Welcome to Upland Bird Paradise


Wildlife Habitat Manager for 2,500 acres of private land in Hughes County South Dakota

Minimum Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree or advanced degree in Wildlife Management; OR demonstrated strong background in managing wildlife habitat and an agricultural background.

Applicant must have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to plan and manage wildlife habitat to maximize populations of pheasants, greater prairie chickens, sharp-tailed grouse, assorted grassland nesting birds, waterfowl, white-tailed deer and mule deer.

Must have the experience and skills necessary to use modern farm equipment safely and successfully.

Specific duties include:
    • Managing approximately 1,000 acres of mixed grass native prairie using various land management practices, specifically planning, and implementing haying, grazing and noxious weed control.
• Ability to use and maintain modern farming equipment including tractors, mowers, native grass drills, row crop planters, plows, sprayers, etc.
• Maintain, site prep, plant, control noxious weeds and develop management plans for approximately 1,000 acres of non-native grasses. Develop plans to periodically replant grasses and forbs with species that are most highly beneficial to upland game species and their populations.
• Annually plant approximately 60 acres of food plots involving 13 sites. With input, determine what to plant, when to plant and accomplish planting in a timely manner to maximize food plot growth. Annually plan crop rotations, order food plot seed, fertilizer, spray, and site prep as necessary.
• Maintain approximately 30 acres involving 6 sites of established pollinator plots. Establish new plots as needed and approved.
• Maintain approximately 100 acres of recently established cedar, plum and chokecherry trees involving 7 sites in split 18 row belts. Annual work may include replacing dead trees and watering trees during drought conditions.
• Inspect and maintain 11 existing dams. Annual work will include use of an artesian pipe and valve system to maintain water levels. Plan and assist in developing additional low head, shallow water “wildlife” dams.
• Mow and maintain property trails as necessary for field work and access to hunting sites. Annually fix and/or repair low spots as necessary to allow unimpeded access to various sites.
• Inspect and annually maintain boundary fences and gates.
• Maintain noxious weeds on the entire property as necessary to comply with state and county noxious weed laws – to keep weeds at levels equal or better than surrounding properties.
• Develop plans to minimize the spread of invasive species including brome, crested wheat and Kentucky blue grasses. Develop plans to eliminate these same grasses.
• Occasionally assist hunting parties when requested. At times, order and plant pen-reared pheasants as requested.
• Maintain all equipment including tractors, planters, mowers, trucks, etc. according to mfg owners manuals. Keep all equipment clean, maintained, properly stored and ready for use. Immediately inform owner of any equipment damage or needed off site repairs.
• Maintain buildings and grounds around the building sites as necessary.
• Observe for any trespass issues or uninvited visitors. Observe property boundaries for any unauthorized use or encroachment issues.
• Skills to use GPS equipment, computer mapping and ability to write management plans.
• Develop working relationships with neighbors and various state, federal and private wildlife agencies. Work with agencies to develop cost share arrangements when opportunities are identified.

In addition to possessing the required knowledge, skills and abilities, applicants must be a “self-starter” and willing to work, organize and allocate time on their own without constant direct supervision.

Must be willing to frequently communicate with the owner, provide updates, ask questions and take directions. Must have strong “people skills” and be willing to hire and supervise temporary workers.

The expectation is that the employee will work a 40-hour work week. Realizing that farm work on an annual basis may at peak times require more than 8 hours per day and at other times will be less. The owner’s desire is that 40 hours per week of work be averaged over the course of a year.

The property is all privately owned, and all hunting access and hunting permission is maintained and granted solely by the owner. The land is owned and managed for private, non-commercial hunting. Although the emphasis is on the hunting of wild birds, pen-raised pheasants may be used to supplement hunting on an as needed and as desired basis.

Starting salary range is $60,000-$80,000 annually depending on demonstrated skills and experience. In addition, there is an opportunity for up to 10% bonus based on performance. Owner will supplement pay for healthcare coverage that the employee will purchase. Owner will also contribute to a self-directed IRA retirement fund. Applicant will be entitled to a 3-week paid vacation after 1 year of service and vacation grow to 5 weeks over a 6 year period.

All equipment and field vehicles will be provided for by the owner.

The land is accessed by a paved State highway near Pierre, South Dakota.

The owner is an equal opportunity employer.

Please submit your resume to: [email protected]

harvest views


Central South Dakota