6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Breakfast
To accommodate our early-risers as well as those who prefer to sleep in, we serve continental breakfast on a buffet. A hearty meal of eggs, sausage, bacon, biscuits, fruit, oatmeal, and plenty of coffee is the best preparation for a vigorous day in the fields. If you have a particular request, the cook would be happy to make something special just for you. For those who don’t find walking the fields sufficiently challenging, feel free to start your morning in our exercise room. A half hour on the elliptical machine can really wake you up.
8:00 a.m. Prepare for Hunting
First, make sure your gear is ready. If you’ve left everything neatly in your cubby in the mudroom, then you have an easy morning. However, if your favorite wool socks are under your bed, your orange vest is in the smoking room, and your hat is at the bar, then it’s time to round up your equipment. Second, listen to any new safety instructions from your guide. The game plan for each field that we hunt will be explained so everyone is clear about our hunting strategy for the day. Make sure you know if you’re a walker or a blocker or what your specific role will be.
9:00 a.m. Sporting Clays
A little time in the morning practicing on clay pigeons can have a great impact on your success later in the day. Talk with your guide about your style of shooting so that he can make suggestions.
10:00 a.m. Load up the Bus
The pheasants are ready to enjoy their day, and we’re ready to help them! Your guide will do a final safety check, and then it’s off to the fields. Depending on which location you’re hunting and how thick the pheasants are, you’ll probably have time to hunt two areas before lunch. On some of the longer corn strips, the going is a little slower. If the pheasants are heavily populated, retrieval takes a bit more time too.
12:00 p.m. Lunch
By now, you should have worked up a healthy appetite. In the fresh South Dakota air and with the excitement of outwitting the pheasants, we find most of our hunters are ready for sustenance by noon. If we’re hunting close to the Lodge and the weather is challenging, we usually come back inside to eat and warm up. But on sunny days or if we’re some distance from the Lodge, we will have lunch in the field (or on the bus). Whether lunch consists of hearty sandwiches or hot chili, we will make sure there are plenty of cookies too.
1:00 p.m. Continue Hunting
Everyone usually walks a little slower in the afternoon, but we’ll keep going until we find all our birds. Some days we’re done earlier than others, depending on how wily the pheasants are. As the afternoon progresses, remember to talk with your guide if you have any issues or have an idea to share with him.
4:00 p.m. Back to the Lodge
We’ll have refreshments waiting when you arrive. Put your boots on the boot warmers in the mudroom, take the leftover shells out of your pockets, and clean your gun. Head on down to the bird cleaning shed if you want to grab a few of the longest tail feathers, or lounge in the great room to watch football or play a few hands of poker. If you pulled a hamstring in the field, enjoy a massage in the salon.
6:00 p.m. Supper
After a great day hunting, you have earned an outstanding meal featuring South Dakota cuisine. Whether you prefer succulent prime rib or walleye straight from the Missouri River, our cooks will impress you. There’s nothing like home-baked apple pie straight from the oven to finish your day.
8:00 p.m. Evening Entertainment
Depending on your group’s preferences, we can go on outings to nearby towns. Whether you’re interested in local nightlife or want to preview the newest shotguns at Cabela’s, we can organize an excursion for you. If part of your group wants to kick back at the Lodge, that’s fine too. However, we have noticed that some individuals’ stories about their hunting prowess become quite remarkable after a few hours at the bar! Whatever you decide to do in the evening, we encourage you to get a good night’s rest. Hunting requires your full attention so we want you to be alert in the field the next day. Safety first!