It’s pheasant season in South Dakota. No, no, you don’t understand. It’s PHEASANT season in the state of South Dakota. We have about as many pheasants in this state as we do people. Well, that’s not really true—there are many more pheasants.
This time of year, however, those pheasants had better watch out. I visualize two pheasants meeting in a corn field.
“Hey, Phred, I would have thought you’d be gone by now,” says one, looking around nervously.
“Why, are they planning to pick this corn field soon?” answers Phred, looking suitably interested.
“Oh, no, that’s not it. Haven’t you heard? It’s time once again for those guys in the bright orange to start shooting at us,” says Phil, lowering his voice to a whisper. “They’re always so mad at us male pheasants this time of year.”
“Yeah, I’ve noticed they’re never shooting at the women,” Phred said with some bitterness. “Why is that?”
Off in the distance, they suddenly hear the boom of guns and the baying of the dogs.
“Quick, get out of here, they’ve brought the great barking beasts from hell with them!” Phil exclaims, as both of them take flight out of the corn field.
For anyone not involved in pheasant hunting, let me tell you that in South Dakota, this is a season that is bigger than Thanksgiving and New Year’s combined. There are more family gatherings (complete with weapons), more parties, more traveling and more kinds of fun involving guns and ammunition than you can even imagine.
Blaze orange is the color of the hour and dogs suddenly become the most valuable possession anyone has. I have personally never shot a pheasant, I usually bag my limit using the front end of my car. They don’t, however, sell an official license for that and I don’t usually wear the traditional orange hat and shooting vest for it.
The fun and excitement of this season can overshadow professional football games, deer season and even school and work. I know of many people, especially at the beginning of the season, who suddenly contract what I like to call “pheasant phever” and miss a day or two of their responsibilities, just to slaughter a few more pheasants, who would seriously prefer they would just go to work or school!
Pheasant season ends right after Christmas when the avid hunters will pack away their orange garb and oil up and securely store their hunting weapons and dream through the long winter nights of the next hunting season.
So happy hunting, all, and pheasants beware; the hunters are out there. Get your families together and find someplace safe, and may the barking dogs never find you!
© Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In the Well, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In The Well with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.