It's official, pheasant hunting season in South Dakota starts Saturday.
Those looking for another great year of hunting may be disappointed in what they find, or should we say, won't find.
According to Travis Runia with South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks, there has been a 62 percent decrease in pheasants from last year, which is a 30-year low.
Runia says the huge decline comes after several years of drought conditions, which has led to the deaths of many of the birds. He adds that last April's snow kept many of them from nesting.
He says the October 4th blizzard had nothing to do with the lack of pheasants because the primary hunting belt is in Central South Dakota and that area was not hit.
The weather did, however, leave Rapid City Regional Airport Executive Director, Cameron Humphres, wondering if as many hunters will show up as past years.
But full terminals Thursday may put those worries to the side.
"Really hunting season is kind of the beginning of that busy season for us," said Humphres. "So our flights are full not only because of hunters but certainly them coming into and then flying out of Rapid City has helped."
For more information on the pheasant hunting season, visit http://gfp.sd.gov/hunting/small-game/pheasants.aspx