Visitors flock to South Dakota for pheasant season

South Dakota News

ELK POINT, S.D. (KCAU) – South Dakota’s 2020 pheasant hunting season is officially underway, and hunters made their way to Missouri River Outdoors preserve and lodge when they opened their doors on October 1.

Hunters from across the U.S. are flocking to South Dakota.

“Pandemic or no pandemic, thank God we’re socially distant. We’re spaced out. We’re able to get outdoors and really enjoy the outdoors,” said Patrick Little, a hunter.

Little is alongside friends and coworkers for this yearly tradition.

“First time I hunted pheasants was roughly 10 years ago here at Missouri River Outdoors in Elk Point, and I’ve come back every year since,” said Little.

He travels all the way from Dallas, Texas.

“We love coming up here. I’ve hunted other places Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. But always love coming back to South Dakota, great people, great faces, great places. I believe is what your governor says, so we continue to come back here. We love what they do for their customers and their guests,” said Little.

“Typically, we’re coast to coast. A group from Michigan, Florida, Georgia, from Maryland,” said Lodge Manager Steve Lange.

A lot of work goes on behind the scenes at the preserve. Lange has been busy out in the fields preparing for the season.

“We plant food plots out here. Corn and milo food plots out here, and we have natural grasses in the bottom there that we can hunt this year,” said Lange.

More people are finding an interest in hunting during the pandemic. According to the South Dakota Game, Fish and, Parks, small game license sales are up 8% compared to the past 3 years.

With new and veteran hunters out in the fields, Lange says safety is of utmost importance.

“We want an orange hat with a bill on it, safety glasses, you’re going to wear a vest. The guides will always do a safety meeting before people are taken out. No low shots. There are a lot of rules. If you are near a vehicle, your gun is open so everyone can see visually that your gun is safe,” said Lange.

Lange says he will continue to take hunters out on the preserve through the end of December.

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