50 Years of Hunting Pheasants in South Dakota

We’ve been hunting South Dakota pheasants here at Olsen’s OJ Bar Ranch for over 50 years and we are proud to offer limitless ways to enjoy the beautiful outdoors of South Dakota.

We are open year round, pheasant hunting during select months and lodging by appointment only.

A history of pheasant hunting, Art Olsen with his brother James on right!

The Olsen’s

Art Olsen

Dave Olsen

Welcome to Authentic South Dakota!

We take pride in helping take your ideas and turning them into wonderful memories. It is our goal to exceed our guests’ expectations and to give them the hunting experience they are looking for! Our well trained, knowledgeable guides will lead your party on a safe and exclusive wing shooting adventure of a lifetime.

Dave Olsen

A Legacy of Love

We all have a story to tell and if we are lucky enough to live a good life filled with hard work, great people, and the desire to make the world better every day, that story becomes a wonderful Legacy to share. As you may know the first successful pheasant release happened in Spink County South Dakota in 1908, with many more to follow in subsequent years. The birds took the James River Valley and flourished so well South Dakota had its first official Pheasant Hunt October 30, 1919 where about 200 birds were harvested from the estimated population of 100,000 or so at that time.

Jens Olsen who immigrated from Denmark just a few years earlier went to the Chicago Worlds Fair in 1922 where he purchased an International Harvester farm equipment dealership. In the early years Olsen Implement would sell farm equipment throughout the area and as tractors were introduced, Jens would take horses in on trade for the new technology of the day. His love of farming, Herford Cattle, white horses, his wife Oda and their three sons Nels, James, and Arthur would be the beginning of the Olsen family in America.

His youngest son Art was born in 1927 just a few years before the Great Depression. He excelled in school and graduated two years earlier than many his age at 16. Art then moved on to the Ranch at the end of an old cow path trail which is home to Olsens Pheasant Phun to this day. He married the love of his life Annette Mortimer in 1957 and they had three children Louis, Jane, and David. Through thick and thin, good and bad, and a continued world of change, Art and Anne set an example of right is right, work hard play hard, ride for the brand, and count your many blessings. This would be their legacy of love for their children to follow. It has been said by many that no one had more fun that Art Olsen, he not only lived the length of life but the width as well like very few aspire. If you love what you do you never have to work a day in your life and with a twinkle in his eye he had an easy way to make most any task one to enjoy.

Art traveled from this world to the next October 15, 2017. He reluctantly left behind his wife Anne who proudly stood by his side in all seasons of his life. Her kindness and vivacious spirit combined with an unending love made her a one of a kind teammate to share the adventure of life with.

Miss Anne to this day helps oversee the details of the ranch and continues to be an inspiration. She has a cup that overflows with kindness, a heart full of love and compassion, and a desire to make everyone feel special and welcome. Mom to many, and a friend to all, she humbly goes about her daily business spreading love kindness and respect.

From humble beginnings we continue to try our best to be good tenants of the land and offer our best hospitality to every guest.

There are many untold chapters in this story, A Legacy of Love, but you can be assured that if you spend any amount of time at this ranch with this family, there are stories of many great adventures we are all proud to share. We have been blessed with friendship from all walks of life and we look forward to adding your group to our great story of life. Thank you for time and consideration.

Then & Now

13 Miles From the Original Pheasant Release Location in South Dakota!

The Ranch has been home to two generations of Olsens. Its 100 plus year history dates back to 1908 … even before the Chinese Ring Neck Pheasant was introduced to the region. The original homestead stood for over a century, expanding and growing with various additions to the home and outbuildings, while the Olsen family undertook to sell farm implements, raise livestock and horses, and eventually, to turn a personal passion for the region’s world class pheasant hunting into a luxury, guided hunting experience for guests from across the country and around the globe.

In 2013, when epic storms and tornadoes caused significant damage to our buildings, we chose to look on the misfortune as an opportunity, and began construction on a brand new lodge with upgraded facilities throughout every aspect of our operation.

Today, the ranch offers a new 15,000 square foot lodge which connects directly to our new home, serving as the centerpiece of our farm. With new sleeping, dining and food preparation areas, an expanded professional staff, a wonderful chef, and a seasoned group of guides and dogs, we strive with each passing year to offer our guests something new to add to their South Dakota adventure.

Of course, bits and pieces of the historic farm are still alive in the modern Pheasant Phun lodge experience. The reclaimed wood from our 100-year old, hip-roof barn has been repurposed into the bar where you can enjoy top shelf liquor or the beverage of your choice while reminiscing over stories of your hunting adventures. The old Granary is now our dog kennel, a snug home to the beautiful, well-bred and impeccably trained animals essential to every hunt at Pheasant Phun. Whether this is your first time to visit us or you come every year, we look forward to welcoming you and hope you’ll find our lodge an oasis of comfort, as well as the backdrop to an unforgettable hunting experience. Your adventure is destined to become an important part of the history of the Olsen OJ Bar Ranch, and we thank you for being a part of the newest chapter in our story.

A great place to do business, close that big deal, or just say thank you!