Tuesday, October 23, 2007
The third weekend of October brings in the opening weekend of pheasant hunting in SD. One of SD's few claims to fame (besides dead white guys on a mountain) is fantastic pheasant hunting. Pheasant hunting is a lot of fun. You can't start hunting until noon, you get to walk a lot, you are actually supposed to be noisy, and pheasants are darn good eatin.' Plus, you get to hang out on a ranch for three days. To make it even better, the owner of the ranch is nicknamed "Tex" for good reason. This is seriously rural, I even slept in the bunkhouse. The hunting wasn't that great this year, but still a lot of fun. One highlight of the weekend is the soup feed put on by the Hamil riding club. The feed takes place in the community center which was made of what looks like a giant stainless steel culvert cut in half lengthwise and placed on the ground. The whole thing is big enough to accommodate a basketball court and kitchen. Everyone from miles around shows up to support the riding club. There were more cowboys and cowgirls than you could shake a stick at. In the central part of the state, where Hamil is located, the family farm/ranch still abounds. The soup feed made this readily apparent. It was a good feeling to see this part of America alive and well. Of course, most of the people there are highly subsidized by the feds, but on the flip side it's easy to see that they still have an uphill battle to scrape together a living off the land. If I had a hat on, I would tip it to them.