MITCHELL, SD. – On Saturday October 19th, at 12:00pm South Dakota’s Non-Resident Pheasant Hunting season will begin. Bird numbers have been said to be down, but the truth will soon be told. There has been much anticipation throughout the community for the past several weeks but Mitchell is hoping for the very best.


“There is a lot of excitement out there just before opening day. Hunter’s are excited to be back in town with friends and family, it’s an annual tradition for many of them” said Jen Johnston, Cabela’s Retail Marketing Specialist. “And the excitement doesn’t end in the field; it’s also a great time to shoot for the many unique prizes we will give away during this hunting season.”

Cabela’s will give away over $24,000 in prizes during this year’s Pheasant Classic event. The event began over youth pheasant opener with a photo contest. Youth hunters were encouraged to bring in a photograph of themselves with a mentor or parent in the field to be eligible for a sweepstakes. 10 year old Marinna Mentzel of Mitchell, SD was the 1st place winner of a Beretta semi-auto shot gun and 2nd place went to Reed Gerlach of Ethan, SD. Two South Dakota resident hunters were also prize winners during last weekend’s resident opener, but the official prizes and names have not yet been released.


Starting Thursday October 17th the Mitchell outdoor sporting goods store kicks off their event weekend. The store will hold demonstrations and seminars throughout the weekend with a pheasant hunting focus. Highlights of the event include the Great American Pheasant Hunt contest with a chance at winning over $20,000 in prizes and an opportunity to meet Benny Spies, host of Gun It with Benny Spies along with his brother, Joshua Spies, an international award winning wildlife artist from Watertown, SD. The Spies brothers will be at the store Friday from 10am – 3pm and Saturday from 10am – 12pm.

“Our Great American Pheasant Hunt contest is the highlight of the year. All hunters have to do is harvest a banded bird during opening weekend and bring that little band to the store by 6:30pm on Sunday night to be eligible for prizes,” Johnston said. “Our grand prize is a Coleman 500 ATV retailed at $6,500. We will also give away a $2,500 shopping spree; Beretta shot guns and $100 gift cards during the awards ceremony at 7:00pm on Sunday October 20th.”


Other weekend events include:

  • FREE popcorn balls from the Mitchell Convention and Visitor’s Bureau
  • Hot breakfast buffet until 11:00 am Friday – Sunday
  • 50 Freebies for the first 50 customers on Friday, Saturday & Sunday
  • Pheasant Country Pheasant’s Forever
  • Dog Tips & Training from Cabela’s Pro-Staff John & Beth Ann Amico
  • Local Vendors & Pheasant Classic Partners
  • The Beretta Museum Truck
  • ATV Test Drives
  • Cowboy Fast Draw

“We refer to this week as our Tan and Blaze Christmas.” Said General Manager, Mike Fox, “Although Black Friday is a big day for us, it doesn’t compare to pheasant opener. Our team has worked hard in preparation and we’re ready for another great season.”

For additional information or questions on contesting please contact Jen Johnston, Retail Marketing Specialist 605-995-4476 or visit Cabela’s is located at 601 Cabela Drive, Mitchell, SD 57301 located off of I-90 Exit 332.