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On Saturday, October 17 the South Dakota pheasant opener was held. The day which is much revered by pheasant hunters across the country is also much anticipated by the local community. Some of those businesses that actively look forward to this weekend are the lodges.

The Rooster River Hunting Lodge in Flandreau is one of the lodges that specifically look forward to the event every year. They play host to many non-resident hunters on the weekend and it can get very busy.

The lodge has stated that it is a year long process preparing for the pheasant hunting season. If they don’t make that effort, then the experiences of pheasant hunters can be reduced.

For couple Mark Madden and Linda Danielson, it’s their fourth year coming to the lodge. This year was their dog Cuppy’s second season at the lodge.

"Yeah, we did pretty good this morning. We got three this morning and we saw others and we had some misses but we had a good morning," Madden reporting about their first morning in the field.

His partner didn’t fare so well taking one shot but missing. As she put it “I'm 0 for 4."

The couple live near the twin cities, which makes them a lot closer than some of the out-of-town hunters that are normally in the area but this doesn’t make their contribution to the sport or the local economy any less valued. Non-resident hunters contribute up to $200 million in revenue for South Dakota through licenses, ammo and other hunting related activities.

Yet there are hunters from all over the country.

"It's always amazing. In the lobby I met some people from West Virginia. It's amazing, the people that fly in from all over the gap to go and chase a few roosters around and have a good time," Madden said about the group of hunters in the lodge.

Bill Gilbert of Rooster River Hunting Lodge states that a lot of their custom is from returning groups. Once they’ve had their pheasant hunting trip for the year they will often rebook for the following year. He gives a lot of credit to the tribal chairman and council for making the lodge such a success.

How was your pheasant opener? What was your harvest?

Let us know in the comments.


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