- Real Estate
- Food & Drink
Oct. 25, 2019
This paid piece is sponsored by the South Dakota Retailers Association.
Retail businesses across South Dakota are welcoming hunters from near and far in celebration of the pheasant hunting season.
“Communities around the state are welcoming hunters, with many shops and stores working together to create special events,” said Nathan Sanderson, executive director of the South Dakota Retailers Association. “Hunting season is a great opportunity to showcase our world-renowned hospitality and beautiful landscapes while supporting rural communities and local businesses.”
Many South Dakota businesses actively serve the hunting and shooting community. Pheasant lodges, hunting outfitters and hundreds of stores that sell guns, ammunition, licenses, hunting gear and food look forward to our state’s fall hunting tradition. Businesses promoted our unofficial state holiday with displays and banners declaring “Rooster Rush” is here in South Dakota.
“We love meeting and talking with the new people that come in, whether it is their first time in the state or just their first time in the store,” said Mike Fairchild, general manager of Trav’s Outfitter in Watertown. “Of course, we love seeing returning folks when they walk through the door – this year, next year and the one after that – we know they’ll keep coming back to hunt.”
Local mom-and-pop businesses understand the significant economic impact resident and non-resident hunters have in South Dakota. Hunting alone contributes $700 million each year to the state’s economy, supporting 18,000 jobs – many of them in retail and hospitality businesses.
Michael Bollweg of Tumbleweed Lodge in Harrold diversified the farm by adding a hunting resort and guiding business. He hosts repeat guests who describe driving up the mile-long, cottonwood-framed driveway to his family’s lodge as a “coming home” experience.
“While an upland bird hunting adventure initially draws them here, sunrises and sunsets of purple and red hues igniting the sky coupled with star-filled nights keep them coming back,” Bollweg said. “Our guests continually remind us just how special of a place we live in to be able to raise our families while managing our abundant natural resources.”
Retailers and citizens across South Dakota recognize the value private landowners, particularly our farmers and ranchers, provide in support of wildlife populations and habitat in a state where more than 80 percent of the land is owned by private citizens.
“Operations within the hunter service industry are much more than the brick and mortar of the lodge,” Bollweg said. “We must remember the generational value of the ring-necked pheasant and the splendor of our uninterrupted landscape make South Dakota one of the last wild destinations.”
Pheasant season in South Dakota runs Oct. 19 through Jan. 5. As you travel around South Dakota this fall, thank the men and women in blaze orange who make a significant contribution to small communities and local businesses around the state.
Hunting is a $700 million industry in South Dakota, but the impact feels even bigger for these locally owned businesses.