Friday, December 28, 2012

Late Season Bow Hunting

Late-season hunting can be very challenging. However, understanding the deer’s behavioral and physiological adaptations can be a great help. Next, toss in some nasty weather and a prime food source. Suddenly, late season becomes a great time to be in the deer woods.

Winter Deer Habits
Especially in very snowy climates, whitetail deer tend to minimize their movements in order to maximize their energy efficiency. This means they travel between food, water and bed almost exclusively.  Activity will slow down in these conditions as well. Once you figure out where deer are bedding on your property, make very straight paths between there to your food plot or a water source. Deer are more likely to try to conserve energy by using pre-determined paths, so one of these corridors may well be your key to bagging your late season buck. Using game cameras during this time is vital. Deer will relocate due to cover reduction, coyotes, food sources, and hunting pressure. Where you thought that big buck was living may not be the case now.  I am trying to identify where these bucks are living based on available cover, food sources and pressure. Once I have done this knowing a shooter is in the area I will focus on stand placement between bedding and food source.

Hunt In and After Storms
If you are stalking bedding areas, consider hunting during winter or rain storms. When the snow is coming down and the wind is blowing, it’s hard for deer to keep track of everything going on around them. It’s easy to catch a whitetail off guard when the weather is making things more confusing. After storms, deer will tend to seek out food. Keep an eye on your food plots after a storm, and you may find the monsters coming straight to you. With that said many times mature deer will stage up before dark. Place your stand off of the food source to catch him during shooting hours if needed.
Even in the late season, whitetail hunting can still be excellent. Keep warm and keep thinking like a deer, and you may find the late season to be even better hunting than the rut. Lastly and maybe just as important as food sources is managing the WIND. This is been a key to success and that is hunting only if the conditions are right. Don’t minimize your efforts by hunting a bad wind. Have several stands set up so you can still hunt but with a good wind. Good luck!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

How you can protect your hearing and prevent hearing loss while hunting

We have been asked to post this article about hearing loss written by John O'Connor and feel it is a great issue.  So here it is:

Hi my name is John O'Connor, I am a father, outdoorsman and passionate about living a healthy lifestyle.  Over the past few years I have become more and more interested in hearing loss.  My father and grandfathers, who are and were all hunters, are affected by hearing loss.  I feel that there is a general lack of understanding around the issue and it is our job to spread awareness where we can.  Check out my new blog at!


How to Protect Yourself From Hearing Loss While Using a Gun

More and more people are hunting and learning to use a firearm these days. Some of them like to hunt for sport or their professions while others just like to unwind at the shooting range after a long day at the office, taking all of their stress out on the target. Hunting is a great hobby, but did you know it could affect your hearing?  My father who has been hunting since he was a child, often when in the woods neglected his hearing protection.  Now in his late 70’s he is affected severely by hearing loss.  Although his doctors say that hunting is not the only cause of his hearing loss, it did play a major role in damaging his hearing levels.  Still an avid hunter, my father loves to head out into the woods or get over to the shooting range to practice.  Now days he always makes sure to have his hearing aids in and the proper hearing protection with him at all times.  Take the right steps today in order to protect your hearing for the future. 

How Loud is Loud?

Although we love guns, many of us don't consider the health of our ears while using them. Hearing loss is accumulative, meaning that you might not notice it happening right away until it is too late. This is unfortunate, because once your hearing is gone, it's gone.

Sound is measured in decibels (dB). The human vocal range averages at about 65 dB. A shotgun can produce up to 160 plus dB. This blast of sound is too much for your eardrums to take all at once, and it is possible that you could go completely deaf due to the auditory nerve of your inner ear being so damaged.

What Steps Can We Take to Protect Our Ears?

Committing to protecting your ears now can give you a much better chance of having healthy hearing well into the future. When it comes to ear protection, you have three basic options: earplugs, earmuffs and electric earmuffs.

Earplugs are small and unobtrusive, making them many people's first choice in ear protection. If you choose to go this route, make sure to ensure that you're buying the highest amount of sound protection available. Also be sure to purchase new earplugs often, as they lose their ability to protect your ears after the foam expands and contracts multiple times.

Earmuffs are a favorite of hunters and rate highly for both comfort and noise protection. There are earmuffs available to suit a variety of budgets, from simple foam-padded models to higher-quality models that come with liquid padding and can protect against more decibels.

Electronic earmuffs are the star of the bunch. They are capable of telling the difference between normal human speech and louder noises, allowing anything below 80 dB to come through and shutting out the rest. This feature allows you to talk to others in the midst of shooting.  

One Last Tip

If possible, choose to do your shooting outdoors. While indoor shooting may be a good way to keep up your practice during bad weather, it can also be more damaging. Shooting ranges are well-insulated in order to hold in the sound, which comes at the price of your ears.  If you do choose to practice inside, make sure you are equipped with the proper hearing protection.   

Hearing is a precious gift that we have.  Protecting your hearing while hunting is a simple task.  In choosing to follow the proper safety steps today, you can protect your hearing for many years to come.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Waterfowl Season Opens Tomorrow!

