Anyone who knows South Dakota pheasant hunting knows that The Signature Lodge by Cheyenne Ridge Outfitters has a reputation second to none. From off-the-charts hunting to first-class food and accommodations, the lodge is a coveted destination by hunters who appreciate things done right. What sportsmen may not realize is that the Weinreis Family, which owns The Signature Lodge, operates its waterfowling equivalent just across the border in Nebraska. The North Platte Outpost is managed by The High Adventure Company (as is The Signature Lodge), and it is a duck and goose hunter’s dream come true.
Located in the Nebraska Panhandle near the town of Minatare, The North Platte Outpost sits beside its namesake North Platte River—smack dab in the middle of the Central Flyway. In late fall legions of mallards and Canada geese descend from Canada and the northern Great Plains and stage along the river through the January hunting season
The Weinreises own a three-mile stretch of the North Platte and 1,500 acres adjacent to it. This gives them control of a large section of river bottom and allows them to manage both the habitat and hunting pressure. Practices like setting aside a refuge area and shooting only decoyed ducks (read: not educating birds) have resulted in mallards holding on the property and consistent gunning. Spring-fed creeks, sloughs and flooded fields ensure open water and additional food sources the entire season.
Imagine sitting in a heated blind, being treated to a hot breakfast and enjoying the spectacle of a sky full of mallards trading up and down the river. Experienced guides skillfully work birds into well-placed decoys for in-your-face gunning, and well-trained retrievers pick up ducks and deliver them to hand. The goose hunting from pits in nearby cropfields is world-class, as well, with big Canada honkers being enticed into decoy spreads by expert callers.
Afternoons are spent waterfowling or enjoying upland hunting for pheasants. The lodge even offers fly-fishing for brown and rainbow trout on a private spring creek.
As one would expect from The Signature Lodge’s sister operation, The North Platte Outpost’s accommodations, food and service are second to none. The lodge is a converted cattle-sale barn, with massive arched beams and the original auction block providing unique charm. In addition to guest rooms it offers a bar, sauna, pool and gaming tables, and even a pro shop.
Gourmet meals are prepared by General Manager and Executive Chef Sean Finley, who migrates to The North Platte Outpost once The Signature Lodge’s season is complete. And as you would imagine, the food isn’t your typical duck-club fare. From hors d’oeuvres like smoked-pheasant dip to entrees including prime rib, bacon-wrapped duck breast and other regional favorites, the dining experience is a cut above. With such focus on providing excellent experiences in the field and in the lodge, it’s no wonder The North Platte Outpost fills up like a coveted duck blind every year.
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