A good place to use one of those deer and antelope tags is Mortenson's Private. This 8,000-acre working ranch in Stanley County, approximately 65 miles northwest of Pierre, the state capital, offers some very affordable guided hunts in the high plains of western South Dakota. This is beautiful country with wooded draws and river breaks that were first discovered and described by early explorers and trappers. The ranch has won a number of awards for its land use practices, which conserve the land and water and restore native vegetation. The land looks much the same as it did when nomadic Plains Indians roamed the region a century ago. The result is game-rich country that holds good big game populations as well as game birds.
Ranch owners Todd and Deb Mortenson book small hunting parties and give them the run of the ranch. They charge $1,575 per hunter for a three-day antelope, mule deer and whitetail package. That price includes guide service, turkey hunting, four nights of lodging at a Pierre bed and breakfast, three meals and snacks, all ground transportation from the Pierre Airport and back, plus transporting game to a local taxidermist. For those who prefer more rugged living conditions, there is a package of $1,260 per hunter that includes sleeping in an authentic Indian tepee warmed by a........(continued)