When out-of-state hunters land in South Dakota, they're sure to get a warm welcome, no matter the weather.
"It just depends on the weather. If it is cold, they go for the jacket, if it is warm it's a hat and off they go," Terri Carl said.
Carl has set up her Custom Embroidery and Design booth at the airport for five years now. She's part of the unofficial welcome wagon greeting the hunters.
"Every year it gets even more fun and the hunters come in and it's like some of them know you from the year before," Carl said.
Carl says for her business, this is one of the most important events she attends each year. But she'd still do it, even it if didn't bring in a penny.
"The stories that they tell are just hilarious and I just love it," Carl said.
"It's great just to see them coming in. They come from that far just to hunt our state bird. It's good to see them all," Ryan Dodd said.
While there is potentially fewer birds in the fields for those hunters this year, the vendors say it is their job to pump them up before they hit the fields.
"You know they'll probably have to work a little harder this year. The numbers are down but we'll see how it goes but they should be alright," Dodd said.
Dodd is representing the Runnings store from Brookings. Like the others here, he simply hopes to add to the enjoyment of those flying in to bag some birds.
"All the old boys coming in and getting away from home, they like to be here and have a little fun and shooting the birds is probably just a bonus for them," Dodd said.
"They find out a little bit about the community from us and we find out where they're from. It's fun," Carl said.
More than 90,000 out-of-state pheasant hunters are expected to visit South Dakota for the hunting season that opens Saturday at noon. Last year, hunters spent nearly $173-million here.
Pheasant hunters bagged 1.4 million birds last season. The number of out-of-state hunters topped in-state hunters by 25,000 licenses.