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Pheasant Shooting Hours To Start at 10 a.m. For Rest Of Season

PIERRE, S.D. - Pheasant hunters in South Dakota can get an earlier start at hunting ringnecks beginning at 10 a.m., Sunday, Oct. 30. Shooting hours until then begin at noon.

Sunday's change to Central Standard Time allows pheasant hunters to start their hunt two hours earlier for the remainder of the season. The shorter fall days already reduce hunting hours, and by moving back the pheasant starting time to 10 a.m., an adequate amount of shooting time can be maintained for pheasant hunters.

Hunters often ask, "Why does pheasant hunting not begin at sunrise, like many other hunting seasons?"

"The noon/10 a.m. opener is a tradition unique to South Dakota pheasant hunting," said Game, Fish and Parks Upland Game Biologist Tom Kirschenmann of Huron. "Business operators believe the noon starting time allows hunters to be more willing to frequent their establishments. Others contend that one doesn't need a full day of hunting to harvest a limit of pheasants. And finally, some farmers like to have the opportunity to have chores done before hunters arrive at their farm. Regardless of the reasons, tradition will likely preserve the current opening date and shooting hours."

South Dakota's pheasant season is open through Oct. 30 in unit 2 and through Jan. 1, 2006 in unit 1, which covers most of the state. Shooting hours close at sunset each day.

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