Rooster Road Trip Episode 4:
Glacial Lakes and Longtails
The final day of the Rooster Road Trip found us taking a slight detour to see the new Kessler Game Production Area located in the Glacial Lakes Region of northeast South Dakota. This property was recently acquired and made public through Pheasants Forever’s Build a Wildlife Area Program in honor of lifetime conservationist, and former Pheasants Forever Board Member, Tim Kessler.
Now managed by the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks, these permanently protected 440 acres contain native prairie, wetlands, and marginal cropland that will be restored and managed for the benefit of upland wildlife and public access. And although the habitat was not quite ready to hunt, it was inspiring to see what the support of members, donors, corporate partners, and agency partners can accomplish in the name of upland wildlife habitat conservation.
After taking in that sprawling landscape, it was time to find some birds. Joining us today was Soil Health and Habitat Specialist, Ben Lardy, and we quickly found ourselves walking a South Dakota CREP property that was enrolled as a perpetual easement and within the Wetland Reserve Program. This property eventually produced a large flush of pheasants, and we were able to connect on one beautiful rooster that held tight on the edge of a cattail slough.
From here we tried our hand at a local Game Production Area (GPA) and a second GPA bordered by CREP. Although we saw birds on both tracts of land, no more shots rang out and with that another Rooster Road Trip came to a close.
Fittingly, the last day didn’t produce heavy gamebags, as that was never the point of this road trip. We travelled through The Dakotas meeting new friends and old acquaintances while exploring public land that’s available to all of us. The call of the uplands isn’t a Siren Song, it’s a feeling of wanderlust that compels us to spend time with good friends and better dogs in landscapes that should never be taken for granted. So get out there, it’s time to take your own Rooster Road Trip – it’s time to answer the call.
The Rooster Road Trip is made possible by: Ruff Land Kennels, Browning firearms and apparel, Garmin training collars and tech, Thorogood boots, SoundGear hearing protection and enhancement, Federal Ammunition, Apple Autos, and South Dakota Tourism.