Duck and goose season opens tomorrow in North Dakota and we are pumped to get out in the fields once again.  This year the waterfowl population is way up and the water is way down.  The birds should be more concentrated this season. 

While you are out hunting this fall, try these 10 tips on duck calling:

1. Not All Ducks Are Callable - Don’t get down if every flock of ducks doesn’t respond to your calling. Remember, not all ducks are callable. If the ducks appear to know where they are going odds are they will not respond to your calling. Signs of callable ducks are fluttering wing beats and ducks working a large area, not flying straight line.

2. Don’t Over Call - If the ducks are doing what you want them to do why keep calling? In most cases over calling results in ducks skirting your decoys as the un-needed calling will help the ducks zero in on your blind and find something that doesn't look right. There are a few exceptions to this rule.

3. Start Soft And Work Up - When first starting to call at a group of ducks begin with softer calls. If the ducks don't respond work towards more loud aggressive calling. Many duck hunters will start off too loud or aggressive and often spook ducks, especially educated ducks.

4. Choose Your Leader - When more than one person is calling in your group choose who will be the leader and have the others fill in. This way your group of hunters won’t accidentally end up overcalling at a flock of ducks. Examples of fill in calls are quacks, feed calls, and soft greeting calls.

5. Forgotten Drake Mallard Whistle - Many hunters forget the drake mallard whistle call. This is a great call filler call and something different for more educated call-shy ducks. This is also an easy call for kids to blow with the extra bonus with them feeling included with you or the group of others calling also.

6. Match Your Call To The Species - When possible use a duck call that matches the species you’re calling at, meaning that you want to speak their language. Although gadwall and pintail will some what respond to a mallard call you will most often get better results if you call at pintails with a pintail whistle, or use a gadwall call for when calling at gadwalls.

7. Keep The Ducks On A String - As soon as you notice approaching duck/ducks drifting off line from your setup hit them with a greeting call to get them back online. If this doesn’t work hit them with a comeback call. By starting with greeting, and then working up to a comeback call you won't start out to aggressive.

8. When There's Nothing To Lose - If the ducks look like there going to land short of your spread or just aren't responding to your calling get louder and more aggressive. At this point you don’t have anything to lose.

9. Never Call At Ducks Right Above You - When calling ducks that are working your decoys never call at them when they are right above your blind. Your calling will help them pinpoint your position and almost every time they will leave your setup.

10. Call At Their Wingtips - This is common term that simply means if the ducks are coming right at you why call? But if you can see their wingtips their not doing what you want them to do so then call.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

September e-newsletter

Rolling Plains Adventures

September e-newsletter!
Rolling Plains Adventures is excited to keep you updated through monthly e-newsletters highlighting all the adventures occurring on the Black Leg Ranch in North Dakota. Feel free to share your comments with us via facebook or e-mail.

Monthly e-newsletters will feature hunting news and facts in North Dakota, projects being worked on for the next hunting season, and an alternating feature column from "The Stand" - focusing on deer, "The Blind" - focusing on waterfowl, or "The Field" - focusing on pheasants.

Corey, from Wisconsin, harvested the first buck of the season on September 2.

Jacob, from Minnesota, joined the fun and got his buck in velvet on September 5.

Feature Column

Jeremy Doan, Rolling Plains Adventures

Who's getting excited for hunting this fall? We sure are! All the planning and hard work during the off season will finally start coming together this month at Rolling Plains Adventures. We have been busy fine tuning the lodges, scouting the big bucks, conditioning the hunting dogs, going through decoys and gear, and so much more!

There will be a new addition in the Grand Lodge this season that everyone should enjoy. I would tell you what it is, but everyone will find out soon enough. Hint....It has to do with hunting and it will be very entertaining.
Before and After Book
of the Grand Lodge

From the original Doan Ranch House back in the 1800s, to the Grand Lodge that it is today has been a huge transformation. We wanted to keep the history of the house, therefore the frame of the house remained with additional roof lines added and walls removed to make the lodge more open.

The Grand Lodge is where the meals are served, friends are made, games are played, and drinks are served at the Ranch Saloon. Check out the link below to see the before and after pictures from the lodge in 2010 to the remodel that finished in June 2012.
Tips for Preparing Your Dog for Hunting Season

Rolling Plains Adventures has hunted with labs and German Shorthaired Pointers for many years. Currently they have many German Shorthaired Pointers, one mixed German Shorthaired Pointer, labs, and the newest addition is a Springer Spaniel named T.J.

Preparing your dog(s) for hunting season is very important and should be something you do throughout the year. Here are some tips to prepare your dog for hunting season.

1. Work on obedience such as sit, heel, stay, come throughout the year.
2. Give the dog adequate amounts of exercise to get it in shape.
3. Make sure the dog is up-to-date on all shots.
4. To increase the dog’s endurance and toughen their pads, run them on all types of soils and terrain.
5. Feed your dog after (not before) it hunts or exercises to avoid stomach irritation.
Get RPA Gear!
We have Rolling Plains Adventures hooded sweatshirts, short sleeve t-shirts and long sleeve t-shirts, all in a variety of colors and sizes.

