SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Blaze orange is the color of choice at the Sioux Falls Regional Airport as hunters from across the country make their way to South Dakota for the pheasant opener.
Experience Sioux Falls is front and center at Sioux Falls Regional Airport, arming hunters with everything they need to know about the city.
“Attractions, restaurants, shopping all that, so whatever they need,” Experience Sioux Falls Communications Manager Matt Barthel said.
A year ago, pheasant hunters spent more than $250-million across South Dakota, meaning there are plenty of dollars to go around.
“These hunters, they fly in, they’re obviously spending their money coming here and then of course using rental cars, going out getting gas, food, shopping, so it’s definitely a big boost to our economy,” Barthel said.
“We have quite a few people that order from us online and then we can ship anywhere in the United States,” Gluten Free Please! Jennifer Johnson said.
Jennifer Johnson is with Gluten Free Please! in Sioux Falls, tempting hunters with everything from banana bread to double chocolate chip cookie mixes.
“All these are from cravings that I’ve had over the years and I thought I should get them out there to help other people,” Johnson said.
The event is also an opportunity to shop local.
“It’s a way to promote Sioux Falls and the South Dakota businesses and welcome the hunters,” Johnson said.
“I came last year and fell in love with it,” Starke, Florida pheasant hunter Ron Denmark said.
Ron Denmark arrived from Florida this morning. His group is hunting near Mount Vernon and comes to South Dakota for one reason.
“It’s the pheasant capital of the world,” Denmark said.
Hunters say whether it’s their second year or 20th year coming to South Dakota, it’s always a warm reception.
“Everybody welcomes us, likes us to come, spend some money, enjoy the weather, and enjoy some good bird hunting,” Denmark said.
And that’s what it’s all about.
The pheasant opener in South Dakota is Saturday, with daily shooting hours of 10 a.m. Central Time until sunset.