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Pheasant Hunting - More Food than Pheasants


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2020 marks my 26th year of Pheasant Hunting in South Dakota.  The first 16 years were pretty darn good, then came the drastic conversion of marginal lands into ethanol-driven corn production, loss of habitat, and a crash in the Pheasant population.

I still go "Hunting" but it is more for the camaraderie with old friends than it is about killing Pheasants. Truthfully, if I didn't still have a dog I'd likely not go for more than a brief visit to see "the boys".  

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I've been watching this old Country School deteriorate for 25 years.  The old boy that owned it died and his family doesn't have the attachment to it that he did - this picture seemed quiet and fitting for 2020.

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I really enjoy the vastness of the prairie.

This year it was quite cold and we had a foot of snow, neither of these things encouraged me to get out and hunt as I would have 20 years ago. I did hunt for 10 of the 14 days and didn't average a bird per day, back in the heydays it was three birds (a limit) every day and usually in less than three hours.  One buddy and I did get manage to each shoot our limits one day. 
 
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Another day two friends scored well - two Pheasants each and a Sandhill Crane "Prime Rib of the Sky".

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What I really go for is the food and the drink - all the guys can cook and here are just a few examples of their culinary skills.

Steak Night #1 - Hand Cut - Dry Aged - Prime Tenderloin Steaks (we bought the whole tenderloin for $116)
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my apologies for the shitty picture


A fabulous Paella
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Chorizo, Pheasant, Ham and Rice topped with Shrimp and Asparagus

Steak Night #2
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The last of the Tenderloin Steak, Grilled Romaine ala Lenny, Roasted Potatoes ala BigJohn

Seafood Night

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Fresh Blue Point Oysters on the 1/2 shell from Massachusets

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Steamed Clams still alive - fresh from Massachusets

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Seared Scallops with a caper, onion, and olive tapenade, and Fresh Green Beans


Porchetta - A Rolled Pork Shoulder Roast -
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 it was so damn good I forgot to take pictures of the finished product - Trust me on this!

Swedish Pancakes 
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the morning I left

The drink wasn't too bad either

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2020 marks my 26th year of Pheasant Hunting in South Dakota.  The first 16 years were pretty darn good, then came the drastic conversion of marginal lands into ethanol-driven corn production, loss of

I gained three pounds just looking at the photos!! I'd kill to keep others away from that paella!!

First everyone's gotta understand this is US National politics at play here. You have to get a bill originated in the House, passed in the Senate, and signed by the President. As we all know the US Ho

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Looks great John . You got the only thing worth taking from Massachusetts , our seafood . 

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31 minutes ago, grouse28 said:

Wow, I’d drive there just for the food.

 

Man, no kidding. What a wonderful experience at your table.

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I gained three pounds just looking at the photos!! I'd kill to keep others away from that paella!!

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I do agree about the food, looks really fabulous.

 

And I do love the prairies, except in winter. It all looks like a white blasted wasteland and its cold as hell. 

 

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mister grouse

You probably needed all that food to be  able to sustain a hunt of any duration  in those subfreezing temps and that wind chill for the last period since opening few days.Looks like serious eats.

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John, it looks like you are living a good life!!  Hooray for you!  We only get to

ride this merrygoround once.

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Cripes, this makes our camp meals look like low grade dog food (to quote Al Czervik). Chicken wings and red beer at Lagers in Aberdeen are also a bad comparison!

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Looks great.  As you get older its not all about the taking of birds, just to be there and enjoy the time with good friends, the food, stories and a few drinks is what its all about.  

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WOW! You're really living the good life. I'd like to know your thoughts on pheasants making a comeback. SD can't all be plowed under. Nice lookiing Lab in the photo with roast. 

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