RPA clothing will be available year round.

If you are interested in purchasing Rolling Plains Adventures gear, email for more information.
The Blind:

Waterfowl season opens September 22 in North Dakota and it looks like a great crop of ducks and geese this year. If anyone hunted last year, there were too many potholes around for them to land in. This season, we are looking at much less water and more ducks. The crops will probably be a couple weeks ahead of schedule also. The daily limit for Canada geese is 3, with a possession limit of 6. The daily limit for ducks is 6, with a possession limit of 12. The daily bag limit of 6 ducks may include no more than 5 mallards of which only 2 may be female mallards, 2 redheads, 3 wood ducks, 2 pintails, 1 canvasback.

We are pumped to start hunting all the waterfowl this season. Bring plenty of ammo!!!
The Stand

Bowhunting is in full swing now and we have had a very successful start so far. Two bucks have been harvested and many mature bucks have been spotted. We currently have plenty of bucks in the 140-160" range patterned very well.

Congrats to the bowhunters that arrowed their buck already and good luck to the future bowhunters on the ranch.
The Field:

Pheasant season opens October 13. Numbers are still looking high and we were fortunate enough to get a few inches of rain in the last few weeks to add some extra cover. The young roosters are cackling and getting full color.

Only one more month until we hit the fields chasing those wild birds!!
Copyright © 2012
Rolling Plains Adventures
All rights reserved

Our mailing address is:
24401 62nd Avenue SE
Sterling, ND 58572

Our email address is:

Hunting - Contact Jeremy Doan 701-367-3737
Guest Ranch - Contact Jay Doan 602-510-6094

Thursday, August 30, 2012

ND Bowseason opens tomorrow!

Rolling Plains Adventures is excited to open our bow season tomorrow at noon.  We have been busy scouting and patterning deer all summer, so good luck to the hunters that hit the stand this week.  Here is a photo from one of the bucks we have watched this summer.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Bow Hunting Season Right Around the Corner!

With bow hunting season only a few weeks away, we wanted to share a few tips to help you in the field.  This write up by Bill Vaznis has some great tips to bagging that trophy this fall.  In my opinion, one of the key reasons hunters have missed the shot, is because they are rushing the shot.  Most of the time, the buck will gill give you a better opportunity or a few more seconds, so don't release at the first opportunity that arrives if you aren't comfortable.  It is better to let that animal walk then miss a make able shot or wound the buck of a lifetime.  Enjoy!


Why We Miss At The Moment of Truth!

By Bill Vaznis
It was a perfect morning. I was still-hunting along an old logging trail that opened up to an overgrown farm field behind my home in upstate New York when a hot doe stepped out in front of me. I could barely see her in the early morning darkness, but when she jumped into a nearby wood lot with her tail off to one side I thought I heard a second much larger deer grunt and then make a break for it in the opposite direction.
I slipped forward until I reached the edge of the field, and glassed across the knee-high briars and golden rod. Nothing.
I began sneaking along the edge of the field looking for the buck that I knew had to be still nearby when something caught my eye just out of bow range. It was the white throat patch of a buck. Not a big one mind you, but a racked deer nonetheless that was zigzagging his way back towards me, obviously seeking out that hot doe.
By now it was light enough to shoot, so I, too, began zigzagging across the field, trying to keep the buck in view without spooking him. At thirty yards he dropped down into an irrigation ditch. I knelt down, quietly slid an arrow from my quiver and knocked an arrow all in one fluid motion. When the buck popped back into view he was sneaking 20 yards past me at a broadside angle and oblivious to my presence. I immediately came to full draw and focused on a spot behind his near shoulder. When my single pin covered that patch of hide for a full second I relaxed my fingers sending a Phat Head-tipped shaft to its mark. I found the buck piled up 100 yards distant, dead from a double lung pass through.
That was my 25th whitetail tagged by still-hunting with archery tackle. I would like to say I never missed a buck once I set my sights on him, but that has not always been the case.

“I have missed some embarrassingly easy shots over the years,
but those misses have taught me what to do and not do
when the moment of truth presents itself.”


We must come to full draw with confidence that our equipment will function flawlessly. In some cases however that can be a false sense of security. Why? Any changes you make to your bow after it is tuned can have a deleterious effect on arrow flight.
The most common mistake is to increase your draw weight just before the big hunt, but attaching a different quiver, stabilizer, or brand of broad head can also cause your hunting arrow to fly off into the wild blue yonder.
The solution to this problem is simple: Don’t make any last minute changes to your hunting equipment unless you have absolutely no choice. If you must, however, be sure to take a few practice shots to make sure everything is still in perfect working order before stepping afield.


Always estimate the shooting distance before you come to full draw. Still-hunters rarely know the yardage before the animal appears, but if you hunt from a tree stand or ground blind, you can use a range finder to learn the exact yardage to several likely shooting locations before you begin your vigil.
When the moment of truth arrives however, do not change your mind and add a few yards “just in case” the buck is further away as you will surely shoot over its back. Look back over your own career, and count the number of times you underestimated the shooting distance. I will bet that that figure is quite low when compared to the number of occasions you overshot the animal.
Indeed, in the last two years I skewered two long-distance whitetails, one at 40 and the other 42 yards. I estimated the shooting distance before I came to full draw, and then stayed with my initial calculations. Your first estimate is almost always the most accurate.


Be sure to practice in your hunting clothing prior to the season, paying close attention to anything that can interfere with arrow flight such as unbuttoned pockets, puffy arm sleeves and draw strings on hooded sweatshirts. However, we can still manage to get an arrow off course by adding something to our attire later on when we finally step into the field.
Pinning a compass to your jacket for example is a sure way to get it ripped off by the bow string. Not only will you destroy your compass, but it will also deflect an otherwise perfect shot. Get into the habit of tucking grunt tubes and binoculars inside your shirt or jacket and out of harm’s way. And keep your compass in your back pack.


It makes little difference if you bow hunt from a tree stand, ground blind or on foot, sooner or later you will be presented with a difficult shooting opportunity. The buck may pass behind your tree stand for example or you may have to shoot from a hunched position on foot or from inside your ground blind.
What can you do about it? Do not limit your pre-season practice sessions to standing shots on level ground at 20 yards. Try stump shooting at unknown distances from sitting and kneeling positions or climb into a tree stand and practice shooting around the tree’s trunk from awkward angles. These exercises will help prepare you for any shot that might come down the pike.


Before coming to full draw you must quickly determine if there is anything along the projected arrow’s route that could cause a deflection. We have all missed because our arrow contacted an unseen twig or an overhanging branch.
If you have the time, use your pins to insure you have a clear path for your arrow. If you are taking a 40-yard shot for example, and your 30-yard pin is centered on an overhanging limb, then by all means raise or drop your line of sight to take the shot.
But do not overlook the obvious. A friend of mine once missed a dandy buck because he rested the lower limb of his bow on the platform of his tree stand. He later explained he was shaking like the proverbial leaf and needed to anchor the bow to stop the sights from weaving all about.


Your goal should always be to shoot at an animal that is relaxed and unaware of your presence. A buck that has you pegged, or appears nervous can fall back, jump up, leap forward, switch ends, drop to his knees or simply skedaddle before you can release an arrow. And if by chance you do manage to get a shot off the result is almost always a miss, or worse.
Indeed, I once caught a buck flat-footed as he fed along the edge of a cut corn lot one windy morning. He seemed a bit nervous, but when he turned broadside to me at 20 yards I released a vaned shaft at his vitals just as he stepped forward. Much to my surprise the buck suddenly hopped forward causing my arrow to sail harmlessly across the field. He then lowered his head and continued feeding before jumping a barbed wire fence and trotting out of range. I am convinced this nervous buck caught in mid stride heard the arrow leave the bow, and was already coiled to react instinctively to the strange noise.


You should always pick a spot to shoot at BEFORE you bring your bow to full draw. In the excitement of the hunt it is easy to get rattled and stare at the rack (which you will invariably hit!) or look at the whole animal to which case you will surely miss him by a country mile. Picking a spot before you raise your bow forces you to block out other stimuli and concentrate on settling the pin on that specific area.


One of the more common ways to flub an opportunity is to allow our emotions to short circuit our common sense. During the rut for example when bucks are prancing about it is not uncommon to be at full draw and have the buck suddenly take off in another direction. Your worse course of action now is to snap off a shot. We panic because we fear the buck is going to get away.
A sudden whistle or grunt will generally stop the buck long enough for you to settle your pin, but if that does not work let your bow down. You may be able to draw him back into range with some deer vocalizations.


We all know we should pass up shot opportunities that are beyond our capabilities, but what about those times when the buck is only a few yards away? Indeed, close range shooting can be as demanding as the long shots.
One problem that quickly comes apparent is where exactly to put your pin. I have taken several bucks under ten yards, including one seven pointer at three yards. However, I missed (gulp!) a mature eight pointer this past season at 12 feet because I failed to thread a broad head through a small opening in a maze of low-hanging thorn apple branches.
Shooting straight down out of a tree stand is another conundrum. It is best to practice this shot before the season opens to learn exactly where your arrow will hit at ten or twelve feet. You may have to aim low. In addition, you need to be sure your equipment is up to the task. Arrows have been known to fall off the rest at the worse time.


I practice shooting through brush, tall grass and weeds to learn how a particular broad head might react under hunting conditions. It is surprising what an arrow can pass through and still be on target, especially if the buck is standing in tall grass, and how a single pencil thin twig will easily deflect a broad head.
Let me put it this way, I would not want to be standing in the goldenrod and have someone with average shooting skills firing arrows at me, and expect a few goldenrod stalks to protect me. Use your head here; you don’t always have to pass up the shot because the animal is partially concealed by vegetation.


