The Aberdeen area is trying to draw more visitors during a year when pheasant numbers are down, telling hunters why this might be a good time to take to the fields.
Sales have decreased this pheasant hunting season at SoDak Sports in Aberdeen, at least they dropped initially. That isn't the case in December.
"We are seeing quite a few hunters come through later in the season than we ever have," owner Dani Hoffman said.
Hoffman noticed more pheasant hunters coming through the store later in the season last year, too. That's a trend officials at the Aberdeen Convention and Visitors Bureau could see continuing.
"This year especially with the bird numbers being down just a little bit, that late season is pretty valuable up in this area," Casey Weismantel said.
Weismantel considers late season from Thanksgiving to January. He pitches late season a lot on a year like this because he says the birds that are out there are concentrated in certain areas. He also says there's less competition from other hunters late in the year.
He's happy to see hunters, including some from out of state, take advantage of those perks as it extends the season for businesses in town that profit from it.
In a year when sales dipped early in the pheasant season compared to the year before, Hoffman is happy too.
"I don't know if I would say we're making it up, but I would say later in the season is steady with last year," Hoffman said.
Weismantel heavily promotes late season hunting during outdoor shows. He say the increased popularity has been slow but consistent.