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I and four close friends had an interest in going to South Dakota to hunt wild pheasants this year. In February of 2011, we went to the Eastern Sport and Outdoor Show in Harrisburg, PA where we talked to several outfitters.  We ended up booking a two day hunt with Mr. James Werdel of  J.P. Denmark in Vyborg, SD  because he was willing to work with our group of five people. He did not want to combine us with other groups so that he had a large group of twenty people to work with.  We also liked Mr. Werdel’s attitude and felt that he was comfortable to be with.

Our pheasant hunting adventure is now complete and it ended up being everything we had hoped for and more.  The five of us got our limit of fifteen roosters in four hours on the first day and in two hours on the second day.  The guide was a little apologetic that we got our limit in such a short time on the second day but that was fine with us.

Here is our experience with three important facets of any hunt:

  • The guide – Our guide, Jeremy, was super and really knew the fields we were hunting.  His knowledge of the pheasant hunting territory was complete. Also, he had a team of three dogs, a pointer and two labs, to locate and retrieve the birds.  Jeremy really worked for us .  He was actively involved with our hunting and dressed the birds that we shot each day. Some of our group was new to hunting pheasants.  They thought that it would be helpful if Jeremy shouted “rooster” or “hen” as the birds flushed so they would not shoot at a hen by mistake. Jeremy did that and his identification turned out to useful.
  • The lodge – J.P. Denmark has a lodge that will accommodate twenty people.  The lodge is only four years old and we found it to be neat, clean and very comfortable.  The beds have comfortable mattresses. Also, the lodge has five restrooms so there is not a “line in the morning”.
  • The cook – J.P. Denmark supplied a fantastic cook. She offered a complete breakfast menu with pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage and home fries. We ended up eating “too much” for all meals.  She packed a sandwich lunch for us to enjoy in the field while hunting.  Dinners included pheasant one evening and “beer can” chicken another.  All of her meals were delicious and she enjoyed cooking..  A couple of people in our group were overheard saying  “I hope my cardiologist does not find out how I am eating here”.

J.P. Denmark indicates “memories to last a lifetime”.  We found that to be the case and are talking about going again next year. I recommend that you consider J.P. Denmark if you are planning a wild pheasant hunt.  Their address is J.P. Denmark Hunts, Hurley, SD 57036.  Their telephone number is (605) 327-0005. You can find them on the web at

Claude Cooper-

“a Greentop customer for forty years”

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