Despite the bone-chilling wind and cooler temperatures on opening day of pheasant season Saturday, October 17, many Martin residents along with non-resident hunters were out in pursuit of their game.
This year marked the first year for migratory bird hunting at Lacreek National Wildlife Refuge. Migratory birds that can be harvested are ducks, geese, sandhill cranes, mourning doves, snipe, coot and crow.
According to Game Warden Tom Beck, the number of non-resident hunters in the area on opening day appeared to be somewhat down, but on the Refuge, he felt the number of hunters was up.
Missouri resident, Gary Downs, who hunts on private property, has been coming to Martin since 1996. He and first-time-to-Martin hunting friend, Doug Alden filled their tags opening day.
Boulder, Colorado resident, Ferdinando Borsa and two hunting companions harvested seven pheasants, six ducks and one sharp-tailed grouse on Saturday. This year marks Borsa’s fourth trip to Martin.
Hunters from Arkansas and Texas were also in the area.
“In the past, pheasants suffered a decline in population but fortunately we are now seeing a come-back. I believe there are more birds this year than last year,” Mr. Beck stated. He also went on to say that some of the larger hunting groups that are normally here early in the season are opting to come later.
This year, pheasant season has been extended until January 31, 2021.