Prairie Land Gamebirds is set to open a new hatchery in March 2019
By Hailey Dixon, for the Lincoln Sentinel
Since 1996, Lincoln County’s Prairie Land Gamebirds has been providing hunting operations all across the United States with Chinese Ringneck pheasants. In 2018, the business is taking another step forward with opening up a new hatchery at its location in March 2019.
After applying for a Jumpstart grant, the Jumpstart board recommended the state to pass the grant for the business. The grant will be used to purchase one of the three incubators needed, said David Wacker, one of the owners of the business.
Prairie Land Gamebirds is operated by David and his son Ryan Wacker. It is located in rural Lincoln County, near Hunter in Mitchell County.
“We don’t do any of the hunting,” David said.
They serve hunting operations close to home, in Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Texas and Iowa, as well as across the country, in states such as California, Georgia and Oregon.
“We bring a lot of money to Lincoln County from out of the state,” David said.
David said he is aware of many of the hunting operations across the nation.
“We’ve been doing it long enough [that] we know a lot of people.”
David and Ryan deliver the birds to the hunting operation location, which can range from a delivery of 500 to 2,000 birds, David said.
Hunting operations get in touch with the Wackers in a variety of ways, from email to word of mouth, David said.
Currently, the business is trying to expand, in addition to the hatchery, by gaining a few new employees, David said, who would help with daily operations.
However, it is difficult to hire workers, David said, due to the rural location of the business and the labor.
“It’s hard, dirty work,” he said.
Prairie Land Gamebirds has also built a new building within the last two years, and has also built some new pens for the pheasants.
“We are rapidly expanding,” David said.
A load of new chicks was delivered to Prairie Land Gamebirds earlier this week, David said.
Prairie Land Gamebirds is located at 2138 N. 30th Rd., in Hunter.