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SD governor's pheasant hunt set this weekend

PIERRE (AP) — More than two dozen business leaders and several journalists have been invited to take part in South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard's Invitational Pheasant Hunt this weekend.

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The annual event is held to promote the state and boost economic development. This year's hunt is Friday and Saturday in the central part of the state. Activities will include trap shooting, banquets and pheasant hunting, Daugaard told KGFX radio.

"Saturday, we'll have breakfast and head out to the fields," he said.

Business leaders are always willing to engage with South Dakota economic development officials, but bringing the business owners in for face-to-face visits works even better, Daugaard said.

"Some people have misconceptions or really no conceptions about what it's like in South Dakota," he said. "Once they get here they're often very pleasantly surprised about how friendly people are and how nice it is here — the clean air, the clean water, the beautiful natural environment, the great quality of life."

Bringing journalists in helps show the state's attributes and introduce people to pheasant hunting, which is an important part of the economy, the governor said.

Tens of thousands of people flock to South Dakota each fall to hunt pheasants, and it also is a popular activity for state residents. The state Game, Fish and Parks agency says in-state and out-of-state pheasant hunters last year spent more than $172 million in the state.