Firesteel’s Bird Work

For many of us, it’s a chore just mustering the energy to do yardwork. The mere thought of mowing the lawn, trimming the hedges or, heaven forbid, rototilling the garden sends us running for a cold drink and the La-Z-Boy.

Now imagine owning one of the largest, most-diversified farming and ranching operations in South Dakota along with one of the country’s premier wingshooting destinations. In other words, consider the plowing, planting, fertilizing and harvesting as well as the myriad tasks that go with managing not only livestock and wildlife but also a thriving hunting operation. Talk about work.

No one knows this better than the Lindskov Family, which owns Firesteel Creek Lodge, in Isabel, South Dakota, and has been caring for its land for almost nine decades. Starting with a spread of 160 acres in 1934, Bill Lindskov grew a legacy that he passed down to his son Les, who now shares the running of the ranch—comprised of more than 200,000 acres—with his wife, Marcia, and their four sons and their families.

Throughout this time, the Lindskovs have been committed to maintaining the highest standards for farmland, livestock and wildlife—the abundance of the latter convincing the family in 2000 to open Firesteel Creek Lodge, to share the wealth with others.

Patriarch Les Lindskov explained that as the ranching side of the business has grown, the family has always kept wildlife habitat in mind, planting grasses, food plots and cover such as hedgerows and windbreaks. (In the past two decades alone more than 150,000 trees have been planted.) Crops have been left standing on the edges of grainfields to benefit wildlife, and plenty of acreage has been put in CRP that could have been farmed.

Today, according to the Firesteel Creek website: “…the family farms many thousands of acres, growing alfalfa hay and small-grain crops such as millet, milo, winter and spring wheat, garbanzo beans (chick peas), sunflowers and corn. These crops, spread in boundless quantities throughout the ranch, create some of the most spectacular ringneck pheasant hunting anywhere in the world.”

In addition, food plots are established specifically to enhance the hunting. Mark Lindskov, who manages the lodge, explained that “We strategically plant food plots near shelter cover to achieve two goals: first, to attract and hold large numbers of birds, and second, to create shooting opportunities for hunters without them having to navigate difficult terrain.”

And these food plots hold more than roosters. The ranch’s surrounding grasslands, river breaks and draws are perfect habitat for sharp-tailed grouse and Hungarian partridge—which often are drawn to the plantings. Bagging at least one pheasant, sharptail and Hun in a day represents taking the “trifecta” of Firesteel’s upland birds.

Combine this great hunting for multiple species with first-rate accommodations, food and hospitality, and it’s easy to understand why hunters return again and again to enjoy the Firesteel Creek experience.

For the Lindskov Family, hard work and perseverance have shown that you truly do reap what you sow.

Firesteel Creek Lodge is a full-service, Shooting Sportsman Endorsed Lodge. To learn more or make a reservation, call 605-466-2452 or email mark@firesteelcreeklodge.com.

Join Us at Firesteel Creek

Want to enjoy the Firesteel Creek experience? You’re in luck. We still have a couple of openings for our Readers & Writers Adventure trip, taking place from October 30 to November 3. Fly into Bismarck, North Dakota, or drive directly to the lodge, in Isabel, South Dakota, for three days of high-plains hunting for pheasants, sharptails and Huns. For more information, contact Terry Bombeke at 207-594-9544, ext. 478; tbombeke@shootingsportsman.com.


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