We are located in the heart of Brule County, South Dakota, where we average more than 200 pheasants per square mile. By partnering with neighboring farmers, we are able to access over 12,000 acres of prime pheasant hunting habitat. We have planted strategically positioned food plots to target pheasants and support our area’s robust pheasant population. Groups who join us at the Lodge will have access to many acres of natural habitat, including CRP land, lake beds, and shelter belts. When you stay with us, you will have access to the best hunting South Dakota has to offer.
While you might know us as the state’s premier pheasant hunting destination, we provide our hunters with a diverse variety of sporting opportunities. Our other offerings include duck hunting, prairie dog hunting, dove hunting, and walleye fishing on the beautiful Missouri River. No matter what kind of hunt your group chooses to enjoy, you will surely be met with fulfilling days practicing your sport on South Dakota’s wide-open prairie.
South Dakota is renowned as the pheasant hunting capital of the world – and certain counties within the state are fortunate to boast even higher pheasant populations. Brule County, where our Lodge is located, is one such location. Pheasants love our area due to the availability of natural habitat that attracts, produces, and retains optimal levels of wild birds.
In fact, we have a density of more than 200 pheasants per square mile. That makes our land far superior to that of other South Dakota counties. Brule County is world famous for pheasant hatching and rearing capabilities every year, meaning that your group will be able to maximize your pheasant numbers during your hunt, get even more shooting opportunities, and enjoy the excitement of witnessing hundreds of pheasants every day you stay with us.
At Dakota Prairie Lodge & Resort, we have access to all kinds of natural habitat:
We have nearly 300 acres devoted to pheasant food plots. These vast swaths of acreage encourage pheasants to make their homes near our Lodge and also help to retain our pheasant population during hunting season.
Pheasant food plots can be planted with strips of corn, millet, oats, buckwheat, or soybeans. Weed seeds like thistle grasses, sumac, nightshade, burdock, and ragweed are also excellent choices as they are heavy seeders. Pheasants also enjoy both wild and tame berry varieties as well as beans, sunflowers, clover, sorghum, and dandelions. Typically, food plots are planted specifically for the subspecies of pheasant that inhabits each area.
In our prime Brule County location, we have found that our pheasants enjoy feasting on food plots of specially mixed grains. We plant a combination of sorghum, milo, and corn to keep the pheasants well-fed and always coming back for more. We also ensure that our foot plots are strategically located next to lake beds and sloughs, as these areas are ideal tracts for the entire life cycle of pheasants. Some of our most productive walks lead us through the food plots, as our dogs flush dozens of roosters into the air.
“CRP” refers to the Conservation Reserve Program, an organization with the mission of benefiting wildlife as well as reducing soil erosion and improving water and air quality. For example, CRP practices might include planting field windbreaks to reduce wind erosion and improve air quality. Likewise, filter strips can improve water quality. These same practices benefit wildlife by providing increased wildlife habitat.
The CRP is focused directly on conserving wildlife too, a goal that it promotes by encouraging the planting of wildlife food plots, restoring native vegetation and wetlands, and more. And these actions work! The Department of Agriculture has found a 22% increase in ring-necked pheasant counts for every increase of 788 acres of CRP herbaceous vegetation.
We are proud to take part in CRP initiatives that support our wild pheasant population. On our CRP land, we have a mixture of switchgrass, alfalfa, and western wheatgrass. This combination provides exceptional habitat for our birds, and we have been rewarded for these efforts with high hatch rates in the spring and strong, colorful roosters come fall.
Since we have seen the value of CRP land firsthand and have enjoyed its contribution to our total hunting field package of food plots and natural habitat, we are excited to expand our CRP holdings going forward.