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Waterfowl, hunters flock to region

By Staff | Oct 2, 2009

The call of migrating geese is a sign that fall is here, and that also means waterfowl hunting.

And duck and goose hunting provides a boost to the local economy so much so that the Greater Rugby Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) over the years advertises in the N.D. Hunting and Fishing Guide to promote the waterfowl hunting in this region, according to Don Sobolik, CVB secretary.

Hunters from neigbhoring states , including Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa flock to the area and Sobolik said the CVB also receives inquiries from in-state hunters interested in coming to the region.

The year’s waterfowl season began last week for resident hunters and non-resident hunting will begin today, Oct. 3.

Rugby’s location near the center of two major flyways for migrating geese and ducks makes it ideal hunting grounds. However, the number of birds flying through the region has varied.

Many hunters who have returned annually have developed friendships with landowners and people in the community and Sobolik said most ask permission to hunt on private property and make sure they leave the land as they found it, and leave a positive impression.

Although there may be some local hunters not particularly happy about sharing hunting grounds with those from out of state. but by in large most are OK with it, and understand the benefit these visitors bring the local economy.

Sandy Munyer, manager at the Econo Lodge, said the motel’s occupancy remains high during the fall, attributed to many out-of-state hunters who come to the area. Many book a year in advance. That’s also the case at the Oakwood Inn and Campground, according to Theresa Rocheleau, owner. The motel often has the hunters return each October.

In addition to the motels, other businesses such as restaurants, gas stations, bars, grocery stores and some retail stores that sell hunting supplies also get business.

“Those out-of-town dollars that come into our businesses are very important,’ Sobolik said. “It’s a short season and every little bit helps.”

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