The pheasant opener this weekend is drawing out-of-state hunters from across the world to South Dakota and groups are working to make sure that doesn’t change.
Delta adds an additional daily flight to the Aberdeen Airport this time of year. Tourism groups in the Brown County area do whatever they can to make sure visiting hunters arrive and feel welcomed too.
"It's good for the town. Hunters bring a lot of money into Aberdeen," John Couch said.
Couch can say that because he's one of them. He came all the way from Australia and plans to continue coming back.
Casey Weismantel with the Aberdeen Convention and Visitors Bureau says many other hunters are saying the same, even this year when pheasant numbers could be down according to estimates released by South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks.
"People are still coming out, numbers are strong and they're here expecting to have a great time," Weismantel said.
Through outdoor shows, web advertising and other means, people like Weismantel are working to make sure visitor numbers remain strong. State estimates show hunters spent more than $170 million in South Dakota last year.
In Brown County, hunters spent about $12.5 million last year with a bulk of that money spent by nonresidents. Businesses in surrounding counties received anywhere from $1.5 million to $9.5 million from hunters.
Couch says he's happy to be one of those hunters.
"I'm trying to help the American economy become good," Couch said. "That's what it's all about."
Well, maybe it's more about spending time with his friends. Still, community leaders are happy to see an economic boost come with it.
The Aberdeen Convention and Visitors Bureau is also in the fourth year of a promotion that gives hunters in the area a chance at winning a million dollars. Workers at the CVB say they’ve received a lot of inquiries about that promotion.