Dakota Country Magazine October 2016 Edition - Page 57

Saturday of October at noon? My research on this question led me to the following: Opening day in South Dakota has been on a Saturday since 1947. This was not the case for earlier pheasant hunting seasons. Opening day fell on every day of the week between 1919 and 1946. The norm of opening the pheasant hunting season on the third Saturday of October didn’t begin until 1961. As far as shooting hours on opening day, the first 10 pheasant hunting seasons in South Dakota, 1919-1928, were “daylight hours.” According to the October 6, 1927, issue of The Daily Plainsman, a Huron newspaper, daylight hours began 30 minutes before sunrise. “Dawn referred to breaks at 6:33 o’clock tomorrow. Pheasant shooting can begin onehalf hour earlier, or at 6:03 a.m.” The first season to have shooting hours beginning at noon was 1929. Newspaper excerpts from the era reveal why South Dakota shifted to a noon opener. • 1929 -- The Daily Plainsman (Huron), October 28, 1929. Tuesday, October 29. “Pheasant season will open at noon. The opening at noon was decided upon by members of the state Game and Fish Commission as a protective measure for birds. It will do away with the opening morning slaughter of former years, they believe.” • 1930 -- The Black Hills Weekly (Deadwood), October 15, 1930. “Pheasant season will open at noon on October 16, to prevent early morning slaughter of unwary birds. The hunting season continues during daylight hours until the evening of November 14 in 34 counties east of the Missouri River.” • 1931 -- Lead Daily Call, (Lead), October 14, 1931. “The open season on pheasants in South Dakota will begin tomorrow, October 15 at noon, and continue until October 26. The open season begins at noon each day and closes at sunset. No hunting will be permitted in the forenoons.” • 1932 -- The Daily Plainsman (Huron), October 18, 1932. “With game authorities reporting an abundance of birds from nearly all regions, South Dakota’s pheasant hunting season opens Thursday noon for 30 afternoons. Mr. www.dakotacountrymagazine.com Johnson [Game and Fish Director O. H. Johnson] said the afternoon shooting, noon to sunset, has met with general favor. The same plan was followed last year.” Thus, the custom of opening at noon was born and has been used since, except for five seasons: 1944, 1945, 1978, 1979, and 1980 had an opening time of 10:00 a.m. As you can see, these aberrations from opening at noon were short-lived, and both times the decision was made to return to a noon opening. The current tradition of opening the pheasant hunting season on the third Saturday of October at noon has been continuous since 1981. However, historical evidence reveals this tradition has deeper roots from the past. My experience with South Dakota pheasant hunting has allowed me to enjoy camaraderie with family and friends so often mentioned in connection with Rooster Rush. South Dakota governmental leaders have grasped how important the financial boost WRANGLER INN Mobridge, South Dakota 820 West Grand Crossing Windjammer Sports Bar & Dining Room • Indoor Pool • Cold Storage • 24-hour Desk (605) 845-3641 (888) 884-3641 www.wranglerinn.com “Your Hometown Neighborhood Market” Shop the Region’s Largest & Best Selection of Fishing & Boating Supplies! Minnows, Shiners, Chubs, Crawlers/Leeches. Free air-bagging! Hunting/Fishing Licenses LARGE PA RKING LOT... Boats & Campers Welcome! Full Line Grocery Store with Deli, Bakery and Liquor 7am -10pm daily 120 W SIOUX AVE, PIERRE, SD (605) 224-8871 • (800) 382-2553 Dakota Country, October 2016, Page 57