Wild Prairie – Wild Birds Wild Places

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Wild Prairie Lodge Whitehorse, South Dakota, our prairie bird wingshooting destination.

Hunting with so many dedicated wingshooters over the years and the success of our English Setters, Double Gun Bird Hunts has added Wild Prairie Lodge for our wild prairie bird hunts. Having been associated with the lodge for the past 5 years the opportunity came for Little Moran and Double Gun LLC to bring the two together. As of April 1 2016 Double Gun became sole proprietor of the SD lodge, combining staff and the endorsement of Orvis as a Wingshooting Outfitter.

Throughout my travels with Purina and as guest of various lodges there was no question about adding Wild Prairie to Double Gun Bird Hunts. I am a wild bird, bird hunter…pure and simple, it is who I am. It is not about taking game, but how the game is taken. We are not a numbers or high volume lodge, but rather  a place for those who seek a rich tradition of bird hunting behind great dogs, shooting fine guns with a spirit rich in tradition.

We are about dogs finding birds, a reverence for the sport,  where a bird or birds beat us we will tip our hat to them wishing them well. There is no question we are here to pull the trigger, but in a way that shows respect to the game and our dogs who found them. Wild game birds test  a  dog  in the best of ways, seldom allowing a dog to crowd them. Prairie birds, sharp-tail grouse, prairie chicken and huns are some of the spookiest by taking flight as a dog or predator approaches, their uncanny ability to flush beyond the gun make them a true sporting bird, it is here where exceptional bird dogs are worth their weight in gold.                                                                                                                                                             There are many places that offer more high volume shooting and taking of game, we’re glad they exist, however we are the place for those who seek the “smoke from the alter” enjoying every aspect of the day, the land, birds, great fellowship and the dogs with the gratitude of just being here and to live experience.

We are a small lodge with 8 guest rooms where all who come here are on the same page about tradition and devotion to the sport.                                                                                              A typical day is 2 guns, dogs, a passionate guide and lots of walking…there is an old bird hunters saying that is…”It’s legs that shoot birds”, totally true, however  the  days you hunt with us are your days and we hunt according your desires, as long or as hard as you want to hunt. It’s not all about killing.

It is our great fortune to have Wild Prairie as our South Dakota destination, if it were not for the great opportunity of prairie birds Double Gun Bird Hunts would not be here.dancing sharps 4

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The Early Days…and Wild Prairie

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The Early Days…….

Wild Prairie Lodge, our South Dakota Lodge of Distinction…. enhancing                                      “Little Moran/Double Gun Bird Hunts LLC.” This photo is a view from high above the river breaks along the Moreau River, just west of the Missouri River, it’s our South Dakota home!                                                                                                                                                               The lodge is on the eastern edge of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Reservation ( CRST ) near the village of Whitehorse, SD. This link gives wonderful insight to the area we call home: http://www.mprnews.org/story/2009/02/02/whitehorse  it describes the significance of Chief Whitehorse and how the village was named.

I first came to Whitehorse  in 2011 working with prairie dog hunters where prairie dog towns dotted the landscape. Wild Prairie Lodge sits in the middle of a sea of endless prairie, from here we hunt in every direction with June being or prime prairie dog season with a brief hiatus before our bird hunting begins in mid-September, the mainstay of us being here.

I began my career in 1979 as manager of Dakota Hunt Club in Grand Forks, ND where I realized my lifelong dream of becoming a hunting guide.  Setting a goal of 5 years in 1984 we, my wife Gayle and son Josh, not yet a year old moved back to the family farm in Minnesota creating Little Moran Hunt Club, named after a small stream that ran through the farm. At the time we barely had 2 nickles to rub together, however through hard work and determination it all came together. We turned an old farm into a small but respected hunt club and shooting preserve starting out with a string of 6 German Shorthairs, Little Moran was born.

A huge turning point was when I started training for Burnt Creek Setters in 1985, training started and finished dogs for clients. Jim Marti had given us a small white English Setter female “Shiner” who developed into a wonderful dog for our sons Josh and Travis as well as a very good grouse dog. While my shorthairs did great on the preserve, Shiner blew them away on grouse and woodcock, so with her help I began guiding club members on the farm, the grouse camp grew from there.

