Staying dry in South Dakota

On the last day of our pheasant hunt near Aberdeen, South Dakota, the clouds moved in and threatened rain. I was wearing a light Guide's Choice jacket and a Filson vest and I had a Cabela's camo rain jacket in my backpack.

I didn't want to quit early. We were in Brown County, where every hunter has a chance to bag the so-called Million Dollar Bird.

We hunted with outfitter Cam Wyly, guide Cody Nipp and a handful of wing-shooters from Texas. There was a chance we might get a money bird. I looked for dumb roosters wearing a tag, but I didn’t see any. I did however, see more wild pheasants than I have ever seen anywhere else, unadorned,  but for their native beauty.

Wyly had left dozens of corn rows about 300 to 500 yards long with clearings mowed in between. Pushers, with flushing dogs and pointers in front of them, walked into the corn while a flanker took each side and two or three blockers waited at the end.

Driven in the corn, the pheasants skittered between the stalks and broke from cover to make their escape or become the main ingredient in a pheasant sandwich. In some drives, we flushed ten or twenty birds, while in other drives, we saw more than a hundred. Shouts of “hen” and “rooster” echoed down the line and, when a bird was close, we shot it, or at least tried to shoot it.

Rain began to fall, but I had already prepped my jackets with ReviveX jacket waterproofing and I wasn't going to quit till I had my limit of three birds.

ReviveX Durable Waterproofing is a spray-on product formulated with Gear Aid's proprietary waterproofing blend. I found that it works great on my old raingear to restore water repellency. It worked for me in Alaska and it kept me in the field in South Dakota till I bagged my limit of pheasants. Not a one sported the "money" tag, but that just means I'll have to keep trying.

For more information on the Million Dollar Bird, visit

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Gary Lewis is an outdoor writer, speaker and television host from Bend, Oregon. Contact Lewis at, on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

Originally Published: Dec 2, 2013

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