Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Wildlife Management


Behavior and movement studies were carried out on the Rifle-Calahan Study area, Sanborn County, South Dakota, in 1965 and 1966. Objectives of the study were to evaluate radio telemetry techniques, determine the territorial area and home range of the hen and cock, study the behavior pattern of hen and cock in the harem makeup, determine the distance traveled by the hen when attracted to the harem, determine if the hen nests in the immediate area of the crowing territory, and study the behavior of the hen while nesting and caring for the brood. Twenty adult pheasants (16 hens and 4 cocks) were monitored with radio telemetry equipment designed by Sidney Markusen of Cloquet, Minnesota. The home range of the hen averaged 28.5 acres and did not appear to be strongly tied to the crowing territory of the cock. It encompassed all movements while feeding, mating, nesting, and caring for the young. The activity center of the hen covered 5-10 acres surrounding the nest. Activity centers of the two cocks marked in 1966 covered 4 and 8 acres, respectively, in the home range where crowing occurred. The oestrus cycle of the hen pheasant in South Dakota lasts about two weeks during early nesting attempts, and 9-10 days during re-nesting attempts. Egg laying occurred after mid-day with the hen spending an increasing amount of time on the nest as the incubation period approached. Rest periods during incubation occurred most commonly in the afternoon around 5:00 p.m. Hens cared for their broods in the near vicinity of the nest until the chicks were about three weeks old. Re-nesting interval for instrumented hens was about 10 days. Second clutches were smaller than first clutches. Instrumented cocks tended to select knolls relatively free of tall vegetation as their crowing sites and ceased crowing about July 1.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Pheasants -- South Dakota


Includes bibliographical references (pages 63-67)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


No Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Only