The classic South Dakota pheasant hunt involves a crowd. Hopefully, safe and amiable folk who share their shots and become friends by the end of the hunt if they weren’t when everyone climbed into the truck that morning.
But this wasn’t one of those groups. Sure, it was all of the above, but times two. Or ten. Movers, shakers, and the rest of us, from the four corners of the world and every discipline from diplomats to media moguls. All drawn together by a love of pheasant hunting and South Dakota’s hospitality.
Big Labrador retrievers rumbled through grass, battered their way into cattails and slobbered their way into our hearts. Our first drive, it was clear the easy birds were on vacation. We earned every flush, every feather puff and retrieve by human and canine. With most of the crops still in the fields, most pheasants were hunkered down there, not in the low spots and CRP.
Our hunt party of big shots and small, regular guys and headline makers, began the day with a head start in the friendship department: dinners and talk lubricated the camaraderie prior to our donning blaze orange Saturday. We shared some values, learned to say “thank you” in Arabic, and made plans for future visits to the United Nations and once more to South Dakota … the single commonality among us.
Where would you spend a day afield in Irish Setter boots? Put your answer in the comments section below, and you might take home a pair along with a jacket. Be as literary as you like, or not. But enter now!