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What does pheasant hunting mean to us? Hitch’n Post

Take a look at what pheasant hunting means to the residents and business owners of Aberdeen.

Like a favorite child in a large family, we talk about pheasant hunting with great esteem and brag about it as often as we can.  Sure, we love all outdoor activities Aberdeen has to offer, but we are most proud of our pheasants.  Of course, this means a bias may exist when it comes to the promotion of our favorite sport.  So…we want you to better understand WHY we are so passionate about pheasant hunting in the Aberdeen Area.  Anecdotes from local partners and passionate Aberdeen area residents about what pheasant hunting means to them and their businesses.  The unbridled passion exists in all circumstances…but the WHY varies for all who enjoy pheasant hunting in Aberdeen.  

Quite possibly the coolest store ever…

The Hitch’n Post was established 50 years ago this year.  It is a full range western store, antique and gift store all rolled into one.  Some people call them a miniature wall drug.   With 25 different vendors showing off goods in the antique department, mounted pheasants, coyote furs, and beaver pelts, this western store gone tourist trap is a local favorite when pheasant season comes around.  Terry Larson knows the fall will bring more than just big business to the Aberdeen community.

“We don’t sell guns or ammo, but we do have a lot of unique items that hunters like.  And it’s different from the big box stores.  We even changed the slogan of our store to “quite possibly the coolest store ever”, because that’s what we hear from our customers. We treat our customers right and we have a lot of old patrons who have been coming for many years.  Even the people that come and hunt have been coming for years.  We have one group from Louisiana that brings 5-9 hunters every year.  They all pick out a pheasant mount and we ship it back to Louisiana for them. We had one group from Arizona (with ties to Aberdeen) that has been bringing 20 people every fall for opening weekend for more years than I can remember.  They are going to bring 30 this year, along with the great grandkids of the folks that actually started coming here.  It’s a family tradition for them, and they are just great people.”  

Terry doesn’t boast about his hunting abilities, but the pheasant hunting traditions that come with opening weekend leave him nostalgic about the experience one can have in Aberdeen.  

“I really enjoy seeing the birds.  I’ve been a board member for our local pheasants forever chapter for years.  We have a great chapter, always ranking in top 3 or 4 for banquet attendance and winning national awards for habitat work that we’ve done.  Last year we were #1 in nesting habitat.  The Aberdeen Pheasant Coalition is a big part of that.  I live on the edge of town with a cattail slough on my property and I love seeing those birds and hearing them in the fall.  I’ve got a grandson that loves to hunt, too.” 

2020 has yet to live up to anyone’s expectations, but there is a lot of positivity in the Aberdeen area.  Terry’s work with habitat, ties to a local business, and passion for pheasants has him extremely optimistic for the upcoming season.  

“I think 2020 is going to be gangbusters!  Everyone in our most recent pheasant forever meeting was very optimistic.  What better way to social distance than to go pheasant hunting and get outside.”

Hitch’n Post Aberdeen, South Dakota

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