South Dakota Opener 2016

South Dakota Opener 2016

Kevin Mennett

October 27th, 2016




South Dakota’s non-resident pheasant season opened October 15th and several of the Ridge Runners were  in Mitchell ready and waiting.  This was my second time hunting pheasants in South Dakota and my first time experiencing opening afternoon (you can’t hunt until 12 noon).  The state has claimed about a 20 percent decrease in pheasant numbers from last season.  With numbers down and crops up, we weren’t too sure what was in store for us.  We had 7 hunters in camp all of us hunting both public and private ground.  I paired up with good friend Scott Eisentrager and his son Logan and headed to public land.  Logan and I managed to each take our roosters within 30 minutes of our first walk (Logan made a fantastic shot on a fast flying bird).  The number of flushes was definitely down from years past (according to other hunters we spoke to) but we all managed to get some shooting and a few more roosters fell that day.


South Dakota is truly an amazing place.  Time spent with good friends (new and old) chasing pheasants and memories behind Ben Wright’s amazing dogs is something that I will cherish forever.  If you have even the slightest inclination to bird hunt, you need to experience South Dakota.  The beauty of the land, the kindness of the people, and the thrill of watching dogs work a field, is definitely something that every sportsman must experience.  I know that I WILL be back in the not too distant future to experience another South Dakota opener (possibly with my own dog).

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