Summer survey: 4.21 pheasants-per-mile in South Dakota - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Summer survey: 4.21 pheasants-per-mile in South Dakota

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - The Friday before South Dakota's pheasant opener might not draw lines around the corner or incite customers to trample over one another, but it's an early Black Friday for many hunting outfitters.

Cabela's general manager Mike Fox calls it the Mitchell store's "tan-and-blaze Christmas," the best retail day of the year.

South Dakota's pheasant season opens Saturday, drawing thousands of hunters likely to encounter about 18 percent more of the game birds than last year.

State game biologist Travis Runia says any time South Dakota has a mild winter, it's almost always followed by an increase in bird population.

Hunters killed more than 1.5 million pheasants in the state's fields last year. Surveys conducted this summer show a pheasants-per-mile index of 4.21.

The pheasant season runs through Jan. 6.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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