I remember my first hunting trip to the Dakota territory well. It was mixed with humor, cold weather, and most memorably........Birds, and lots of them.
Actually pheasant hunting in South Dakota was reminiscent of the locust plagues I had read about in the Bible. You could literally have hundreds, even thousands of birds fly up at once. They were everywhere! You would simply drive down the road and see them flying from field to field en masse.
This year I went to North Dakota with my two boys, Isaiah and Nathan, along with Northview’s CEO, Bruce, and his boy, Ethan. Bruce, along with some family members and friends have a cabin on a section of land that they have in a conservation easement. There is plenty of cover for birds and many neighboring farm fields provide the forage. We went during the youth hunt so I was unable to shoot with anything other than my camera, which was fine. Bruce and I were to walk the thick stuff with the boys and act like bird dogs instead. Fortunately we were not alone as I was able to bring my Springer Spaniel, Lucy, with for her inaugural pheasant hunting trip.
As we made the long drive we witnessed harvest time as the beet trucks rolled out of the fields, many duck boats and camo headed west for North Dakota’s duck opener, and plenty of pheasants. We were not headed to North Dakota’s famous Southwestern region, which boasts some of the best hunting to be found and has, at times, rivaled South Dakota. We ended our trip closer to the middle of the state around the town of Lehr.
We got up early the first morning, ate a hearty breakfast and started walking. We quickly had action and the second bird within range wobbled after Nathan shot, set down after Ethan shot, and was recovered by one fired-up Springer. As the day went on we continued to flush birds. Nathan connected again along with Ethan and we had three birds and a lot of spent cartridges. Isaiah was frustrated that he was missing and as a result was a little down. I did point out that he had not spent nearly as many shells as his brother who was all smiles though. As we neared the end of the day, we spotted a pheasant while driving in the truck to another spot. Isaiah jumped out, loaded his gun, and went charging in to the grass. It was the funniest scene, as the bird didn’t want to fly, and instead hopped along like a kangaroo in front of Isaiah. Wanting it to fly Isaiah kept walking after the pheasant and when the bird got up he put it down and then there were smiles all around (I’ve always found it to be amazing what a little success can do to the attitude).
After that we quickly made it back to the cabin so Bruce could change his wardrobe for the next installment in our hilarious “Let Us Be Your Guide” campaign (see accompanying photo). Then it was time for steaks, some games, and watching “Searching for Bobby Fisher.”
On Sunday we put up more birds before we packed up and said goodbye to North Dakota carrying home memories of a grand hunt for the beautiful Ring-necked Pheasant.
Maybe you’ve thought of buying some land in the Dakotas. If you have and you are looking for financing remember that whether your looking to flush grouse in Minnesota, head out with your bow after Whitetails in Wisconsin, or experience pheasant hunting in the Dakotas Northview Bank would be happy to serve your lending needs. We have experience and are happy to lend in all four states.