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Cabela’s Busy Ahead Of Pheasant Opener

October 17, 2012, 5:52 PM by Shawn Neisteadt

Cabela’s Busy Ahead Of Pheasant Opener

Saturday is South Dakota's pheasant hunting opener and hunters are already flocking to the state and giving the economy a shot in the arm. 

Travel much outside of South Dakota and people might struggle to find Mitchell on a map. But a map at the Cabela's store in Mitchell will be marked by hunters from all 50 states who travel here for a pheasant hunting experience.

"It's great that your state has that to offer to bring in out-of-state money to help folks here. It's too bad the pheasants won't live down in Tennessee," Randy Neely said.

Neely is here all the way from Memphis. He and his group of nearly 30 hunters will spend five days in fields hoping to bag their limit of birds.

"Everything we're hearing, it's looking great and we're anticipating a great season. We can't wait," Cabela's general manager Mike Fox said.

And Fox says the Tennessee group isn't alone.  Judging from the action in the store and a pheasant population increase of 18 percent, he thinks this will be a great year for hunters and the economy.

"This is our Christmas every year. I call it our blaze Christmas in fact.  Right now at this point we are equal to last year as far as the number of hunters we've had in the store, so that's very encouraging going into the big opener this weekend," Fox said.

Fox adds that hunting traffic will remain strong at the store for several more weeks.  As for the Tennessee group, they'll spread their money around the region before making the trip back home.

"We enjoy our time here. We've got a walleye fishing trip planned out of Chamberlain and we're going to go out and tour the Badlands one day, so we're not just sitting around doing nothing, we're enjoying ourselves as well," Neely said.

And with some luck, they'll enjoy taking aim at some big roosters as well.

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