Today is opening day of Pheasant Hunting Season for residents of South Dakota. Why, you may ask, do we hunt this gorgeous game bird ? Because it's absolutely delicious and it's a ton of fun.
The Pheasant is our State Bird, but it's not native to South Dakota. The species was actually a gift to the United States from China in the 1850's. It's illegal to hunt the female "Hen" so it's the gorgeous, colorful, male "Rooster" who gets all the grief.
We don't leave early in the morning. That's one of my favorite things about it. We head out around noon with a cooler full of Coke, Mountain Dew and our packed lunch. We usually "Road Hunt" within about a 50 mile radius of town. You don't stop to eat at a cafe when you are pheasant hunting. It's a ham sammich in one hand and your other hand on your gun. Sunflower seeds and Twizzlers are also a very important accessory to this sport.
Watertown thrives on the revenue. As of this past week, everywhere you turn the signs are up: "Welcome Hunters". People from all over the US come to South Dakota to hunt our Pheasants. And they take them home to their wives to cook in Campbells Cream of Mushroom Soup. Can you believe it ? My favorite recipe, which is a bit more sophisticated, is a Pot Pie made with just the dark meat.
Here is another fun fact ... Ron and I have about 30 Pheasants who live in the Shelter Belts surrounding our property. We feed them cracked corn in a nice long line in front of our Raspberry Patch. When they come out to feed, twice a day, during Good Morning America at 8:00 and Oprah at 4:00, it's just the coolest sight. With all of the construction noise from our Sun Porch, which is just about finished, they have been a bit scarce this fall. But they are out there squawking ... wondering just how long I can keep my Mom from bagging her limit out of my living room window.
Thank's, Wickipedia, for the awesome photo.