Opening Weekend Pheasant Hunting

No one could have asked for better weather for the opening weekend of pheasant season.

This Saturday and Sunday in state and out of state hunters enjoyed the sun and the chance to shoot some birds.

Warm weather, clear blue skies and some strong cover after recent moisture helped to make the opening day spectacularly beautiful and great for hunting.

Hunters who ate breakfast Sunday at the Tripp  County 4-H Center were divided on the success of the opening day.

Many said it was great and they really appreciated the nice weather Tripp County dialed up for them.

There were some who said it was a difficult day. They love the outdoors but the birds were not easy to find.

That may be in part to the drought that killed off many chicks.

 A television story on KELO  talked about planes and pheasants in Winner.

Pheasant hunting season is a busy time at the airport.

“The majority is jets or turbo props,” said Tessa Howard of the airport traffic. She and her husband, Dave, have been the operators at the airport since 2014.

The Howards handle the airport operations including landing and department aircraft. They are also mechanics and can fix aircraft as needed.

“It can be challenging,” said Tessa. “It keeps you on your toes.”

Hunters fly all over the state but the area around Winner usually ranks fourth or fifth in pheasants harvested each season which makes it a consistently top place to hunt.

Tripp County had 3,598 nonresident pheasant hunters in 2020 according to the S.D. Department of Game, Fish and Parks. Those hunters harvested 32,361 pheasants.

Tripp County also had 989 resident hunters that harvested 11,294 birds in 2020.

Examples of those who benefit from pheasant hunting include landowners who may lease hunting land, hunting lodges, restaurants, motels and local businesses.

“Anytime hunting comes around there is an economic impact to the area,” said Chandra Phillips, city of Winner finance officer.

Wide open spaces, hospitality and friendly people keep these hunters coming back to this area year after year.

Winner to face Clark/Willow Lake in playoffs

Winner football team will play Clark/Willow Lake in the first round of the football playoffs on Thursday, Oct. 21 in Winner. The game will start at 7 p.m.

Winner enters the game undefeated with an 8-0 record this season. The Warriors are the No. 1 seed in Class 11B.

Winner football coach Trent Olson says Clark/Willow Lake is a battle tested team.  They have beaten the No. 4 and No. 6 teams in Class 11B this season. “They create a lot of big plays on offense. They run a lot of perimeter plays and misdirection plays. They love to throw the ball down the field looking for the home run,” said Olson. “Defensively, they are super aggressive up front. We will have to prevent penetration,” said Olson.

Watson leads Winner runners

Kade Watson took the top honors in the Platte-Geddes cross country invitational on  Saturday.

The Winner senior crossed the finish line in 17:33.58.

Second place went to teammate Joseph Laprath in 18:25.38.

The Winner boys team won first place.

Also placing for the Winner boys were: Kylar Meek, 10th; Hayden McMurtey, 20th; Chaz Blotsky, 28th .

Sidda Schuyler led the Winner girls as she placed 14th and Melanie Brozik placed 31st.

In the girls JV race, Hanna Scheffler took 21st. In the boys JV race, Hayden Hostetler placed 14th and Matthew Calhoon placed 17th.

Golfers place 2nd in pre-regional

Ryder Halligan led the Winner boys golf team at the pre-regional held Sept. 20 in Pierre.

The Winner golfer placed fifth with a 79. Halligan was followed by Karson Keiser who took seventh shooting an 82.

Landon Calhoon placed 10th and Maxton Brozik, 11th.

Carter Craven placed 18th.

As a team, Winner  took second with an 334. First place went to Parkston with a 329.

The Region 3A  golf meet was held Monday, Sept. 27 in Pierre.

Halligan wins golf meet

Ryder Halligan  had a successful day at the Winner invitational golf tournament on Sept. 14 at Winner Country Club.

The WHS golfer shot a 77 to win first place.

There were no team totals kept in the invitational  but Winner did place first in the Big Dakota meet with a score of 342. In the Big Dakota, Chamberlain was second and Mobridge-Pollock, third.

In the varsity Winner Invitational, Maxton Brozik placed third. Karson Keiser was sixth, Kaden Keiser, seventh and Carter Craven, eighth.

Landon Calhoon placed 12th.

There was both a junior varsity and middle school division.

In the JV meet, Derek Fenenga took first place. Masen Beehler took second and Brody Calhoon was seventh.

The middle school tournament was won by Jalen Tideman of Winner. Levi Heenan placed third. William Jorgensen placed 7th and Riley Peppel, 11th.

Sioux Falls Little League Pitcher, has ties to Winner

Submitted Photo
Gavin Weir, left, the outstanding pitcher for the Sioux Falls Little League is pictured with his uncle Devin Koskan, Sioux Falls, a former Winner area resident. Weir’s mother, Shannon and Devin are brother and sister. Gavin’s grandparents are Rob and Lisa Koskan of the Winner area. Sioux Falls is playing in the Little League world series. Weir has pitched two no hitter games and against Torrance, Calif., had 14 strikeouts.