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SD Residents Prepare For Pheasant Hunting

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Pheasant counts across the state show the bird population is down to less than half of what it was last year. However, South Dakota hunters are still jumping at the chance to get a head start on the season.


“It’s kind of the kickoff to our pheasant season,” said Mitchell Cabela’s Marketing Specialist, Jen Johnston.


Flashes of orange and camouflage line the walls of the Mitchell Cabela’s store, as employees prepare for resident-only hunting this weekend.


“It’s more about not just the hunting, it’s more about coming here, shopping here, enjoying Mitchell, enjoying South Dakota, enjoying pheasant country. So that’s what brings our hunters back every year,” said Johnston.


She says the next few weeks will be the busiest time of year for the store, despite the drop in the pheasant population.


“I know some other guys that are going out and they’re saying burd numbers are down, but they’re still going to go out and still going to hunt,” said South Dakota hunter, TJ Greer.


Hunters are excited to get a head start before the non-residents come to town next weekend.


“Not having the competition with all the non-residents gives us a chance at everything, a first chance,” said Greer.


And even if they don’t get their limit, hunters are just happy to be in the fields.


“Just reconnecting with old friends, I mean we see lots of groups of hunters coming in and it’s their vacation. It’s their time away from home,” said Johnston.


“A good day in the fields is better than a day at work,” said Greer.


Johnston says the area will see the greatest amount of traffic next weekend for non-resident opener.

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