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News Articles

23
Beware of Low-Flying Roosters

PIERRE, S.D.—There’s excitement in the air as pheasant roosters take flight during hunting season. However, hunters need to make sure that the excitement of the hunt doesn’t overwhelm their better judgment, especially when they’re faced with low-flying roosters.



During 2005, many of South Dakota’s reported hunting accidents occurred during the pheasant season. Quite often those accidents happened when a hunter fired at a low-flying bird.



“Several incidents occurred last hunting season where a hunter swung on a bird and inadvertently peppered a person in the background,” said Curt Robertson, hunter safety program specialist for the S.D. Department of Game, Fish and Parks. “A hunter has to know what’s beyond the target before pulling the trigger. That knowledge could be a matter of life and death.”



Hunters using the “walkers and blockers” method need to be particularly careful. Last year several hunting accidents resulted in both walkers and blockers being injured.



Hunters need to restrain themselves from shooting at low-flying roosters. “Typically a poorly chosen shot at a low-flying bird will produce a shot pattern that can cover a person’s head, neck arms and chest,” Robertson said.



Hunters should also always wear orange hats, vests, protective shooting glasses and know their surroundings. “The key is to know where all the hunters in your party are at all times,” Robertson said. “If you don’t know where they are, don’t shoot.”



Brood counts by GFP have indicated that the state has a robust pheasant population. “So let the grass-skimmers go and wait for your next chance,” Robertson said. “Taking only safer shots will ensure that you don’t injure one of your hunting companions.”

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