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Pheasant Opener Quick for Many, Pleasant Overall

PIERRE, S.D. - Plenty of birds and nice weather made for an overall positive
opening day for South Dakota's pheasant season.

"The plentiful pheasant numbers appeared to help many hunters to reach their
limits quickly, so many were literally 'in and out' of the field on
Saturday," said Game, Fish and Parks Wildlife Program Administrator Tony
Leif of Pierre.

Conservation officers reported that hunters consistently averaged two birds
each on opening day. Hunters in the southeast corner were a little less
successful, which Leif said is normal. Hunters in the western part of the
state did better than they had in the past few years, as many also averaged
two-birds per hunter.

Violations and injuries were few, with just a couple lead shot violations
and few reports of trespassing. A handful of hunters had minor injuries when
they were sprayed with pellets.

"There was some wind in central and western parts of the state, but this
year's opener was still as nice as I can remember," Leif said, "and I cannot
recall a year when both the abundance and distribution of pheasants that we
have in the state was this good. As well, this is just the first day.
Hunting typically improves into the season as more crops are harvested and
the temperatures become cooler."

Leif reminds hunters to be safe, wear plenty of blaze orange and be sure of
their target and what is beyond.

Pheasant hunters should also remember that shooting hours are noon to sunset
(CDT) through Oct. 29, then switches to 10 a.m. to sunset (CST) on Oct. 30
through the remainder of the season.

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