Traditions remain strong for pheasant hunting opener

Saturday, Oct. 21 was the first day of pheasant hunting season across South Dakota, and the traditions that came with that were strong throughout the state on opening day.

"The pheasant hunting opportunities in South Dakota continue to be the best in the country," said South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Secretary Kelly Hepler. "Traditions around the South Dakota pheasant opener are special. Whether it’s a first-time hunter harvesting their first rooster, or an avid outdoorsman meeting up with long-time friends and sharing a hunt, this is what we live for and why visitors flock to our state."

Here is the report from the first day of pheasant hunting from different regions of the state:

Central Region, Ross Scott, GF&P Regional Game Manager

Average bird count: 1 bird per hunter.

Most hunted area in region: Lyman, Gregory and Brule counties.

Northeast Region, Nick Rossman, GF&P Regional Game Manager

Average bird count: 0.5 bird per hunter.

Most hunted area in region: Day, McPherson and Edmunds counties.

Southeast Region, Brad Baumgartner, GF&P Regional Game Manager

Average bird count: 1 bird per hunter.

Most hunted area in region: Aurora, Jerauld and Davison counties.

Western Region, Trenton Haffley, GFP Regional Game Manager

Average bird count: Less than 1 bird per hunter.

Most hunted area in region: Perkins, Bennett, Haakon and Harding counties.

State parks to host Halloween events

'With Halloween fast approaching, state parks will be hosting events to celebrate the holiday this weekend.

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Locally, Outdoor Campus West in Rapid City will be hosting a Halloween Hike Friday from 5-8 p.m. 

Custer State Park will also be hosting a Halloween Hike on both Friday and Saturday from 5:30-8 p.m. The hikes will begin at the Peter Norbeck Outdoor Education Center and hikes will depart every 15 minutes. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 605-255-4464.

There is no cost to participate in the hikes but a park entrance fee is required at CSP. Participants are encouraged to where hiking shoes and to dress for the weather and children must be accompanied by adults.

Costumes are encouraged for the hike but not required.

New outdoor archery range coming to Webster

The community of Webster will be getting a new 3D outdoor archery range thanks to the South Dakota Farm Bureau Centennial Community Initiative. The new facility will be recognized at an Open House on Friday from 3-7 p.m. CDT at the facility along US Highway 12 west of Webster. Clark/Day County Farm Bureau will be grilling steak sandwiches at the event.

"Our area has seen a tremendous growth in shooting sports thanks to the 4-H program and general interest by the community. This outdoor range will now offer 3D archery in addition to the existing indoor range," said Jerry Mork, Clark / Day County Vice President. "We are very appreciative to SDFB and several local businesses that have helped make this a reality. The value to the youth alone will be tremendous."

The improvements were possible thanks to a $5,000 donation from the South Dakota Farm Bureau Centennial Community Initiative, Clark / Day County Farm Bureau and several local businesses.

The SDFB Centennial Community Initiative is a grant program for community projects that serve a need in a community, make a difference, have high visibility and reflect Farm Bureau's mission and vision. SDFB invested $100,000 in local communities for community improvement projects during its centennial year in 2017.

The project in Webster, as well as other projects that took place during the SDFB Centennial Year will be recognized at the SDFB Centennial Convention, Nov. 17-18 at the Sioux Falls Convention Center. To learn more about the Centennial Convention visit www.sdfbf.org.

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Sports Reporter

Sports reporter for the Rapid City Journal.