Boy, there’s gotta be a promo for South Dakota Tourism in here somewhere….
In April 2016, the Russian gun journal Kalashnikov (apparently separate from Concern Kalashnikov, the gun manufacturer) published Butina’s “Охота на фазана в Южной Дакоте”—”Pheasant Hunting in South Dakota,” a pleasant little essay about her experience flying into Sioux Falls in the fall to engage in our favorite fall pastime. Butina spoke fondly of our fair state, writing, “The frosty air and the very smell of the local flora reminded me of my native Siberia.”
Butina didn’t name her hosts and hunting companions, but they appear to be all guys, and she says her U.S. comrades (товарищи—tovarishchi, yes, literally, comrades) landed a reservation at one of the best hunting lodges near Sioux Falls.
Naturally, I’d love to know who her hunting pals were that lovely day. Maddeningly, the social-media-savvy Butina only got this 300-pixel-wide image of the whole party. Let’s try zooming:
There’s Butina, her left from center, in the plaid scarf. The tall guy behind her left shoulder could be her boyfriend and big South Dakota connection Paul Erickson. But the other guys… crowdsourcers! Magnify and enhance! Readers, do you recognize any of those lucky fellas?
MRO—hey! That looks familiar!
Missouri River Outdoors lies right on the Missouri River just south of Elk Point. That’s some fine country Butina got to tromp around in for four hours with her shotgun and a bunch of guys.
Butina’s article includes one more photo, but remarkably, the fellas are all looking away from Butina, and the camera:
Well, at least we know our fellas weren’t totally distracted from the business at hand by the only lady on the hunt.
Update 2018.07.20 12:28 CDT: An interpid reader goes surfing and finds Butina went hunting at MRO on November 9, 2014. Missouri River Outdoors has a Facebook album of 77 photos titled “Stickney Grp. 2014” that features Butina’s lead photo in much better resolution: