Hunters Anticipate Pheasant Opener
by Ashley Kringen, Reporter
October 19, 2012 9:28 PM
With the pheasant opener on Saturday, hunters have been scrambling to buy last minute gear.
It was shoulder-to-shoulder at Cabela’s in Mitchell on Friday and so many people KDLT talked have waited for the opener all year.
One hunting group came all the way from Little Rock, Arkansas for their annual gathering, that's been in place for more than 50 years.
"What happens in South Dakota, stays in South Dakota," said Colvard and Pounders.
Ed Colvard has been pheasant hunting in South Dakota for the past 12 years.
"We have an old three story farm house and everybody’s up late. We're out in the parking lot, hooraying, kissing, hugging, like a bunch of hoodlums," said Colvard.
He said there are 20 people in his hunting group and this season, he has a new recruit, his son-in-law, Jason Pounders.
"I finally got invited and got to come and there was no way I was going to do anything to miss this trip," said Pounders.
As a newbie, Colvard has taken Pounders through the ropes teaching him two guidelines, safety and having fun.
"I want to be close to him when that first rooster comes up from under his feet, because he's probably going to miss, and it's going to be awesome," said Colvard.
While the two guys made jokes, there was some serious shopping going on too.
"You don't want to take a chance on that bird getting up in front of, that bird of a lifetime and you don't have the right bullet," said Colvard. "I use a 20 gage, course I don't miss, I mean I'm your father-in-law, you know I don't miss, like I'm almost perfect.”
While shopping is a great way to bond about hunting, the real fun will happen when the sun comes up Saturday.
"The closer you get to the end, the more the excitement and the birds are jumping and it's just unbelievable, I mean the exhilaration of shooting pheasants is just fantastic," said Colvard.
The group has had quite the strong bond, one of the members passed away last August from a heart attack and now the rest of the group wears “memory spurs” in the form of a necklace made from pheasant legs in honor of him.
Cabela's said traffic and sales are up more than previous years and as of nine p.m. on Friday, around six thousand customers walked through their doors for last minute shopping.