There’s nothing more perfect then a bluebird South Dakota day, cloudless sky, unlimited sunshine and a gentle breeze. The only thing that would have made it more perfect for pheasant hunting would have been a skiff of snow. But with views like this, there were no complaints to be heard.
Located just north of the Black Hills, the idyllic setting of 4th generation family ranching operation, makes you feel like you are a few hundreds of miles east in the heart of the prairie.
As soon as we rolled into ranch headquarters we were greeted by owner Randy Vallery and one of his guides. They immediately made us feel like one of the family. As we stepped into the lodge, we were greeted by dozens of South Dakota’s finest creatures, including a mount of the great American Bison. After a few introductions, a quick cup of coffee and an overview of the day we were off to have a little fun.
There’s nothing like starting your hunting adventure with a quick jaunt across the fields in…a little yellow school bus! With plenty of leg room and lots of dog kennels it made for a fun ride out to the fields.
With five dogs abreast and roosters flying over head, it was pretty difficult to get any kind of shot off other then with a Remington 870. I did managed to snap off a few quick shots.We cruised our way through fields of tall-grass prairie, sorghum, and corn. In the near by fields, hundreds of geese taunted us, as goose season had closed just a few days before.
With great guides and excellent habitat it doesn’t take the dogs long to flush out the birds and for us to fill our limit of pheasants. Although the High Plains Game Ranch is one of the few locations in South Dakota that is home to Hungarian partridge, they remained illusive this particular day. Before we knew it, it was time to head back to the lodge for a late lunch and more delightful conversation.
All too it was time to say our goodbyes to Randy and his staff and hit the road. It had been an amazing hunt with the down home hospitality you come to expect from South Dakota. With a great day of pheasant hunting in the bag, it was a perfect start to the Christmas holiday!
If you’re ever in the area, I’d highly recommend you stop by and enjoy a day with Randy and the crew at Vallery’s High Plains Game Ranch!