There is more to be excited about on Saturday than the pheasant opener.
For those not walking a cornfield with a shotgun, the Lakewood Mall is sponsoring Hunters' Wives' Day from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and the Aberdeen Downtown Association is staging the Ladies' Rooster Rush. Both offer great deals, product demonstrations, free samples and prizes.
The participating stores are marketing to women, but coupons can be used by both men and women.
A friend asked me, "isn't the assumption that men hunt and women shop a bit sexist?" I responded, "Well, maybe it isn't politically correct (should we call it Hunters' Spouses' Day?), but it is a lot of fun."
Also it reflects the reality that the vast majority of hunters are male.
To check out this stereotype, I called Shon Eide, hunting licensing supervisor at South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks. He told me that data from stores that sell hunting licenses show that 89 percent of the licenses are bought by men and 11 percent by women. That does not include license purchases online. It is not a scientific number, but it is a good rough estimate, he said.
That makes sense to me. Most of the hunters I know are men, but the few women hunters I do know are darn good shots.
For those women and men who prefer to shop, here are some details on Saturday's events.
Most of the stores in the mall are offering special deal, coupons or special attractions. Here are just a few highlights:
- Anderson's Hallmark, free gourmet food sampling.
- Shenanigans, wine tasting from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., $7 per person.
- Pampered Chef demonstration, pheasant dishes, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
- Bur Mar's shoes, scarf-tying demonstration.
- Heiser's Jewelry, free jewelry cleaning.
- Riddle's Jewelry, free jewelry inspections.
Ladies Rooster Rush
To start the event, go to the Red Rooster and pick up a welcome packet filled with permits. While the packets are available before most stores open at 10 a.m. shoppers can pick them up later if they wish.
Each participating business downtown will have rooster tracks in front of it. Shoppers can go into the store, check out the deals and get their permit filled.
The more permits a person gets, the better the chance she has of winning the drawing.
Permits must be turned by 2:30 p.m. at Wild Oats. The drawing will take place at 3 p.m. Wild Oats will have drinks and appetizers available.
There are multiple drawings, including art, $20 gift cards and gift baskets. Rachel Heintzman, an intern working at the Aberdeen Downtown Association, told me there are some very nice prizes.
The Aberdeen Convention and Visitors Bureau has been encouraging businesses to put out signs welcoming hunters and create hunting window displays as a way to "paint the town blaze orange."
Most veterinarians in Aberdeen are showing their support by being open on Saturday to treat hunting dogs that need assistance. Aberdeen definitely knows how to welcome hunters.
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