Frequently Asked Questions About Sweetgrass at Thunderbasin

Sweetgrass at Thunderbasin Bird Hunting

With its fabulous facilities, exquisite gastronomic program and super-secluded Wyoming location, Sweetgrass at Thunderbasin is taking the luxury bird hunting world by storm. A million questions are popping up about this freshly minted wingshooting gem, and owners Deirdre Wildman and Rick Steiner were happy to answer some of them.

Where is your lodge located? 

Sweetgrass is located 45 minutes northeast of Gillette, Wyoming, and GCC Campbell County Airport. For those driving in the area, we are near Devil’s Tower, and just across the state border is Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills of South Dakota.

What bird species do you offer, and what is the limit?

We offer pheasants, chukar and Hungarian partridge—all unlimited during your hunt. A common question is, “How many birds will I get?” and our response is always, “How well do you shoot?” We’ve had experienced hunt groups take more than 1,000 birds in a three-day hunt. We have a strong native population and contribute to it in the tens of thousands of birds annually.

Wild sharp-tailed grouse are also available, with a Wyoming state limit of three per day and a bag limit of nine. They are most commonly seen in our Thunderbasin Grasslands hunt.

What is your hunter-to-guide ratio?

Two-to-one, and our hunt groups are comprised of approximately six to eight hunters. Each hunt group is accompanied by a hunt master, a hunt assistant and one or two dog handlers.

What are the terrain and cover like?

Sweetgrass is located in the farthest western portion of the Black Hills. Our 6,000 acres are comprised of a ponderosa-treed forest, a cottonwood-lined creek basin and a grassland. On a three-day hunt, hunters can expect to be in completely different topography every day. We joke that it’s like hunting a different state every day but never leaving the ranch.

In The Forest, cover is knee-high native grasses, sagebrush and trees. Comparable to a Southeastern quail hunt, we typically hunt chukar among the trees.

In the Duck Creek Breaks, you can expect waist-to-shoulder-high grasses and thick pockets for pheasants. We mow strips in this area, to allow for ease of walking if needed.

In the Thunderbasin Grasslands hunt, it’s a mix of creek bottom and prairie with native grass, sagebrush and rocky cliffs. Shooters can choose their degree of difficulty in walking paths from fairly flat to more challenging steep terrain.

Do you hunt with pointing or flushing dogs? Can a hunter bring and hunt with his or her own dog?

We hunt with pointers, flushers and retrievers. Some of our dogs are dual purpose: pointing retrievers or flushing retrievers. We do not typically allow guests to bring their own dogs, to guarantee the quality of the hunt for all guests. However, if a guest is contracting a full hunting party (six to eight Guns), we are open to discussing it.

Do you welcome non-hunting spouses—and if so, what is there for them to do?

Yes! Non-hunting spouses are most welcome. They can enjoy the very nice lodging, five-star food and beverage, as well as all of the amenities on the property, including our Sweetgrass Sanctuary and Spa. From equestrian trail rides, ATV tours and guided hikes to homesteading tours and culinary and gardening classes, we can customize an experience that suits their interests. Spouses are welcome to join the hunters for all meals, including field lunches, and will enjoy the curated evening events alongside the rest of the guests.

How is your lodging managed?

We typically book hunting groups in quantities of three or four Guns or multiples of such. Our lodge and cabins each have three or four bedrooms with king or queen beds. We book 100-percent private accommodations up to 21 rooms. Couples groups with double occupancy are guaranteed private baths as well. Our King-bed Lodge suites can be reserved for an upcharge.

Sweetgrass at Thunderbasin is a full-service Shooting Sportsman Endorsed Lodge. To learn more or make a reservation, call 307-363-3665, email sales@sweetgrassthunderbasin.com or visit sweetgrassthunderbasin.com.

“Sweetgrass has become one of the best locations in the West for hunting and outdoor excursions. The ranch is beautiful. The accommodations are outstanding, the staff superb and the food exceptional. The hunting is excellent, with good birds and excellent guides. We plan to return.”

—Gen. Walt Boomer, USMC (ret.)

Photographs courtesy of Sweetgrass at Thunderbasin.


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