You can still blow an easy shot if you fever up at the last second and either punch the release or pluck the string.
I try to control the entire shooting situation by having a step-by-step mental check off list to rely on: First estimate the yardage and then pick a spot to shoot at. Now come to full draw while staring at that spot, and hold it steady for three seconds.
Now I tell myself, “you haven’t got him yet, you need a clean release.” It forces me to take one more second and concentrate on a perfect release with follow through.
I have learned that if I skip a step I am sure to miss, no matter how easy the shot appears to be. But when I adhere to this check off list, the odds of a solid hit and good blood trail are high.
Bill Vaznis, Outdoor Author & Editor, Bear Hunting Magazine

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Wedding Venue at the Ranch

Rolling Plains Adventures recently hosted a wedding reception at the ranch.  Here is a photo from the bride and groom standing in front of the wood fence by the Grand Lodge.  It was a beautiful day with a perfect North Dakota sunset!  All of the guests danced the night away and listened to the live band.  The bar in the Grand Lodge was a big hit as well!  

Monday, July 23, 2012

Looking excellent for this falls hunting season!

  Went out scouting today and seen over 15 whitetail bucks feeding in our fields.  The antler growth has been very good this summer season by the looks of things.  There is also a strong age of deer in the 2.5 to 3.5 age, which is great to see.  Bow season is only a little over a month away!
  The ring-neck pheasant hatch looks to be very good this season also.  They got off to an early start with the mild winter and we are seeing young roosters that are already getting their color.  With the warm, dry nesting season, its been perfect for pheasant hatch!
  The waterfowl population is reported to be at a record high by this fall due to the amount of standing water going into the spring.  Now that many of the smaller potholes have dried up, hunters should see way more action in the standing water left come this fall. 
  This fall is going to be a great hunting season and your team at Rolling Plains Adventures is pumped!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Flyway Highway with Craig Foster at Rolling Plains Adventures

The Flyway Highway filmed an episode at Rolling Plains Adventures last fall and will start airing on the Sportsman's Channel on July 23.  Craig Foster filmed us pheasant and duck hunting, and fishing on the Missouri River.  Be sure to check it out!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

KFYR-TV News Stories

Off The Beaten Path: Norwegian Cowboys | Video

Cliff Naylor | 7/1/2012

Norway is a long way from the wild west, still, many Scandinavians are fascinated by the history of rugged American frontier. Some travel half way around the world to live out their dream of roping and riding just like John Wayne. Six Norwegians recently fulfilled their fantasy of being a cowboy for a day to a cattle ranch in North Dakota.

The Norwegian businessmen got a chance to cowboy-up at the Black Leg Ranch. The day`s docket included moving cattle from pasture to pasture, clay pigeon target practice and an ATV ride around the 10,000 acre ranch.

"We`re all going to saddle up, go on a horseback ride and then drive some cattle, we rotate our cattle quite often so we`re just driving them to greener grass," said Jay Doan.

Jay Doan and his brothers Jerry and Jeremy are fifth generation ranchers. Their family has owned and operated this farm since 1882. They run 4,000 head of cattle and work that massive herd with the help of green horns who stay at their working guest ranch.

"I have been on a horse before...twice," said Anders Peinerd.

The horses sense that this is Peinerd`s first rodeo and he and his foreign friends will need to be eased into the saddle no matter how eagar they are to ride like the wind.

"Loosen up these reins a little bit because if you tighten them he`ll want to go back," Jay said.

Once these beginner buckaroos learn the basics of horsemanship, they head off into the sunset.

"Oye, get on horse," said Lars Rorem.

After the cattle are fenced into a new pasture, it`s time for these rough riders to try their hands at a little target practice.

The Norwegian cowboys prove to be sharp shooters on the rifle range,

A spin around the ranch on all terrain vehicles wraps up a full day on the range

"They may walk a little bull legged after a day experience but it`s all in good fun and they enjoy the time here," said Jeremy Doan.

"I will feel the pain tomorrow but it was great to do it," Rorem said.

The Rolling Plains Adventure ranch has hosted hundreds wrangler wannabes from all over the world, and has managed to keep all of them in the saddle.

For more information on The Rolling Plains Adventure Ranch, visit
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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Building the bar at Rolling Plains Adventures

How we built the bar in the Grand Lodge at Rolling Plains Adventures.

Step one:  We used 2 x 4 's to construct the main frame that the bar will sit on.  Generally you would use 2 x 6 or 2 x 8, but it will be attached to the wall and have additional support, so we went for added space with the 2 x 4's.

Step 2:  We added 1/2 inch board to support the frame.  This will aid in anchoring the wood slabs down if they are warped at all. 

Step 3:  We then used 2 inch thick pine log siding to the fronts of both sides of the bar.  This also will give the bar added durability. 

Step 4:  Make sure everything is level and sound before you add the wood slabs on top.  Be sure to use plenty of hardware to anchor the walls down to the floor.  In our layout, we had a few obstacles to overcome in the bar.  We had to tie the bar into the log supporting the beam.  We also had to construct around the drain line. 

Step 5:  Carefully lay down the 3" thick bar slabs onto the frame.  The slabs are joined at the 45 degree angle by liquid nails.  We also applied this to the frame.  The slab was then anchored from the bottom up with 4 inch lag screws. 

