Hunting Lodges, Guides and Gear
A successful hunting trip begins with the basics–a place to stay, gear and equipment, and if you’re lucky, expert guidance on the hunting hotspots in the state.
For a hunting trip where you don’t worry about the details, but just enjoy the fun, check out a hunting lodge. Hunting lodges provide first-class accommodations you would find at any upscale hotel, but often with additional services not offered at hotels. Accomodations usually include private rooms and baths, cable or satellite TV and often a fully stocked bar and humidor. Home-cooked meals are also usually provided, to help you fuel up before heading out for the hunt.
Also common at hunting lodges are additional hunting-related services not offered at hotels. Many hunting lodges will board your dogs, or let you use their hunting dogs during your trip. You may also be able to rent equipment and gear at the lodge, saving you on the time, money and hassle of transporting yours to the hunting site. After the hunt, many lodges have staff or nearby professionals who will clean and pack your deer, pheasant, or other game for transportation back to your home. If you’d like to preserve your game, hunting lodges can also point you to excellent taxidermists.
One of the biggest advantages of staying at a hunting lodge is that it often comes with the expertise and local knowledge of an experieced hunting guide, an invaluable addition to your trip. Guides can show novice hunters the ropes and safety precautions, as well as leading experienced hunters to the best spots for specific types of hunting.
If you are from out of state obtaining a hunting guide for your hunt is a great advantage because he can take you right to where you need to be for hunting and esentially takes the “guesswork” out of the hunt. This ensures you are going to get a better-than-expected hunting experience.
One thing you don’t want to be caught without is the right hunting gear, and as South Dakotans say, if you don’t like the weather, wait a minute and it will change. For that reason, it’s important to dress appropriately for the weather. Layers are recommended, and to be prepared, hunters should bring everything from light to heavier layers. Waterproof clothing will also help protect you, especially from the water-retaining grasses where pheasants live. Another essential item is brush pants, which protect the thighs in thick brush and cover, and also shed water.
If you are staying at a full-service hunting lodge, some gear may be included with your package, or may be available for rent. You can rent things such as guns and clothing for your hunt. Not every lodge offers this so please check with your lodge prior to your trip.
Other options for hunting gear is to shop at one of the many hunting outfitter locations littered throughout the state. There is a Cabellas in both Rapid City and Mitchell – and they provide some of the best hunting gear you can find. Scheels in Sioux Falls is another option. There are also many smaller hunting outfitters located throughout the state near major hunting areas.