Home on the Prairie: First Pheasant Hunt
Extremely-Sharp.com reached out to Richard Cockrell of Rock Ridge Outfitters to write about his first Pheasant Hunting trip. He graciously agreed to tell us all about it. Read his story below about this great trip to South Dakota.
Home on the Prairie
My first and most recent hunting trip took me from my home in Youngstown, Florida to Geddes, South Dakota. There I met Joel Vasek owner and guide of Missouri Valley Guide Service. I was joined by my stepson Jeremy and my fellow working companions: Dan, Mickey and Steve. Steve is a long time friend of Joel and together they planned a top notch hunting trip for the next three days. Let me say that the MVGS lodge is a first class operation with all the amenities anyone could ever ask for, and we did not have to want for anything. The meals were all included in our stay, and you could not ask for better service than what we received.
The first morning out the weather was dreary with light snow flurries that turned into a misting rain. Despite the weather the hunt was on! For my stepson and me the weather was a big change. When we left Florida it was 85 degrees. Now we were in South Dakota in weather that was topping out at a mere 27 degrees. After a tasty breakfast we all got our hunting gear together and prepared to load up on a converted (short) school bus for our ride to the hunting fields. The hunts took place in cut corn fields, milo fields, and some natural cover. This year the pheasant population was supposed to be 60% less than last year but this was not to be the case for us. Joel was able to put us on and abundance of pheasants both hens and roosters. However, you can only harvest the roosters.
We tackled each field in the grand tradition of pheasant hunting. A few hunters (generally the bravest) stand at the end of the fields they are known as the blockers. The other hunters will drive through the fields to the opposite end they are known as the walkers. The walkers along with the dogs flush up the pheasants and with any luck the pheasants will flush up between the walkers and blockers. Hunters shout out “Roosters!” or “Hens!” and the shooting begins. With some luck a pheasant will plummet to the ground and the dogs are sent to retrieve them.
All three days were filled with plenty of hunting action. The second and third day the weather cleared and the hunting was spectacular. You could have not asked for anymore hunting action than we were able to experience. If the percentage of pheasants were down it must have been elsewhere. In our case we all got our pheasant limits all three days.
I have to say that pheasant hunting has become my favorite type of hunting now. I have hunted for deer, quail, turkeys, ducks and now pheasants. The hunting action, the dogs working and the fellowship of my stepson and co-workers was the make of a exciting hunting trip. I’m hooked!
Let me say that Missouri Valley Guide Service has a great reputation, impeccable service and outstanding pheasant hunting. I highly recommend them and I commend Joel for having a first class operation. We are already booked for this time next year, and I can not wait to be back there.