ELK POINT, S.D. (KCAU) – Pheasant hunting in South Dakota isn’t only popular with the locals. The sport attracts thousands of hunters from all across the country. The traditional pheasant hunting season begins on October 21 and will run until the end of January, but folks are already having their shot at this years pheasants, signaling a busy season ahead.

“We’re a preserve so we can actually start the first of September, but we don’t actually go until October because it’s just too hot earlier. The season can run until March, but we’ll hunt into December and God will tell us when we’re done,” Steve Lange with Missouri River Outdoors said.

Steve Lange said he’s working nonstop to get groups of hunters out shooting pheasants.

“The group that’s hunting today leaves tomorrow and then the next group arrives tomorrow. On Friday we’ve got to get nine to an airport to pick up 14 at another airport. And we’re just stacked up, but hey, make hay while the sun shines,” Lange said.

Michael Moore traveled from Dallas, Texas to go on a two day pheasant hunt with his group of friends.

“Well this is my first year, but the group has been coming for I think, anywhere from seven to eight years, ten years. We were talking last night and everybody said that the birds are there so, now we just gotta go find them,” Michael Moore said.

The pheasant hunting season brings in millions of dollars to South Dakota’s economy annually. Moore says the Mount Rushmore state has proven to be his buddies go-to spot this time of year.

“I’ve heard the stories over the years and there’s been nothing but great stories every year that they come, they got a good story and they always see plenty of game and it’s something that I want to be a part of,” Moore said.

And with a busy season ahead, Lange says they’ve had to stock up on necessary equipment.

“We typically figure a box of shells per hunter per day, depending on the group, some don’t hit or need near that many and some need it more. But at the end of the day, you’re going to have a sore shoulder,” Lange said.

Lange tells me that between now and the end of the season, he will have 14 groups of hunters in total make their way to Siouxland for this hunting season.