Kimball, South Dakota, where our Lodge is located, is right smack in the middle of the prairie pothole region. “What’s a prairie pothole?” you might be thinking – don’t worry, we’ll explain.
Prairie potholes are depressional wetlands that are primarily freshwater marshlands – and they’re hotbeds for ducks. They’re found most often in the Upper Midwest part of North America’s Great Plains region. The Great Plains were once the largest expanse of grassland in the world.
The name “prairie potholes” comes from a geological phenomenon that began over 10,000 years ago. When the glaciers from the most recent ice age receded, they left behind the millions of shallow depressions that are now known as prairie potholes.
Most prairie potholes are less than an acre in size, but they fill up with melted snow and rainfall, becoming wetlands that are rich in plant life and aquatic animal life. These depressional wetlands support significant populations of breeding waterfowl.
When we say “significant populations,” we’re not kidding. The prairie pothole region is often called the “duck factory” of the Midwest because it supports over 50% of America’s migratory waterfowl.
South Dakota is one of the continent’s most important duck production areas. While it’s considered a Central Flyway state, South Dakota produces ducks that migrate across the continent. Depending on where you are within the state, however, habitats can differ significantly.
The portion of South Dakota that lies west of the Missouri River is considered “unglaciated” – in other words, it doesn’t have those prairie potholes we’ve been talking about. The relatively few wetlands in western South Dakota consist primarily of impoundments used for watering livestock. The glaciated, eastern part of the state, on the other hand, is full of prairie potholes.
In fact, it contains some of the highest wetland densities and breeding duck populations in North America. Kimball, where the Lodge is located, is situated in the Low Plains Middle Region and the 00Z Waterfowl Unit. When you hunt with us, you’ll experience some of the best waterfowl hunting South Dakota has to offer!
When you stay with us at Dakota Prairie Lodge & Resort, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience that you’ll be looking forward to repeating from the moment you depart the lodge until the moment you pull up again the next year. Our Lodge is styled in a traditional, rustic fashion sure to make all of our hunters feel right at home. In addition to the rural atmosphere and expansive prairie, the Lodge offers best-in-class modern amenities and comforts that our guests love and are constantly raving about.
You’ll start your day bright and early with a delicious, fulfilling breakfast before you head out for the day. Enjoy a hearty meal with options like bacon, eggs, sausages, oatmeal, biscuits, and fruit to prepare you for an exciting day of hunting. Have something special in mind or need to meet dietary restrictions? Our cooks are happy to whip you up something special.
Once you’ve eaten, it’s time to get dressed and ready in your camo. But one thing you won’t need at our Lodge is waders. You’ll never be in the water – just on the edge of it. Our expert guides will set up our comfortable, A-frame blinds the night before so that everything is ready for your hunt come the morning.
As every duck hunter knows, stealthiness is everything. When your group is dressed and ready, we’ll quietly head down to the water. You’ll get situated in the blinds, and then we wait. When the ducks wake up in the morning, they’ll fly to go get food, and we’ll be ready to ambush them.
The shots will ring out through the crisp morning air on the prairie, and the dogs will bound away to retrieve the birds. Cries of enthusiasm will ring out as hunters exchange congratulatory pats on the back. You’ll be thrilled with the range of ducks you’re able to shoot as the flock takes off on their daily journey.
Didn’t get quite enough in the morning? Don’t worry, we’re prepared. That’s when we’ll set up our decoys and get our calls ready to go. By the time the ducks return from their morning feed, you’ll be safely enclosed in the blinds once again. Luckily for us, the ducks aren’t smart enough to remember that they were shot at just a few hours ago.
With the decoys in place, they’ll feel safe returning to the water, and we’ll call them in to encourage them to fly on over. When the flock is approaching, that’s when we shoot! You’ll normally return to the lodge by noon, satisfied, weary, and ready for a delicious lunch followed by the best nap of your life.
If your group still has birds to shoot, we may go out again for an afternoon hunt. In that case, we’ll use coffin blinds to lay undetected in the fields where the ducks go for their midday feeding. Once the birds come in to munch on some seeds – bang! We’ll be poised and ready to take them out.
Most of our groups are successful during their morning hunts, however, and meet their daily bird limits earlier in the day. That’s why hunters often combine duck hunting and pheasant hunting packages in order to maximize the time they get to spend in the field. Hunting is an exhilarating sport, and it’s worth every minute to enjoy it to the fullest extent.
By the time you’ve finished a full day of hunting, you’ll be ready to head back to the Lodge for some rest and relaxation. You might play a few hands of poker, watch some football, or enjoy a massage in our calming spa to rejuvenate your worn-out muscles.
We’ll share a sumptuous supper highlighting South Dakota’s finest in our gorgeous dining room overlooking the grassy prairie. Whether you prefer a succulent prime rib or walleye fished right out of the nearby Missouri River, our cooks are sure to deliver. And don’t forget a homemade slice of hot apple pie to finish the meal!
After dinner, you’re free to enjoy the evening entertainment of your choice. We’re happy to work with your group to set up an excursion – whether that’s to peruse local nightlife or check out new shotguns at Cabela’s. If you’d rather kick back at the lodge, we have plenty of activities and offerings that are sure to fill the great room with loud laughs, stiff drinks, and stories to remember. We have noticed that tales about one’s duck-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!
Per the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks regulations, the daily limit for each group is 6 ducks per hunter. Those ducks must be compromised of no more than:
In addition, hunters may shoot two bonus blue-winged teal (during the first 16 days of the season only) and 15 coots. The possession limit is three times the daily limit for each species.
Please note that waterfowl licenses are drawn at random by Game, Fish & Parks. We handle all the licensing applications and paperwork for you.
$850 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.