posted on August 22, 2004 00:00
Pheasant hunters travel from around the country to hunt the wily ring-neck population of Lyman County. A large number of those hunters come from the state of Wisconsin; home of the Green Bay Packers, Harley Davidsons, and big and small game hunters.
Wisconsin hunters have been coming to South Dakota to walk corn and milo strips, sloughs, and country road ditches for years. Road hunting is a favorite style of hunting enjoyed by many out of town visitors to the Lyman County area.
This past week we turned the tables on Wisconsin hunters and traveled east to pay a visit to their state.
Our destination, Friendship, Wisconsin, located near the Wisconsin River, is within 25 miles of one of the state's biggest tourist attractions, the Wisconsin Dells. The residents of the Friendship area, accustomed to out of town travelers on their way to the Dells, apparently try to take advantage of the buying power these visitors bring to their neighborhood.
While cruising the 2-lane highways of the area we didn't see one single pheasant but we did discovered what the locals had to offer out of towners. Nearly every acreage with highway frontage had something out front with a big 'for sale' sign propped up in front of it. All imaginable household items, including the kitchen sink, seemed to be for sale, in addition to rusted out Fords and trailers made from even rustier and older pick-up boxes. New items included handcrafted chain saw sculpture and peeled post furniture. Potatoes, grown in the area were available at 50 lbs for $4. Garage sales and flea markets dotted the countryside.
Occasionally, a local resident, frustrated with our slow browsing speed would take one look at our South Dakota license plates, honk their horn and cuss us as they sped around our vehicle. With so much merchandise for sale along the roadways the Wisconsin Department of Transportation should consider adding a 'shoppers' lane to the state highway system that runs through this bargain shoppers paradise.
As we walked the Wisconsin woods, stayed at a local resort, drove slowly down the paved county roads, window shopped from our vehicle, and dined with our Wisconsin friends at a neighborhood supper club it became evident that there were similarities between this part of Wisconsin and Lyman County.
Both communities offer lodging whether a resort on a lake or hunting lodge in the middle prime pheasant hunting country. Both have something to sell out of town visitors, either pheasants or merchandise. And, both like to entertain out of town visitors at their favorite supper clubs.