Step 6:  Be sure to sand the slabs flat and use all grades of sanding paper to get the blemishes out or sand lines.  Use a very durable coating over the slabs for heavy prolonged use.  We went with a 2 part epoxy finish.  Each coat is like 50 coats of urethane.  We coated it twice after the initial brushing.  Shown above is also a custom opening at the bottom for a sub woofer to sound through.

Once the job is done, we will have many memories for all the pheasant, duck, and deer hunters to tell their stories at.  Also the fisherman, ranch vacationers, and all other quests stopping by the watering hole at Rolling Plains Adventures.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Food Plots for Wildlife

It is food plot planting season again at Rolling Plains Adventures.  Our goal is to provide added food and nutrition for pheasants, grouse, white tailed deer, ducks, geese, and more.  We will explain a few points on how to plan and plant a food plot.

Site Preparation
Careful thought should be given to food plots prior to planting them. Things to consider before planting include potential weed problems, drainage, erosion potential and soil type/fertility. Before planting any food plot, it is recommended that you contact your local cooperative Extension agent for information on obtaining a soil test to determine the appropriate soil amendments* needed for the site.
Weeds are very beneficial as food and cover for wildlife. However, if weeds threaten production of the food plot some weed control may have to be dealt with before or after planting. This can be accomplished through herbicide treatments, prescribed burning* or plowing and disking.
Other factors also need to be considered. Avoid excessively wet or dry sites unless the selected planting is specifically adapted to those conditions. Consider the slope before doing any planting to eliminate erosion problems. If no-till seeding is not an option, you should not plant on areas with greater than a six-percent slope. Old fields or pastures may need to be mowed and sprayed with a herbicide prior to planting.

Planting can be accomplished through several methods depending on the type of vegetation and the site chosen. Seed can be drilled into the soil using no-till methods with a corn planter or grain drill. Alternatively, broadcast seeders that are attached to a tractor, pick-up truck bed, four-wheeler, or cranked by hand can be used to sow seed onto a prepared seedbed. If broadcast seeding is the planting method used, you will need to plow and disk (or till) the area to prepare a seedbed and use a disk or culti-packer to lightly cover the seed after planting.

In general, food plots should be managed just like any other crop. Grain crops will need broadleaf weed control through application of a selective herbicide and/or cultivation. However, as previously mentioned, perfectly clean rows are not necessary because the "weeds" also have value for wildlife. Smartweed, ragweed, foxtail, partridge pea and other native broadleaf plants considered weeds by most landowners provide food for wildlife and add diversity to your food plot. As a general rule you can allow 10-30 percent of your food plot to be taken over by weeds without concern. Management of legume plantings, such as clover, may require clipping early in spring and/or late summer to promote lush new growth as well as periodic reseeding every 3-5 years. You can also manage food plots with practices such as strip disking*, strip mowing* or brush piles* within and/or adjacent to the plot to provide added benefits to wildlife.

The best management technique for annual grain food plots and one that should be considered as part of regular food plot management rather than an option, is plot rotation. This simply means not planting the same sites in successive years, but instead allowing sections to sit fallow for several years in between plantings. For example, take the area you have set aside as a food plot and divide it into thirds. Initially you may plant the entire area in the plant(s) of your choice. In successive years you would plant a different third of the area while allowing the rest to remain idle. The idle sections will quickly grow up in native vegetation that will provide abundant seed and attract numerous insects that supply valuable protein to young pheasants, songbirds, grouse and turkey. If desired, a legume such as clover can be over seeded onto the idle sections early the following spring. The idle fields also provide protective cover. By using this method, you have three different levels of succession in close proximity, which is very beneficial to wildlife. Food plots can also be used as a smother crop to eliminate fescue before planting to a more permanent wildlife planting. Plant a field or section of a field to a food plot for a year or two. The food plot will smother out fescue allowing native grasses or other more permanent cover to be established. The following year do another field or section of the same field. You eliminate competition, while providing food, cover, and different levels of growth in close proximity.
Remember, with careful planning, hard work and attention to detail food plots can be a helpful piece of the habitat puzzle. But they cannot be expected to provide everything wildlife need and are the last piece you should think of in the overall management of your property.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Logging at Rolling Plains Adventures!


Building log beds for the new private suites in the Grand Lodge.  Shown in the photo above is the logs that have been cut into the right lengths and getting ready to shape them in place. 


We have tennoned some of the logs in this photo using logging machines. 


The logs are finally taking shape and starting to look like a bed.  Shown here is the footboard for two queen beds.  The pheasant, duck, deer, and coyote hunters are really going to love these new bed styles.  I shouldn't forget about the ranch vacation guests and international travelers as well!  Photos of the private suites will be coming soon!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Grand Lodge Update

Rolling Plains Adventures Grand Lodge construction progress is moving right along with this nice North Dakota weather we have been having recently.  The landscaping is underway and all the top soil is hauled in to start the project.  Only a matter of time now before it will look green and clean around the lodge once again.  Stay tuned for new interior photos coming soon.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Database Recognizes Centennial Farms

Database Recognizes Centennial Farms | Video

Alexander Gorney | 4/26/2012

Some of North Dakota`s historic farms are getting some digital recognition. A new interactive tool is available to honor centennial farms.

