Masked Hunter


“To me, the black-footed ferret is the wild heart of the Great Plains.”

– David Jachowski, author, Wild Again: The Struggle to Save the Black-Footed Ferret

The rarest animal in North America, the black-footed ferret was once thought extinct until one population was found in Wyoming. Now, thanks to a tireless restoration effort, small populations can be found in less than 20 places in the Great Plains.

wind-cave-squareWind Cave National Park

(605) 745-4600
26611 US Highway 385
Hot Springs, SD 57747

Originally established in 2007, the small population of ferrets was added to in 2016. Don’t expect to actually see any of these nocturnal, private animals, but know that they feast upon the local prairie dog population.

(ALL RIGHTS) Double Bar Seven Ranch and Badlands (White Ranch). Double Bar Seven is one of two ranches purchased along the western edge of the Conata Basin, adjacent to Badlands National Park in Southwester South Dakota. Conata Basin is one of North America’s most intact remaining grasslands and contains wildlife re-introductions such as bison, bighorn sheep, black-footed ferrets and swift fox, as well as imperiled species such as fringe-tialed myopia bat, Barr’s milkvetch and Dakota buckwheat. Photo credit: © Bob Paulson/TNCConata Basin

(605) 874-8517
Prairie Coteau Office
The Nature Conservancy, SD

The Conata Basin, south of Badlands National Park, SD, boasts 142,000 acres of intact grassland. In the basin, The Nature Conservancy works with landowners and other to conserve habitat, including that of a small black-footed ferret population. Again, don’t expect to see these elusive creatures.

Know of an ecotourist-friendly place in the Great Plains for masked hunters? Email us at