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South Dakota pheasant season nears with promising numbers

October 1, 2021 GMT

SOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The South Dakota pheasant hunting season gets underway in two weeks, and the numbers look more than promising.

According to the Game, Fish and Parks Department, last year’s season was spectacular in South Dakota, with hunters harvesting over 1 million birds. While 2020 was incredible, the department says 2021 is shaping up to be even better. A mild winter plus a dry spring and summer have contributed to potentially record pheasant numbers.

Pheasant hunting in South Dakota is a long-standing tradition for many hunters across the country and the Midwest. Some believe the state could see even more out-of-state hunters this year because of its loose pandemic rules, KELO-TV reported.

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“I think South Dakota is going to be a really big magnet for hunters this year again, we are going to stay open and that’s a really big thing,” hunter Alex Jensen said as he shot clay pigeons at the Hunters Pointe Shooting Complex near Humboldt. “We are going to use it as a way to get people here for tourism and just a good economic development opportunity.”

With possible record pheasant numbers this year, officials expect businesses will flourish; which will be good news to some of the bars, restaurants and hotels that have struggled.

South Dakota’s pleasant season runs from Oct. 16 to Jan. 31.