The Milbank Area Chamber of Commerce and Grant County Pheasants Forever are joining together for their second annual banded bird contest. The group released an undisclosed number of banded pheasants into public walk-in hunting areas on Friday, October 6. The birds herald the youth pheasant hunting season, which gets underway today, Saturday, October 7.
“This contest is a great way to encourage youth to be active in the lifetime sport of hunting,” stated Pheasants Forever past president Darin Mertens. “It’s also a great way for youth to engage with local businesses that sponsor this contest.”
Any hunter who bags one of the banded birds can take the bands to S&D One Stop in Milbank to participate in the contest. Each bird band turned in receives an instant prize. The participant’s name is also entered into a grand prize drawing held at the end of the season.
The youth season for resident and non-resident youth ages 12 to 17 is open from October 7-21. Youth must possess a valid hunter safety certificate and small game license to hunt pheasants in South Dakota. Resident youth ages 10-15 who are participating in the Mentored Hunt Program may also hunt during the youth pheasant season.
The contest targets youth hunters, but is also open to adults. The regular season for adults opens Saturday, October 14. Adult residents can hunt on public land beginning October 14. The regular season opener is Saturday, October 21.
Releasing the banded bird are Hayden Palmer, Paul VanderWal and Darin Mertens