Business Booms Despite Low Bird Numbers - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Business Booms Despite Low Bird Numbers

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Pheasant hunters flocked to southwest North Dakota earlier this month for the start of another season. However, the numbers this year have been disappointing for many.

"Normally we limit out by 10:30 or 11 [AM] when we come here, because this truly has been the pheasant capital of the world," said Tallahassee, Florida native Cecilia Thomas, who has hunted in Mott the last 15 years.

After just a few days though, Thomas and her husband are calling it quits.

"This is the worst year that we've had," she said. "In fact, we're leaving tomorrow and we've only been here three days."

The heavy rain and snow are to blame, according to several hunters.

"The farmers have been unable to get their crops out of the fields because of the moisture," said Ron Carter, a hunter and Employee at the Tailfeather Inn. "Corn and sunflowers primarily, and that's where the birds are hanging out, they're going where the food is."

Nonetheless, the poor shooting conditions haven't kept hunters away.

"It's been a fairly normal opening," Carter explained. "The first two weekends are always, always busy and fully booked."

Once the crops are out, the hunting numbers will go way up, according to Carter. Which is a good thing for places like the Tailfeather Inn, where a lot of hunters stay in Mott.

"Our sole purpose of being here is for the pheasant season," Carter said. "We're only open six weeks a year."

As the pheasant hunting capital of North Dakota, Mott residents are looking forward to more hunters coming in the next few weeks.

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