WINNER, S.D. (KELO) — Following the opening of pheasant season in South Dakota, the Winner Regional Airport has been busy.

Speaking with airport manager Tessa Howard last week ahead of the opener, we learned that she and her husband were expecting somewhere in the neighborhood of 30-40 planes to land on Friday, October 20.

Checking in with Howard on the 24th of October, she reported that they had indeed had 33 planes land on Friday, and while many flew back out over the past two days, she added that around 29 more had come in on Monday.

“It’s been pretty busy,” Howard said.

Overall, Howard said traffic has been about on-par with the average hunting season, though she added that it does seem to be slightly down from last year, noting that 2022 seemed busier than average.

Asked if she’d seen anything of note over the first weekend, Howard mentioned two planes; a Challenger 605, which she says is actually not too uncommon for the Winner airport, despite its small size, and a Gulfstream g550 that came in over the weekend. This, she added was larger than usual for the airfield.

Howard told us that for whatever reason the first weekend tends to be mostly smaller planes, with the larger ones beginning to come in as the weeks wear on.

Already though, the Winner airfield has seen planes come from far and wide, with Howard saying she’s noted aircraft from California, Texas, Canada, New York and Mississippi in the past few days alone.