It`s just another day on the ranch for Jeremy and Jay Doan.

"Me and my brother are fifth generation on the Black Leg Ranch. We run black cattle, thus Black Leg Ranch. We were one of the first to have black cattle in the area," Jeremy said.

The Black Leg Ranch was established in 1882. The Doan`s are working to keep its history alive.

"We`re trying to upkeep all the original buildings and preserve a lot of our fences are hundred years old as well. So our cows get out quite a bit," Jay said.

Black Leg Ranch is one of hundreds of century old family farms and ranches in the state that are still around today. These farms will be a part of a new interactive display at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center.

"The Doan family is just one more example of all these hundreds of family farms who came to Dakota territory before it was even a state. Here they are today in 2012, a very successful family farm operation," said Lewis and Clark Fort Mandan Foundation President David Borlaug.

Each farm will have its own page detailing its history attached with some photos.

"Folks can come search for a farm, county by county, name by name, and up will pop the great story, great tradition of agriculture in North Dakota," Borlaug said.

People can even find some of North Dakota`s more famously named farms.

"We have featured farms and we start out with the Dalrymple farms. One of the very oldest farms in the state and he happens to be our governor, we think that`s pretty cool," Borlaug said.

While they`re remembering their past, these farmers are also looking forward to the future.

"Being fifth generation out here. We`d love to keep it continuing for future generations, sixth, seventh, eighth and so on," Jeremy said.

This display is the first part of a project dedicated to agrarian heritage at the center.

Centennial Farms and ranches can apply to be a part of the interactive kiosk. Just visit the Lewis and Clark Fort Mandan Foundation website for more information. Or Call 701-462-8535 or 877-462-8535 for more information

Grand Lodge Update

  The Grand Lodge is scheduled to be finished in June of 2012.  The private suites on the second level are almost complete right now, and the main level is getting closer everyday.  We are in the plans of designing the bar, finishing all the interior wood, and building the log railing on the deck.  Photos of the progress are coming soon.

