SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — We’re less than three weeks away from the traditional pheasant opener in South Dakota, and hunters, many of them from out-of-state, are starting to flock to outdoor stores in KELOLAND. Scheels in Sioux Falls says the cooler weather in the forecast is putting more customers in the mood for hunting. We flushed out one hunter from Minnesota who was ready to take aim at pheasants in South Dakota.
Dan Hennessy of Minneapolis is shopping for a new hunting vest at Scheels in Sioux Falls ahead of his pheasant hunting outing at a preserve near Howard, South Dakota.
“We’re going out to Top Gun today with a group of guys up from Texas. We’re going to go shoot some birds,” Hennessy said.
Like a lot of men, Hennessy isn’t of a mind to make a day out of shopping.
“I’m the guy that comes in and sees what I want, pick it, get out of here as fast as possible,” Hennessy said.
Scheels says hunters have been showing up since mid-September and the store expects to be busy leading up to the pheasant opener and well beyond.
“You’ve always got your classic blaze orange hats and vests and lots of ammo. A lot of the guys that go out for the opening weekend, they’re not as practiced-up, so usually, they’re going to buy a couple of boxes of some target loads, clay targets and then lots of shotgun shells,” Scheels Assistant Store Leader Josh Bathke said.
But some ammo is still impacted by pandemic-era supply shortages.
“There’s a good likelihood we’re going to have it. But ammo still is somewhat, I wouldn’t say hard to get, it’s available, but to be real specific, if you want this load, you may not get that load,” Bathke said.
Bow hunting seasons are already underway in South Dakota and customers have been stocking up on archery supplies.
“Crossbows right now are probably one of the top sellers just because Minnesota just opened-up a law to let anybody, whether you’re physically limited or not, to use a crossbow, not just a hand-drawn bow. And a lot of new archers are getting into the sport, too,” Scheels Archery Manager Brian Klatt said.
Bargain hunting in the store puts customers on track for a successful hunt in the fields.
“Get out there and enjoy the outdoors,” Klatt said.
Scheels recommends a good pair of sturdy boots as a must-have for all hunters since you’ll be on your feet for much of the time, walking through all kinds of terrain and weather conditions.