"Pheasantennial" celebration in Redfield

Published: Oct. 30, 2019 at 6:57 PM CDT
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Dozens of people gathered at Hagman's Grove, the site of the first pheasant release, which happened more than 100 years ago.

"To think that 100 years ago , pheasant hunting started here in South Dakota is pretty wild," Paul Nester, a long time hunter said.

"Today we re-enacted the first successful release in South Dakota of the pheasants," said the Mayor of Redfield Jayme Akin.

The release of the birds in 1908 marks a transition in South Dakota pheasant hunting.

"In the years moving forward, the rooster, the pheasants, they flourished in South Dakota, they flourished in our harsh environments, the population soared, and then a few years later we had the first pheasant hunt.," Akin said.

That first hunt happened on October 30th, 1919. Wednesday's 'Pheasantennial' celebrates the 100 year mark of that hunt in Spink County.

"That's what we're known for around the United States as being the pheasant capital of the world, and that's kind of Redfield's claim to fame," Akin said.

The re-enactment was exciting for long time South Dakota hunters.

"It's been an amazing project that not only did the Mayor and his people put together, but to see the whole community come out and get involved with this, it's just been amazing," Paul Nester said.

The day long event was sure to bring a lot of joy to hunters as they reflected on the history behind the sport they all enjoy.

"It's going to be a pretty cool thing to see the town come together and help celebrate," Nester said.

The 'Pheasantennial' celebration finished off with a celebratory banquet.