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Thread: A few observations from SD

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    basehor, ks
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    2,497

    Default A few observations from SD

    So just returned from 5 days in SD and this is what I found

    Lots of crops still in the field combined with warm temps made for some tough hunting. Hunted one day public and road ditches up around Gettysburg with limited success. Walked some awesome looking ditches really only had one shot all day that I passed on because I could not identify in time. Finished the day with a Steak at Mad Mary's with the bread pudding. I know Cattleman's gets a lot of run on here but Mad Mary's is a little more my speed. A 14OZ blackened strip with a lump of blue cheese/Jalapeno spread on top medium rare with the tin potatoes. Holy shit that was possibly the best steak I have ever eaten ( my wife says I always say that)

    Day two hunted down south of Pierre. Lots of standing Milo and lots of birds. Managed to scratch a couple on really only 3 opportunities. My 9 year old Lab did manage a couple of retrieves and some good flushes so that was all I am there for anyway. PTM managed to find his first porkie of the trip. We ended up with 14 between 5 of us.

    Day three. Hunting was a bit slow and had really found no birds by 2 or so. Did manage to find the biggest porkie I have ever seen. My dog had him pinned in some tall milo. He was standing tall tail going furiously but would not go in even after I told him too. I was sure he was on a bird at first, but he is not shy on getting after the birds as he has caught many a wild rooster so I knew it was something else. I looked over the milo and thought Holy shit that porkie was the size of a medium size dog. Unfortunately PTM's dog ended up with some in her mouth that needed to be pulled. We moved on to another field where we encountered two more porkies. In fact one of the Old Guy's with us realized he had ended up with a quill through his jeans and into his ball sack from the earlier removal process. ( I don't care who you are that is pretty darn funny right there ) I did managed a South Dakota Special at the end of the field. Had a rooster flush to my left out a ways that I whiffed on twice. Broke open the gun and shot the next two that flew over me. Saw a third coming out got the gun open and managed to slap one shell in the top barrel and dropped him too. Three birds in about a minute in a half with two reloads. Not bad for an old fat guy. ( we won't talk about the 2 shot whiff on the first one). We ended the day with 11 birds between the 5 of us with 3 lost birds and a lot of missing.

    Day four. Moved to a different area with far less birds but at least no more porkies. Highlight of the day was watching PTM pop a bird my Lab put up with his side by side. Then watching the dog find the cripple in the tall cattails and dig him out. He was still going strong after four days. Me not so much. we did managed 12 birds between the 5 of us.

    Day five. Really saw little in the morning I took off after Johnny B's golden got blasted by the skunk. I had to come back to work today and the 9 hr drive was looming. I was told they ended up with 11 between the 4 of them.

    All and all a great trip. Bird numbers are definitely down where I hunt. I did have a shot at a limit everyday but that is concerning as we did not see many in quite a bit of great habitat. Lots of hawks and several coyotes so that does not help. Still the farm we ended at gave up nearly 600 hundred roosters in 200 hunting days just 4 years ago in the same habitat. I don't know if it will ever get back to that. It is time for another dog, and that makes me sad as I think of it this morning. I do see signs of him slowing down. We had to pull him out of the back of the truck Saturday night as he was cold wet and tired. But Sunday morning he was ready to go again. Well back to work until next time. Hope you guy's all have a good hunt when you go.


    Ps. Be aware of your shots. Took one in the thumb at about 75 yards. Not fun.
    Last edited by carptom1; 10-29-2018 at 12:33 PM. Reason: Add

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
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    34

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    Thanks for the report. Similar to what we saw - heat and standing crops make it difficult to judge the true population. Opener started well, but the heat moved in and all the public fields had been hit so things slowed quickly.

    Once the crops and crowds are down, will hit SD again and reassess. The data point I am relying on now is youth opener - we probably kicked up about 2X birds vs last year in North-central SD.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    North Dakota
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    570

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    I would throw in that although I’ve had the privledge to hunt with Toms group when we put the smack down on them fairly quickly I didn’t have less fun on this trip in fact it was one of the most enjoyable. It did take a toll on our dogs with the longer hours in the field and porcupines for my younger dog. A guy could wait for better numbers in the coming years but 48 birds is still pretty good. Our dogs all have the same problem, they get old too fast. It sounds cliche but getting out with your friends and getting your dogs onto ground that is way better than the home front is what it’s all about, the success can’t entirely be measured by the bird count. I probably owe that old guy a dinner for taking a quill in the nads while helping pull quills from my dogs face.��

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Sioux Falls, SD
    Posts
    728

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    Great report! Glad you had a super time in our state!
    "Most pheasants in South Dakota don't react too well to #5s." -The Hunt for Red Rooster

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Minnetonka/Minneapolis
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    One of Tom's "old guy's " reporting...fun trip and a lot of miles on the boots. As was stated earlier, hunting should improve as more crops are cut. Some of our favorite spots produced no birds, not even a hen...not good.

    This was my first trip with a used A5-light 20. Love the gun! Having problems with the magazine cutoff lever, very difficult to pull. This gun is a 1994 version but seldom shot, everything is very stiff! Anyone have a solution to this issue?

    Max the Golden is still very tired, not eating and suffering from a hot spot at the collar and residual effects of the skunk shot. He pointed one skunk earlier in the trip and I managed to pull him off. The next day another encounter but I wasn't close to him to pull him and he got blasted in the face. He's 8 yrs young and still going strong!

    Looking forward to another trip - always a fun...
    Last edited by jonnyB; 10-30-2018 at 09:57 AM.

  6. #6

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    Thanks for the great reports guys. One week from right now we will be about 5 hours in to our drive heading that way. Can’t wait!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Sioux Falls, SD
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    728

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonnyB View Post
    Having problems with the magazine cutoff lever, very difficult to pull. This gun is a 1994 version but seldom shot, everything is very stiff! Anyone have a solution to this issue?
    A5's are just that way. All you can do is keep it clean, oiled lightly & shoot as many pheasants as possible in order to loosen things up. And even then, don't expect a vast difference. Enjoy the stiffness of your awesome little shotgun!
    "Most pheasants in South Dakota don't react too well to #5s." -The Hunt for Red Rooster

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    308

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    Glad you all found birds , bet once it cools, and crops come out it can get better there? that said, you have beat my ratio of birds in Montana.
    8 days out 7 roosters so far!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Minnetonka/Minneapolis
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    1,825

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    Thanks for the guidance - will shoot sporting clay's with this gun and hope things loosen. Maybe a gunsmith has a fix for the magazine cutoff lever...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Sioux Falls, SD
    Posts
    728

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    Don't hold your breath. The only A5's I've seen that one might call "loose" are pretty darned old. My guess for the cutoff lever is that it would take a parts modification, which I, personally, wouldn't mess with. But yeah, if a good gunsmith can come up w/ something, more power to you. Good luck.
    "Most pheasants in South Dakota don't react too well to #5s." -The Hunt for Red Rooster

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