If you live here be sure to have a "deer slayer" grill guard built and mounted on your pickup. We kill more deer on the roads with vehicles than hunters do during hunting season. Big problem is most of the surface rights are owned by private landowners and hunting rights sold to "professional" guides (I use the term "professional" very loosely). Not like the good old days when you could buy a tag and go anywhere in the state. Those days are long gone. Heck, even finding access to some waterways for fishing can be a problem. It's a shame because fewer and fewer young people are getting into hunting and fishing these days.
It's similar here in SD. Pheasant hunting has become heavily commercial. Many farmers and ranchers have sublet their land out to the commercial hunts.
What used to be open to almost everyone (for the cost of asking) is now a $300-500/day proposition. But it's been great for the local economy, people fly in from all over the country (and world) for the guaranteed hunts.
Yeah, it's nuts here. It seems half the time I go over to Idaho to hunt even though we have more game. It's cheaper to pay out of state fees than paying through the nose to cross a fenceline in your own backyard. The shame of it is that it's been an exceptionally good year for pheasant as they are thick as ticks and I nearly run them down on the back roads and even on the interstate.
We have a guy who parasails into a state land parcel surrounded by private and government leased land. The rancher and guide tried to have him arrested for tresspassing but he was able to show the Sheriff on the map and with GPS that he was on state land. The Sheriff told the rancher they couldn't prevent him from flying "over" their land and it's perfectly legal for him to hunt on the state parcel. He's been at it for a few years now (even has dux and geese there).
Plus, the hunting isn't as skillful as it once was. With thousands of pen-raised birds released throughout the season to supply the commercial hunts, many of the birds are "chickens" - almost tame enough to hand-feed.
I shot a double this last fall (end-of-year cleanup hunt for locals, to reduce an overpopulation of birds), that would REALLY have been great in times past, now it's fairly easy. Hey, they still eat the same
I drove up back into the foothills on a county road I haven't been on before. I ended up driving past three private bird farms. The pheasant were running everywhere outside the pens as well. I found out that these are leased farms for the purpose of corporate clients for private hunts. One of the largest is owned by a major west coast software company. In fact most of our prime hunting lands here are huge ranches that run right up to the mountains and national forests and are owned by corporations like Forbes, Coca Cola, ExxonMobil among others. Out of curiosity I asked about us peons buying a hunting membership and they laughed saying "no dice" kiddo.