the top ringneck range, Mitchell is regarded as one of the best pheasant hunting spots in the nation, a position it has maintained for decades. The highest concentration of hunting guides in South Dakota can be found in the Mitchell area, offering an excellent selection when planning your hunt.
The season generally begins the third week of October, although residents and youth have chances to hunt public land prior to that. Additionally, several area hunting preserves enjoy expanded seasons.
High pheasant numbers usually mean more competition from other hunters, so we recommend waiting to come until after cold weather sets in. The first significant snowfall of the season often arrives in early November. If a day of hunting in snow sounds like fun, November can be the highlight of the season. Many times, you will have better luck finding availability in the late season, and the fields are plowed so there are less opportunities for our wily ringnecks to hide.
If you enjoy fishing, Lake Mitchell offers exceptional pan fishing like crappie and bluegill. It also offers bass fishing opportunities with small mouth bass coming on strong. Walleye fishing can be challenging but rewarding. Bigger fish can be taken in the spring and fall of the year. In the winter try ice fishing for walleye or pan fish. Mitchell is convenient to the Missouri River system that presents some of the finest walleye production areas in the world. Early spring and late in the fall are the best times of the year to fish on the Missouri. Plentiful supplies of catfish can also be found on the James River, which borders Mitchell to the east.
Not only are the hunting and fishing great, but the people are friendly, and the accommodations and the shopping extraordinary. Mitchell boasts 17 hotels with over 1,000 rooms spread around the city, several wonderful bed & breakfasts, and many more hunting lodges and guide services for your convenience. In addition, we also offer a wide variety of restaurants, sports bars, coffee houses, and retail shops.
Mitchell is just a little more than an hour from Sioux Falls, which is serviced by several national airlines. Mitchell also has a municipal airport along the northern edge of the city.
For information on hunting license fees and regulations, download the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Hunting Handbook.