Tourism leaders honored with Governor’s Travel and Tourism awards


For Immediate Release
April 25, 2012
For more information contact
Sara Otte Coleman, Director, Tourism Division
North Dakota Department of Commerce
Tourism leaders honored with Governor’s Travel and Tourism awards
Outstanding leaders in North Dakota’s tourism industry were recognized today at the 2012 North Dakota Travel Conference in Bismarck. Gov. Jack Dalrymple and North Dakota Commerce Commissioner Al Anderson presented nine Governor’s Travel and Tourism awards.
“North Dakota’s tourism industry is an important contributor to our strong economy and a big reason why our state is the envy of the nation,” Gov. Dalrymple said. “Today’s award recipients represent the outstanding work that is occurring across the state to grow North Dakota’s tourism industry and provide visitors with a legendary experience.”
Awards were given to:
Fargo Moorhead Convention & Visitors Bureau (FM CVB), Tourism Organization of the Year. The Fargo-Moorhead Convention & Visitors Bureau had a great year in 2011, achieving industry accreditation, hosting several major events and launching marketing initiatives to promote Fargo-Moorhead and North Dakota to the world. FM CVB’s completion of the Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP) was the first for a destination marketing organization in the tri-state area of N.D., Minn., and S.D. Last year, the FM CVB played a vital role in bringing thousands of visitors to the area by attracting major events like the Pyrotechnics Guild International, USA Curling Nationals, The Fargo Airsho, Squirt International Hockey, Rumble on the Red, USA Wrestling, the American Legion World Series and the 20th Discrete Simulation of Fluid Dynamics Conference, which was last hosted in Rome. FM CVB’s innovative marketing efforts increased walk-in traffic to the visitor center by 30 percent in 2011. More than 30,000 travelers stopped by the visitor center last year, an increase of nearly 9,000 over 2010.
Kyle Blanchfield, Woodland Resort, Travel and Tourism Industry Leader. Blanchfield has been involved with the tourism industry as an advocate of and tourism operator in North Dakota’s outdoor recreation for more than 20 years. As the owner of Woodland Resort on the shores of the ever-expanding Devils Lake, Blanchfield has had to move his resort twice. But he hasn’t given up; he just keeps expanding his resort. Most recently, Blanchfield built an 80-slip marina to accommodate anglers and local boaters, and he continually maintains his beach shoreline, which is the only swimming beach on the lake. To give anglers and hunters a one-stop-shop for their vacation, Blanchfield accommodates two local guiding services and books their services with lodging accommodations. A constant advocate for North Dakota’s tourism industry and outdoor recreation, Blanchfield regularly contributes local fishing reports. In addition, he maintains a continuous marketing presence by supporting local and state efforts, and stays abreast of legislative issues that impact tourism.
Peggy Rixen-Kuntz, Dickinson Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), Front-Line Employee. Since the opening of the Dickinson CVB Visitors Center in 2001, Rixen-Kuntz has been a summer front-line employee, offering top-notch customer service to travelers visiting the area. Due to her enthusiasm and knowledge of the area, travelers who encounter Rixen-Kuntz often send notes to the CVB office sharing their positive experiences. She goes to great lengths to assist travelers, whether to inform them of the area’s attractions or, in some cases, to escort visitors around Dickinson.
Jennifer Morlock, Dakota Cyclery, Medora, International Tourism Award. Morlock, a 30-year owner of Dakota Cyclerly, has an in-depth knowledge of the Maah Daah Hey Trail and the experience it offers adventure travelers, especially mountain bikers. Because of her familiarity with the trail, Morlock is often asked to host international journalists and media representatives on guided mountain biking tours, exposing them to the vast and rugged North Dakota Badlands. Morlock, who has a passion for mountain biking and the North Dakota Badlands, has a keen understanding of what international travelers expect from adventure travel and delivers on that expectation. Her involvement in hosting media has resulted in international media coverage of North Dakota, which positively impacts the number of international visitors to the Badlands and the western part of the state.
Bobbi Clarke, Williston Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), Behind the Scenes Tourism Employee. Clarke joined the Williston CVB in 2008. Due to the small staff size at the CVB, she has assumed many roles ranging from visitor services, administrative assistant and book keeper to event coordinator, store manager, and house and grounds keeper. No matter the role, Clarke has done every one with respect, pride and dignity. During a time of great change for Williston, Clarke has been flexible in her role at the office and how it pertains to the greater good of the community.
Medora Musical, Medora, Attraction of the Year. Performed outdoors in the North Dakota Badlands, the Medora Musical enters its 48th summer season in 2012. The professionally-produced Broadway-style show honors Theodore Roosevelt and his time spent in the North Dakota Badlands, and showcases American patriotism, cowboys and horses, and western and gospel music. More than three million people have enjoyed this North Dakota tradition; a little more than half of them North Dakotans. The rest come from all over the U.S. and world. About 100,000 people see the show annually. It has been recognized by the Library of Congress as an “American Legacy Event” and the American Bus Association has named it a “Top 100 Event in America” on a nearly-annual basis.
Norsk Høstfest, Minot, Event of the Year. Celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, the Norsk Høstfest has become an internationally-known event drawing thousands of visitors annually to Minot and North Dakota. Each year, several thousand volunteers donate their time and talents to make the event happen. And last year, after the devastating Mouse River flood, was no different. In fact, the Norsk Høstfest was the first major event held after flood, thanks to the volunteers, many of whom were flood victims trying to rebuild their homes or helping friends rebuild their homes and lives. The outpouring of support to the Norsk Høstfest gave hope to the people of Minot by showing that recovery was under way and that tourism was still happening in the community. Norsk Høstfest features world-class entertainment, Scandinavian craftsmen and women, artists, dancers and delicious delicacies. More than 55,000 people from across the U.S., Canada and Scandinavia attend this five-day event.
Brian Mattson, Fargo-Moorhead Convention & Visitors Bureau (FM CVB), Wade Westin Award for Marketing. As one of the first in the state’s tourism industry to pursue social media, Mattson is a real innovator in destination marketing. Leveraging the 10th anniversary of the movie “Fargo,” he built a replica of the infamous woodchipper and later acquired the actual prop used in the movie to display in the Fargo-Moorhead Visitor Center. Coinciding with this effort, Mattson started a Facebook fan page for the “Woodchipper in Fargo,” which currently has more than 12,000 fans. Mattson shares his knowledge of social media by teaching classes and is active in the tourism industry statewide and nationally.
Rolling Plains Adventure on Black Leg Ranch Sterling, Best Package. Based on Black Leg Ranch near Sterling, one of North Dakota’s oldest operational ranches, Rolling Plains’ guides - and fifth-generation rancher/owners - help guests have a legendary North Dakota hunting experience. The hunting package includes a guided hunt, lodging in rustic pine cabins, target practice, home-cooked meals, airport pickup/drop-off and optional add-ons. In addition to hunting packages, Rolling Plains Adventures also offers ranch adventures like horseback riding, cattle drives, camping and branding.
“Every day our industry partners across the state share their passion for North Dakota with visitors from across the world,” said Anderson, commissioner of North Dakota Department of Commerce. “Their dedication and enthusiasm creates lasting memories for visitors and makes our tourism industry successful. Their hard work continues the legacy of legendary North Dakota.”

Monday, April 23, 2012

Every fall and spring, a massive migration occurs near Bismarck North Dakota on the Missouri River. This migration isn’t birds nor butterflies but walleye, a highly desirable game fish that are regarded by anglers far and wide. In fact, the fishing is so good for walleye on the Missouri River that many citizens call Bismarck home or move to this prospering community just for the fishing. This meandering river also beckons anglers from across the state and country.

While the Missouri River near Bismarck resembles the same river that Lewis and Clark saw, this large river now features several large hydroelectric dams that back up some of the largest reservoirs in the world. These huge reservoirs are home to some of the world’s best walleye fishing and each spring, nature calls. The natural instinct for this walleye population is to swim up the reservoir, up river in search of suitable spawning areas.

Rolling Plains Adventures guides will take you to some of the best Walleye fishing hot spots during your fishing adventures with us.  You will experience some of this world class Walleye fishing first hand and have the privilege to feast on them as well.