It’s a crisp October day in Kimball, South Dakota, and the whole town feels abuzz. In the distance, you can hear the hum of combines harvesting corn and the whistling of the prairie wind bending tall stalks of grass. But around you, chatter has ceased. You hear only the crunching of cornstalks and sorghum under sturdy boots, and you see glimpses of bright orange on your left and right.
And then – bang! The sharp crack of a shotgun breaks the silence, followed shortly by the excited barking of dogs and the triumphant shout of a lucky hunter. The first pheasant of the season has fallen!
Our vision at Dakota Prairie Lodge & Resort began many pheasant seasons ago, after years of eagerly anticipating opening day and experiencing the thrill of taking down a wild rooster. What began as a family tradition slowly grew into a more extended endeavor guiding groups of hunters and eventually became the Lodge as we know it today: a first-class destination that allows us to offer South Dakota’s premier pheasant hunting experience.
Each October (and November, December, and January), we revel in the orange hats, the sturdy canvas pants, the empty shotgun shells, the contests for the longest tail feathers, and the tall tales of amazing shots and unbelievable hits. Pheasant season has a magical aura to it, and it’s one we pride ourselves on emulating through every aspect of our Lodge. We strive to enhance the hunting experience, encourage camaraderie within our hunting parties, and ensure their frequent return to the amazing state of South Dakota.
Our hunters feel right at home in our cozy, warm Lodge that reflects rural architecture and style, promotes local cuisine, and encourages appreciation of South Dakota’s rich cultural heritage. Within our walls, our groups find all of the amenities and comforts that our guests have come to love and constantly rave about. From our home-cooked meals highlighting South Dakota’s hearty cuisine to our comfortable beds and relaxing spa offerings, our Lodge stands out as the state’s number one pheasant hunting destination.
Your hunt at Dakota Prairie Lodge & Resort will be a memorable experience that you’ll tell stories about for years to come. This schedule aims to give you an idea of what your day hunting with us might look like – but since you’re on vacation, these times are entirely flexible, and we’re happy to work with your party to create the perfect schedule for you.
6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Breakfast
In order to accommodate both early birds and those who prefer to sleep in, we serve our continental breakfast buffet-style. A robust meal with options including eggs, sausage, bacon, biscuits, fruit, and oatmeal (and don’t forget plenty of coffee) is the best way to prepare for an active day in the fields. If you have a particular request or dietary restriction, our chef will be happy to whip up something special just for you.
And if you don’t find walking the fields sufficiently challenging, we invite you to start your morning in our exercise room. Equipped with top-tier cardio equipment as well as a wide selection of weights, you can get your heart rate pumping before the day even really begins. There’s nothing like a half-hour on the elliptical machine to wake you up!
8:00 a.m. Prepare for Hunting
It’s essential to make sure your gear is ready before you embark on a full day of hunting. If you’ve left all of your belongings neatly in your cubby in the mudroom, then your morning will be quite easy. But more often than not, you might need to dig out your favorite wool socks from their hiding place under the bed, collect your orange vest from the smoking room, and grab your hat off the bar. Rounding up your equipment is the first step toward ensuring you’re prepared and ready to hunt some birds.
Next up, you’ll listen to any new safety instructions from your guide. Before you ever get out in the field, we’ll make sure that everyone in the party understands the game plan for each hunt. It’s important that you know whether you’re going to be a walker or a blocker so that you can shine in your specific role and help your group score as many birds as possible.
9:00 a.m. Sporting Clays
You know what they say: “Practice makes perfect.” For those who want a little warmup before getting out in the field, you’ll have access to unlimited clays. You’ll also get a chance to pick the brains of our expert guides about your shooting style. You might just get a great tip that leads to success later in the day!
10:00 a.m. Load Up the Bus
The pheasants are awake and ready to enjoy their day – which means we’re ready to get into the field! After your guide completes a final safety check, it’s time to go. We have tons of acreage, so depending on which sector you’re hunting and how thick the pheasants are, you might just have time to hunt two areas before lunch. On some of our longer corn strips, the going could be a little slower. If the area is heavily populated with pheasants, retrieval can take some extra time as well. But no matter what, energy will be high – you’re off on your first hunt of the day!
12:00 p.m. Lunch
After a couple of hours walking outside in the fresh South Dakota air, most of our hunters are ready for some sustenance by noon. And if you haven’t worked up a healthy appetite yet, we’re sure that seeing plates of hearty sandwiches or bowls of hot chili will help! No matter what scrumptious lunch we’re serving, we’ll make sure there are plenty of cookies to go around, too.
If you’re hunting close to the Lodge or the weather is particularly challenging, your group will most likely come back inside to eat and warm up. But on sunny days or if you’re hunting farther from the Lodge, we’ll enjoy the prairie air and have lunch in the field (or on the bus).
1:00 p.m. Continue Hunting
It’s no secret that everyone usually walks a little slower in the afternoon, but we’ll keep on moving until we find all of our birds. Depending on how wily the pheasants are, some days we will be done earlier than others – remember, each group is allowed three roosters per hunter. As you enjoy an afternoon soaking in nature and chasing down pheasants, feel free to chat with your guide. Our guides are experts in the field who are always happy to hear concerns or ideas and offer pointers.
4:00 p.m. Back to the Lodge
When you return from a full day of hunting, we’ll have refreshments waiting for you to help you settle in. Put your boots on the boot warmers in the mudroom, empty the leftover shells from your pockets, and sit down to clean your gun.
You might head over to the bird cleaning shed if you want to grab a few of the longest tail feathers as a souvenir, or you might lounge in the great room watching football or playing a few hands of poker. If you’re feeling sore after walking all day, relax your muscles with a massage in our calming spa. It’s also a great time to start reminiscing on the best shots of the day and make sure everyone remembers the gorgeous bird you hit!
6:00 p.m. Supper
While you’re winding down after your hunt, your mouth will start to water as the smells of supper start floating out of the kitchen. And after a great day in the field, you’ll have more than earned an outstanding meal featuring the best of South Dakota’s homestyle cuisine. Whether you prefer succulent prime rib or walleye caught straight from the nearby Missouri River, our cooks are sure to impress. And at the end of the meal, there’s nothing like a home-baked apple pie still hot from the oven to finish out your day. Do you want some vanilla ice cream with that?
8:00 p.m. Evening Entertainment
We will communicate with you in advance to curate evenings tailored to your group’s preferences. Whether you’re interested in local nightlife or you want to preview the newest shotguns at Cabela’s, we will happily organize an excursion for you – transportation included. If all or part of your group wants to kick back at the Lodge, that’s fine too. It’s sure to be an evening filled with loud laughs, stiff drinks, and stories to remember. We have noticed that tales about one’s hunting prowess become quite remarkable after a few hours at the bar!
Whatever you decide to do with your evening, we encourage you to get a good night’s rest in our comfortable, cozy rooms. Hunting requires your full attention, so we want you to be alert while you’re in the field the next day. As always, safety first!
$950 per person per day
As with all of our hunting and fishing packages, a 50% deposit is required to hold your dates. Your deposit is non-refundable, but it is valid for three years.