I had done some training for avid grouse hunters who had hunted at the Grand National Ruffed Grouse and Woodcock Hunt in Grand Rapids, MN back in 1986. They convinced me to contact directors of the hunt to become a huntsman, I did, with great success. I guided for the hunt close to 12 years, while doing seminars and demonstrations at the hunt it led me to becoming a consultant for Purina and to work alongside Bob West, a man I had admired when I first met him briefly at a field trial and watched him handle dogs back in 1980 at Arrowhead Hunt Club. It was an incredible privilege to work with Bob and Jim Marti, both wonderful mentors.

In 1987 Double Gun Bird Hunts was created to exemplify the wild bird hunting at Little Moran. The pheasant preserve was in it’s hay day giving us a 8-10 month season and releasing 5,000 birds a year, big for a small family run business. The grouse hunting prime time was very short, hunting from late September through early November, hardly enough to sustain a family, so the 2 businesses worked out great complimenting each other. Over the years many of our grouse hunters sent dogs to us for training as well as buying dogs that fit their hunting style, a win-win for everyone.  Hunters would send their dogs in late August/early September for tuning up and to hunt with us in October, then return home to hunt the remaining for the year, offering us a very diverse business.                                              During the same time period I was doing lots of dog training seminars for Purina all across the US from Alaska to Texas, with highlights being the Grand National Grouse/Woodcock Hunt and the Grand National Quail Hunt in Enid OK. What an incredible Journey.

During my tenure with Purina I was privileged to see many beautiful plantations, time honored field trial grounds, lodges and to work with some of the nations foremost trainers and handlers (history makers ) of this wonderful sport. All of it grateful and humbling. Perhaps my fondest memory was at the Pelican Open Championship  in Broomhill Manitoba at Colvin and Mazie Davis’s training camp, incredibly rich with tradition and respect all due to the great dogs of the past and sincere warmth of Colvin and Mazie.

A cowboy I’m not, but did ride many trials. My most memorable was riding into camp one night with Rick Furney, Robin Gates, Colvin and Mazie Davis along with a handful of other handlers and riders along the “old grade” back to camp. Their stories of great dogs, their runs and handlers had me on the edge of my saddle all the way back to camp. I envisioned the runs of so many great Champions who ran these grounds, the birds and history made here….I liken it to a young ball player spending time with some of the all time great ball players and to hear it first hand…for me this was that moment, a moment I’ll never forget. What a great ride!

I have been blessed with a great family, incredible dogs, true friends and guests who have become family since we began in 1984. The stories are non ending, with many years of stories, great dogs and experiences to come, especially with Wild Prairie becoming home of Double Gun and Little Moran.

 

 

 

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Double Gun Bird Hunts – Upland Bird Hunting

Double Gun Bird Hunts - Upland Bird Hunting

Steve “Grouseman” Grossman Owner DGBH, an Orvis Endorsed Wingshooting Guide with hunts in MN and SD. Professional pointing dog trainer, Field Consultant Nestle’ Purina Pet Foods.
Owner Little Moran Hunt Club est; 1984, Staples, MN. Ruffed Grouse and Woodcock hunts on 100,000 acres, all inclusive lodge, a true bird hunters destination, our 25th anniversary guiding grouse and woodcock hunts. Bobwhite Quail in KS and OK. SD Prairie birds and pheasant.
All bird hunts are on 100% wild birds, 2 hunters per guide, and use of double guns only.
Featured on Benelli’s American Bird Hunter, Focus Outdoors, Shooting Sportsman and Sporting Classics magazines, “Steve is the real deal, true smoke from the alter”.
http://www.doublegunbirdhunts.com
Breeder of English Setters, pointing dog specialist with focus on grouse dogs. Sharptail and prairie chicken hunts in SD mid-late September then the entire months of November and December. MN ruffed grouse and woodcock hunts October 1st through November 1st. South Dakota pheasant and prairie birds November 1st-January 1st.
Winter dog training grounds on wild birds January-March, MN training April-September.

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