Watertown welcoming pheasant hunters

Local News

WATERTOWN, S.D. (KELO) — Communities all over KELOLAND are welcoming hunters.

Pat Kennedy from Wisconsin is back for his 29th year of pheasant hunting near Garden City.

“Whether we shoot or don’t shoot it doesn’t matter. It’s really just to come out here to be with the families and to have fun,” Pheasant hunter Pat Kennedy said.

Evan Weerts is a South Dakota native, but these days he and his family travel from Minnesota to take part in the tradition.

“It’s just a great time to come visit family and spending time with friends and camaraderie and obviously good pheasants around here. Past few years haven’t been as good hunting as ten years ago or so, but that doesn’t matter when you’re with family and friends. It’s all about the experience and having a good time,” Weerts said.

Both men stopped at the rooster rush tent in Watertown Friday ahead of the traditional pheasant opener Saturday.

“It’s just a way for us to welcome hunters to South Dakota and thank them for coming to our state and supporting one of our largest industries, which is hunting,” Watertown Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director Katherine Danforth said.

You’ll also find lots of orange scattered around town. Businesses have put up decorative displays to welcome hunters to the area.

“If you just take a look around, it’s always fun, always nice people here,” Pat Kennedy said.

Danforth says pheasant hunting gives a “huge boost” to the Watertown economy.

The season opens at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday.

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