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Main season opens for S.D. pheasant hunting

Posted: Monday, Oct 21st, 2013

Mike Walker of Madisonville, Ky., and his dog, Kota, near the end of the field while hunting southwest of Huron on Saturday during the opening day of South Dakota’s pheasant hunting season. In the next photo, Landon Cleveland carries a pheasant, which was shot by his dad, Josh, of Watertown and retrieved by their dog, Gunner, on Saturday southwest of Huron. PHOTOS BY MIKE CARROLL/PLAINSMAN

SIOUX FALLS (AP) — Tens of thousands of hunters, including some of South Dakota’s top elected officials, took to the fields Saturday for the opening of the state’s main hunting season.

Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., planned to hunt with family and friends near her family’s farm in the Castlewood area of northeastern South Dakota, KELO-TV reported.

“I’ll be spending time in the field on Saturday to both walk for birds, but then later I’ll be in the combine,” Noem told the station. “I’m one of the lucky ones that will get in a few hours of hunting because there are a lot of combines going, meaning a lot of guys aren’t going to have time to hunt.”

“For me, there are few things more relaxing than being out in the field with my family and friends in hopes of kicking up a few roosters,” Noem said. “Sounds like it may be more difficult this year than in years past, but a bad day of South Dakota hunting beats a good day in Washington, D.C.”

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., planned to hunt with his brother, Tim, and his 93-year-old father, Harold, near their hometown of Murdo. Thune said he looks forward to the opening day of pheasant season all year.

Gov. Dennis Daugaard also planned to hunt with friends near Aberdeen, but he was using a newer shotgun that replaced the 12-gauge Savage that his father owned and gave to him when he was young. Daugaard said when the shotgun was professionally cleaned a few years ago, a hunting license issued to his father in 1946 was found when the stock was removed.

Only residents could hunt last weekend, and just on public land. Saturday’s opening of the main season allowed residents and non-residents alike to hunt on public and private land.

State officials have said the state’s pheasant population is down substantially from last year, but airports were busy Friday as hunters arrived.

For the complete article see the 10-20-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 10-20-2013 paper.

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