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Thread: Biggest flush youíve seen, or field numbers

  1. #1

    Default Biggest flush youíve seen, or field numbers

    Iím curious as to whatís the biggest pheasant flush, or we like to call them pheasant boils, anyone has seen this year in South Dakota. Donít need to say where in SD you were. Just curious if thereís any strong numbers out there anywhere.
    We just got back from South Dakota and saw some fields that would have about 60 birds and flushes of 30, usually all hen flushes of 30.
    Plenty of pheas to get me excited but Iíve seen a thousand in those same fields before. REAL EXCITING WHEN THAT HAPPENS.
    We did get our limits for three days hunting private ground with AMAZING HABITAT. Crp, great mix of crop, lots of shelter belts, cattails, ponds, etc.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Sioux Falls, SD
    Posts
    844

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    Maybe 10. More of a light simmer. But I hunt all public land (& a ditch or 2 now & then) - NOT in the main pheasant belt. And birds aren't bunched up yet. Don't need to be.
    "Most pheasants in South Dakota don't react too well to #5s." -The Hunt for Red Rooster

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    252

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    The biggest one I saw in our trip this year was probably about 25-35, and I believe they were all hens. It was still a cool site to see. I saw a few birds flying and landing about 200 yards away from me in a cattail area along an edge of a lake, so I didn't yet know they were all hens. I spent a couple minutes trying to evaluate the best way to get to this area without spooking them. I had on knee high rubber boats and ended up quietly wadding along the lake as the water was about 2 inches below the top of my boat the whole time. I got to the area where I saw them flying, then the dog and I entered and before I knew it I was in the middle of bird after bird getting up with 1-15 yards of me. Very neat to see.

    In previous years, I have had 2 different areas both on private land and in mid December, where I witnessed what had to be 1,500-2,000 birds flushing.

  4. #4

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    Thank you guys for your reports. I hope to hear from more people as the season goes on knowing that late season more birds can be seen.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Posts
    25

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    Just returned from 5.5 days hunting within 1 hour of Mitchell and saw flushes of 1 to several dozen. One private farm witch only had at most 10 acres of fireweed chocked pheasant food plots on the outside of their shelter belt yielded about 12 roosters and 18 hens. Another small dry creek channel with cover not more than 40 yards across and maybe 3/4 mile produced about 8 roosters and 20 hens.

    The CRP's I sat and watched after sunset while my friend deer hunted had several dozen birds trading around. Never heard so many roosters cackling. Although to be fair, I never sat on a CRP for 30 minutes after sunset. We could not hunt these CRPs for birds because the owner had it for pay to hunt. But it does get hunted and there were plenty of birds. My friend, a local, has permission to deer hunt.

    As I said in another post, we hunted all private and road ditches after 3:30. But there are many public grounds in this area which we drove by. All week we only saw 4 other hunters. I have to imagine the public lands held as many birds as the private lands given cover for cover. No one is around to hunt the public land and now that all the crops are out, the birds have to go somewhere and without pressure, public land is the same as private!

    And yes, I shot my limit everyday plus 8 party birds.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Sioux Falls, SD
    Posts
    844

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    Quote Originally Posted by sjohn View Post
    Just returned from 5.5 days hunting within 1 hour of Mitchell and saw flushes of 1 to several dozen. One private farm witch only had at most 10 acres of fireweed chocked pheasant food plots on the outside of their shelter belt yielded about 12 roosters and 18 hens. Another small dry creek channel with cover not more than 40 yards across and maybe 3/4 mile produced about 8 roosters and 20 hens.

    The CRP's I sat and watched after sunset while my friend deer hunted had several dozen birds trading around. Never heard so many roosters cackling. Although to be fair, I never sat on a CRP for 30 minutes after sunset. We could not hunt these CRPs for birds because the owner had it for pay to hunt. But it does get hunted and there were plenty of birds. My friend, a local, has permission to deer hunt.

    As I said in another post, we hunted all private and road ditches after 3:30. But there are many public grounds in this area which we drove by. All week we only saw 4 other hunters. I have to imagine the public lands held as many birds as the private lands given cover for cover. No one is around to hunt the public land and now that all the crops are out, the birds have to go somewhere and without pressure, public land is the same as private!

    And yes, I shot my limit everyday plus 8 party birds.
    Great report sjohn. Glad you were successful! Just a comment.....I can guarantee you that public land gets hunted more than it would appear (& WAY more earlier on) & that "cover for cover" it holds fewer birds than private land that hasn't been as heavily pounded.........in general.
    "Most pheasants in South Dakota don't react too well to #5s." -The Hunt for Red Rooster

  7. #7

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    Thatís great to hear you got limits around Mitchell. In all our years since 2002, we had to go north or west or northwest quite a ways from Mitchell to get limits or see a lot of birds.

  8. #8

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    Thanks for the replies everyone.

    Not sure if anyone else is still looking at this forum now that the season is over but more reports welcome if anyone wants to comment
    I donít care about specific location. Wouldnít want that to be shared for all to hear.
    The biggest flush so far Iíve heard of from talking to people and this forum is about 50 birds.
    Numbers in Kansas this year didnít seem to be much lower than South Dakota. AND THATS RARE!

  9. #9

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    while hunting, I got in the middle of a 100+ bird flush...late in the day....cattails near a food source...was back in that area a few weeks later, similar sized flush...maybe 75 or 80? in early january I flushed about 150 from a piece of land, but they were holding tight...flushed the first 40 or so right away, then put up around a 100+ one or two at a time...the dogs pointed most of those...and they didn't harm even one hen...didn't grab a one.

    when I first started hunting SD, back in the early '90's, when we arrived at our main spot I would honk the horn and slam a few doors to cause the 1/2 section of CRP to boil...I wanted the newbies to see what was out there...there was no other spot for the birds to go...they just rotated around within this field. It never cost us any birds, we always limited...but kind of foolish in retrospect...if I said hundreds of birds it would be an understatement.

  10. #10

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    Haha we hunted with a farmer one time who did the same thing, honking the horn next to a honey hole and about 1000 got up. Tried to video it but it was on picture setting 😒

    Thanks for the report BB
    It really is good to see that there still can be strong numbers like that which can bounce back pretty quickly to the really good numbers.
    In Kansas Iíve seen some fields that held 50 birds drop down to just a few birds and never bounced back up even after 5+ years.

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