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With the pheasant hunting season over, hunters from across the US and the world, will be looking back at the 2015-2016 season with happiness.

One of the big indicators for whether or not a season is going to be good is the traffic through hunting stores. Doug Johnson who works at Webster, a sportsman store in South Dakota recognizes that the trends in spending are closely tied with pheasant numbers every year.

"We saw a fair amount of people coming through," Johnson stated about the recent season. "You know, Highway 12 corridor here with the four-lane highway, we certainly get a lot of traffic going by."

When there are more birds in the fields, more hunters are going to be stopping for licenses, ammunition and other hunting gear. Therefore, businesses throughout South Dakota often see a rise in sales during the season.

Blake Yonke, a district conservation officer supervisor for the South Dakota Department, Fish and Parks, has stated that this year was a success for pheasants. Yonke is based in Webster and while he believes that the numbers are good, he is still waiting for the results of the surveys to determine the true success of the season.

One of the things that Yonke did notice is that there were more non-resident hunters in his area, especially in the late season.

"Yeah, here right up until the end so that's nice to see. Maybe they've talked to some of their friends and heard that bird numbers are back up a little so yeah it was definitely nice to see some of those guys around, especially on the last weekend," Yonke said.

Despite the news that this year is likely to be an improvement on last year, there is still worry for those who rely on pheasants. The number of pheasants in the fields and the associated income is still likely to be much lower than the 10 year average. What is needed is good habitat conservation and weather to help the birds return from their recent decline.

What were your hunting results this year? Are you happy with them?

Let us know in the comments below.

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