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Hunting Inquiries Up With Pheasant Numbers

September 4, 2012, 10:00 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

Hunting Inquiries Up With Pheasant Numbers
ABERDEEN, SD -

More hunters are keeping track of pheasant numbers, which have increased.

The Game, Fish & Parks Department announced last week that pheasant numbers are up 18 percent this year compared to last year. Brown County increased 51 percent.

AJ Hoffman owns a sports store in Aberdeen and hopes that'll mean more business.

"Talking to local guides, pheasant hunters around the area, it sounds like with the numbers being up we should have an influx of people for the hunting season," Hoffman said.

And the response tourism leaders in Brown County have seen supports that. The Aberdeen Convention and Visitors Bureau sends information packets to any hunter who asks.

"This year we've seen the numbers just pour in. We're getting anywhere from ten to 20 requests a day," Casey Weismantel with the Aberdeen Convention and Visitors Bureau said.

Those requests have been pouring in since the Game, Fish and Parks Department released this year's pheasant numbers. But hunters were asking for information before as well. That's a pleasant change from last year when some hunters canceled trips because they found out pheasant numbers were down.

"We're excited to see what's going to happen," Weismantel said.

Lodge owners in the area have been feeding the visitors bureau with optimistic reports of the number of pheasants hunters will see. They join Hoffman and others who hope the hunters come.

"The last four months of the year brings in about 60 percent of our revenue. So hunting season is what keeps us going," Hoffman said.

Brown County is still down from its ten year average. But tourism leaders hope the pheasant numbers will continue to rise.

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