Family Pheasant Hunt
South Dakota is well known for three things, being boring and flat, having Mt. Rushmore, and Pheasant Hunting. Hunters from all over the U.S. converge on the South Dakota plains every October for the pleasure of knocking these elusive birds out of the sky. These people pay thousands of dollars to kill 3 birds a day for maybe a week at most. Me? I get to do it for $20 a year whenever I want with access to some of the best land in South Dakota.
My great grandparents owned a farm about 12 miles North of St. Lawerence, SD. After they passed away my grandparents inherited the farm property but lived in town. The farm began to wither and go un-used and was leased to other farmers in the area; all except 7 acres. My grandpa thought that his kids would get better use out of the farm so he split it into 7 shares, one for each child and one which was my dad.
Time passed and the farm stayed 7 acres, so long that my family came to call it 7 Shot Acres. At one point it was decided that it would be more beneficial if all of the income from the seven shares was pooled into one share. Consequently, my dad now owns all of the shares to the farm. It’s still the family farm, except my dad has to manage all of the financial and business aspects because he owns all of the shares. Four years ago my dad started to reclaim our land back from the farmers who were leasing it, now our family has the entire half section back to ourselves. We even have 600 yards of brand new trees planted, half the farm is in CRP and the other half is a waterfowl easement program.
This past weekend my grandmother turned 80 so the entire family came from all across the U.S. for a family reunion and some pheasant hunting. We had 12 hunters and many more people just following and watching. We put a lot of birds on the ground and had a great time seeing each other. Also, I arrowed a doe on the farm and donated the meat to my older brother who somehow always ends up with my wild game. The farm was rather provisional this past weekend, especially after its long history of no use. If only grandpa could see how prosperous it has become.