SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Hunters are flocking to South Dakota this weekend for the opening of pheasant hunting season.
Ask any of them where they’re flying in from and you’ll likely get a variety of answers from over in Maryland to down in Arizona and all the way up in Alaska.
But they aren’t staying in Sioux Falls long, they have pheasants to hunt in the more rural areas of the state.
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“It’s out of Artesian,” Monte Murphy from Alaska said.
“Hitchcock. We’ll be there until Tuesday,” Pete Pittroff from Arizona said.
“We’re going to, it’s near a little town of Iona, which is about 30 miles west of Platte,” Howard Bokhoven from North Carolina said.
“We stay in Kimball and hunt in that area,” Jerry Schiavnio from the Baltimore area said.
But no matter where they’re from or where they’re going, for these hunters, this trip is about more than just shooting birds out of the sky.
“Comradery. I like to call it golf with guns. It’s just about the comradery,” Schiavino said. “I mean, you have a good day shooting, it’s fine but you’re with a bunch of really good friends of yours. Especially as you start getting a little older, you start to appreciate your buddies just a little bit more.”
They offer these tips for any new hunters heading out this weekend.
“Just relax, don’t get too excited. There’s plenty of pheasants out there,” Bokhoven said.
“Shoot high, shoot lots,” Murphy said.
Most importantly? Have some fun.
“I love saying pheasant hunting is probably the perfect American sport. Because you have 12 guys walking in a field, bird gets up, everyone shoots,” Pittroff said. “We come back to the lodge, everyone has a beer and lies about what they shot. It’s perfect.”
The pheasant opener in South Dakota is Saturday, with daily shooting hours of 10 a.m. Central Time until sunset.