SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — As thousands of hunters make their way to South Dakota for the traditional pheasant opener, the Outdoor Campus in Sioux Falls is teaching kids the basics of pheasant hunting.
About a dozen kids are walking the brush at the Outdoor Campus pretending to hunt pheasants.
“I’ll be throwing up pheasant decoys for them to shoot at and then we can go over safety. When to shoot, when not to shoot, and really emphasize the safety portion of it, especially hunting with a large group,” Naturalist Intern Mckenzie Metzger said.
Metzger is leading the hour-long class that also focuses on the pheasant.
“We go over what they look like, where they live, what they eat, what eats them,” Metzger said.
The class is one of many at Outdoor Campus specifically designed for homeschooled children.
“They actually can use these for credits to their curriculums so it’s a good way for them to add to their curriculum and also learn more about the outdoors,” Metzger said.
“My kids love all the classes at the Outdoor Campus,” Sioux Falls resident Amanda Bettinger said.
Amanda Bettinger is attending the class with her three kids, and likes what the Outdoor Campus has to offer.
“They have just been able to be exposed to so many different types of animals and different types of outdoor activities and has really sparked an even greater love of the outdoors for my family,” Bettinger said.
Her kids are also fans of hands-on activities.
“Definitely the outdoor portion where they either get to shoot the BB guns or the Nerf guns are my kids most looked forward to part,” Bettinger said.
“Gets them out of the house, gets them more activity and just a little bit different pace,” Metzger said.
And one step closer to stepping into the field for an actual hunt.
The traditional pheasant season opens Saturday in South Dakota, and continues until the end of January.