PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — Early estimates of fewer pheasants in South Dakota this season appear to be holding true.

Chuck Schlueter in the wildlife division of the Department of Game, Fish and Parks says that anecdotal reports from last weekend's resident opener indicated fewer birds and hunters.

But he says state staff talked to a lot of people who were just glad to be out hunting, and their satisfaction was higher than those were serious about getting their limit.

He says the prospect of fewer pheasants is something hunters might have to deal with for a while.

Schlueter says sales of licenses to out-of-state residents will start to show up after this weekend's general opener, so the state will then have a better idea of how the season's doing overall.

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