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Thread: A few observations from South Dakota

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    basehor, ks
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    Default A few observations from South Dakota

    Sitting here watching MNF after spending a few days hunting in the cold and snow of South Dakota. Thought I would share a few observations of my annual December trip.

    # 1 The bird numbers are certainly down in the area I hunt. Typically we would see at least one flush in the 2-300 range. The largest I saw was a 75 bird flush from a tree belt. I did see several hundred in an area we no longer can hunt. He had grain piles out and the birds and deer were thick in his trees. We worked hard for our birds and only limited on one day out of three. We had a real tough day on Saturday in 5 degree weather and a stiff wind. Six of us ended up with 8 birds in some real tough conditions. We should have had more but it is tough to shoot bundled up like that. We averaged like 2.3 birds per guy.

    #2 I do not like hunting in the cold and snow like I used to. Snowed on all three days, the ends of fields were drifted in bad. I am too fat to walk cattails that are not yet frozen. One tree belt had 3 + foot drifts already. Farmer said he was a few inches from shutting it down as his food plots were starting to fill up with snow. He has a group of 5 coming in this weekend and based on the weather they will have a tough go. Even knowing what I know I would go again in a minute.

    #3 I have to get in better shape as I have let myself go a bit. It affects my shooting and my ability to hunt like I would like. Quit talking and get busy.

    All and all a great trip. Watching Patrick's (PTM) old lab sniff that wounded rooster out was pretty cool. She was determined she had it pegged deep in that snow and finally was rewarded. I love watching Labs in the cattails and snow. It is a shame I don't get to go more often. Seems they hat a stride about the middle of the second day and then it is over too soon. Sunday I had an epic day. Walked the edge of some waist high cattails and watched my Lab put up 10 or so birds including several roosters. I managed a limit in fairly short order of about 45 minutes or so. Nice to walk the edge while he did the work. Also finished with several nice retrieves. Again the company was good, the food was decent and the Super 8 was, well a super 8. Thanks to Patrick for a few of the pictures I am sharing. Hopefully he doesn't mind.

    PS. My dog did catch a hen and was wanting to kill her real bad. I was able to coax her away from him and release her as he only had the tail feathers. I was grateful as I was going to hate turning him in to the local Conservation Officer.

    A few pics













    Last edited by carptom1; 12-12-2016 at 10:51 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Northern Michigan
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    869

    Default

    Nice report, I'm heading out the 26th. What region of the state were you hunting, curious about snow depth. I'll be in north central.
    River - 3 yr old English Setter
    http://gundogcentral.com/view_pedigr...&generations=5
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    Ellie - 6 yr old Yellow Lab
    Jazi - 12/30/2005 -- 10/13/2017
    Kaci - 3/23/01 - -10/8/15

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Minnetonka/Minneapolis
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    Default

    Good report, Tom. Max and I had a great time, as usual, in spite of the weather. Most of the time was spent "hunting" vs shooting which I enjoy.

    Snow depth: 3-6" with more coming this week. Drifts on the edge of the fields make for tough going...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
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    144

    Default

    Awesome report, thanks for sharing.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    North Dakota
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    Default Buddy

    Sure was fun to watch your Dog systematically and methodically put those birds out of the slough, saw you throw that hen in the air and watched it fly away. I love the tough hunts like that, we earned some birds for sure. I have some more pics but my computer is acting up. Me, Lilah and Molly had an awesome time and we finally got to meet Jim, super great guy. After watching Tom and his dog I am going to try and slow down a bit, they always proved there were more birds in there. Good group and thanks again for the trip, watching my old dog put that rooster up walking to the road from the trees when it was just you and I made the trip for me. A word for those heading out to SD bring extra boots, I fell through the ice a couple times, it was damn cold.
    Last edited by PTM; 12-13-2016 at 01:29 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    central california
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    Thanks for the report Tom, wish I could've been there buddy.
    "The happiest man is he who learns from nature the lesson of worship"

    -Ralph Waldo Emerson

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Minnetonka/Minneapolis
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    Robert - not sure your CA blood could have endured this hunt! This was the coldest outing I think I have ever experienced. Very windy - up to 25 mph with temps in the low single numbers.

    Last day was sunny, 15 but still windy, but we managed a limit by 3PM.

    Biggest issue: keeping your hands warm. I did have battery/warmed gloves which helped a great deal.

    Come join the fun next winter!!

  8. #8
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    Jun 2010
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    central california
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    You underestimate us Californian's Jon, it gets cold here in some places. -5 with sustained 20mph winds chasing fairy tale chukar.



    It was like 60 the whole time I was in SD in December last time.
    "The happiest man is he who learns from nature the lesson of worship"

    -Ralph Waldo Emerson

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    basehor, ks
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    Quote Originally Posted by quail hound View Post
    Thanks for the report Tom, wish I could've been there buddy.
    We needed a couple young skinny guys in those cattails. The were not quite frozen yet and were pretty tough to get through. But as always there were some birds in there. Maybe next year.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Northern Illinois
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    Threads like this make me wish I was out there. You have some good photos too Tom. Thank you for posting them.
    "Through license fees and excise tax on arms and gear, sportsmen contribute over $200 million per year for wildlife conservation programs" (U.S. fish and wildlife service)

    http://www.pheasantfreaks.com

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