What is provided with Prairie Smoke Ranch hunting leases? Answer: We provide on-site lodging, a selection of pre-placed blinds, cleaning shed and freezers, outdoor kennels and exclusive access to 800+ acres including 20+ lakes and sloughs while you hunt.
How long has Prairie Smoke Ranch been offering hunts in North Dakota? Answer: 2021 will be our 20th year in business. We discontinued waterfowl outfitting after 2018 (where decoys and blinds were provided on all our sloughs) and now only offer Do-It-Yourself leases with a few select blinds and decoy spreads.
Who runs this place? Answer: Prairie Smoke Ranch is owned and operated by Dan & Jeanie Sobieck. Dan retired after serving as a US Fish and Wildlife Service program manager and Jeanie retired from a career as a federal investigator and Environmental Engineer.
Are my vehicles, decoys and gear safe at Prairie Smoke Ranch? Answer: Yes! We own all the lakes and sloughs we hunt on the ranch and control access to these areas. Ranch headquarters and lodging is located a mile off the nearest county road and ranch managers live on-site.
Are my dogs safe at Prairie Smoke Ranch? Answer: Yes. We do not have cactus or poisonous snakes on the ranch. Dog hazards are limited to barbwire fence, skunks and porcupines. We try to remove any skunks or porcupines found on the property -- these are more of a problem off the property.
Do I need an ATV or 4WD vehicle to hunt Prairie Smoke Ranch? Answer: That is up to you. Most of our own lakes and sloughs are easily accessible with a 4WD vehicle unless conditions are very wet. Experienced groups however usually bring a ATV to allow quick and complete access to all hunting locations. Several of our hunting sloughs and upland bird hunting are within easy walking distance of the bunkhouses.
When is the best time of the season to duck hunt at Prairie Smoke Ranch? Answer: Our hunting is very weather dependent -- rain, wind and especially snow and major cold fronts usually trigger bird movements into the area and better hunting. Early October and early November are traditionally some of the best times to hunt. For a summary of previous hunting seasons see:
Is hunting at Prairie Smoke Ranch guided? Answer: No. It is self-guided or "Do-It-Yourself". Property maps are provided but hunters do their own scouting, decoy setting, hunting and cleaning of game. Hunters are responsible for knowing and following all state game regulations.
Why do you require that hunters provide their own dogs? Answer: Because trained dogs can find and retrieve gamebirds which would otherwise be lost in the water and cover. Some days this may be the majority of birds shot. Dogs are also much more effective at locating and flushing upland birds than hunters walking alone.
Is Prairie Smoke Ranch a good place for new, inexperienced hunters? Answer: Because it is now self-guided, our acreage is best utilized by experienced waterfowlers. New hunters should be accompanied by an experienced hunting mentor.
Can I expect to shoot my limit of birds at Prairie Smoke Ranch? Answer: Your own skill and motivation level will determine your hunting success. Our returning groups tend to become more successful each subsequent year as they
learn bird patterns, discover new hunting locations, and become more comfortable exploring the prairie. Some hunt just on the ranch property but most groups hunt both on and off to maximize their opportunities.
Where is the nearest gas, restaurant and grocery store to Prairie Smoke Ranch? Answer: McClusky contains all these amenities, along with a drug store and post office. It is approximately 20 miles away or about 45 minutes on our gravel roads. Most groups purchase groceries in Bismarck, Minot or Jamestown on their way up.