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Thread: A few observations from SD

  1. #21
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    Feb 2017
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    Kansas
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrdHntr View Post
    Congrats Kansan!
    No better way to finish a tough trip!!
    There sure isn’t. They finally did like they’re supposed to, and flushed right under my lab’s nose. Regardless of the number of birds we shoot, I absolutely love coming up to South Dakota and following my dog through the prairie. Wonderful people, and a wonderful state. Kansas pheasant and quail opens next weekend, hopefully I can shoot a few back home. Good luck to all hunting SD!

  2. #22
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    Jan 2009
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    Wichita
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kansan View Post
    There sure isn’t. They finally did like they’re supposed to, and flushed right under my lab’s nose. Regardless of the number of birds we shoot, I absolutely love coming up to South Dakota and following my dog through the prairie. Wonderful people, and a wonderful state. Kansas pheasant and quail opens next weekend, hopefully I can shoot a few back home. Good luck to all hunting SD!
    I agree. It's funny the older we get how that changes. When I was younger I used to be a "how fast can I shoot them type of guy" as I'm sure most of us where. Then the older I get I could care less about shooting them. It's just awesome being out there and wondering around the prairie with my dogs. Same way with deer hunting, I'll leave the killing to my kids, I don't need to shoot one every year to feel good. Friday evening in South Dakota it was perfect, perfect weather, perfect section of grass for watching dogs work, and yet I hadn't pulled the trigger in over 2 hours and I could care less. The smile on my face was the same!

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by KansasGsp View Post
    I agree. It's funny the older we get how that changes. When I was younger I used to be a "how fast can I shoot them type of guy" as I'm sure most of us where. Then the older I get I could care less about shooting them. It's just awesome being out there and wondering around the prairie with my dogs. Same way with deer hunting, I'll leave the killing to my kids, I don't need to shoot one every year to feel good. Friday evening in South Dakota it was perfect, perfect weather, perfect section of grass for watching dogs work, and yet I hadn't pulled the trigger in over 2 hours and I could care less. The smile on my face was the same!
    Well said KGsp
    One of my bigger SD regrets was not taking the time to see Tom Knapp do his exhibition show as part of the Huron pheasant festival, ten or so years ago. That was at a late afternoon performance, the best time to be in the field chasing roosters. Fast forward to today, and I would not have missed it. Best of luck to all this fall! I am thankful for all SD has to offer the outdoorsman.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    central North Carolina
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    99

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    That's a great gun, jonnyB. My dad and I had matching light 12 A-5s we got in the early 70's; when he found that gun too heavy to swing--he was 80, as I recall--I'm nearly there now, myself--I found a used A5-light 20 for him such as you describe. I don't think he had any trouble with the magazine cutoff being stiff on it; but as I said, it was used, and well-used at that. I still have it in my gun safe...but I prefer his first gun, an Ithaca Model 37; so when the A-5 became a bit much for me, that's what I switched to; and that's what, God willing, I'll shoot Nov. 11 in South Dakota. But if it breaks...my A-5 is beside it in the gun case, waiting for the trip. Cannot wait!

  5. #25
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    Oct 2009
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    Minnetonka/Minneapolis
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    Solved the difficult magazine cutoff latch issue - works fine now. The little black screw that holds the spring was too tight. This screw actually adjusts the pressure on the flat spring...
    Have a successful trip on the 11th!

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Sioux Falls, SD
    Posts
    738

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonnyB View Post
    Solved the difficult magazine cutoff latch issue - works fine now. The little black screw that holds the spring was too tight. This screw actually adjusts the pressure on the flat spring...
    Have a successful trip on the 11th!
    That's so great you got help & solved your stiff lever issue. Does it appear that the tension on the spring is what keeps the screw from falling out, like a lock washer? Do you think it'd be possible/likely to loosen it to the point that the lever operates the way a person would want, but there's not enough tension to keep the screw from spinning out? Just curious. I obviously haven't gotten around to fiddling w/ mine yet.
    "Most pheasants in South Dakota don't react too well to #5s." -The Hunt for Red Rooster

  7. #27
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    Oct 2009
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    I backed off the screw a bit so the lever is easy to operate. Yes, the spring pressure appears to keep the screw in position. I did load three in the magazine and the lever worked fine. If the screw worked it's way loose, the lever wouldn't operate correctly and the shell would cycle. Assume locktite could work on the screw.

    It appears the previous owner of this gun never operated the lever and only used the gun for clays or trap. I operate the lever every time I return to the truck and put the gun away...

    Jon

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    20 miles south of Ft. Worth, Tx
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rude One View Post

    Observations: The birds were almost always by corn or shelter belts. The walk-in-area program is a sham. Almost everyone of them is a cut wheat field or some barren wasteland. I saw one WIA that was grazed to nothing. Even the wet spots had no cover. Why pay these guys money to give access to something nobody is ever going to hunt. Heck the farmers I talked with agreed the WIA program is messed up. I guess it gives the state more acreage of public land to brag about. It is false advertising to say these are hunt-able. The School lands are the same thing. Those things are grazed to nothing so they really aren't worth mentioning as hunt-able public land. The good public land was being pounded by serveral people each day so that made things tough. I think it is going to be interesting to see if there is a continued decline in people hunting in SD. If you look at the drop in small game license around the country its not looking good. Not everyone wants to pay to play. Personally that style of hunting isn't my thing anyway. I love to be out there with my dogs and enjoying the surroundings. As the hunting places lease up more farm land for their operations it is getting harder to get access. Not impossible but much harder. It will be interesting to see where things go in the future.

    All that being said I love hunting behind my dogs and there is nothing better than the sights and sounds of a bird flushing up close. Good luck to everyone heading out.
    Rude One, you are spot on about SD public hunting areas. Truly a waste and a disappointment.

    Just back from North Central SD, 9 day hunt 27 Oct-4 Nov. Group of 4 "old regulars" with another 4 younger folks coming and going but only staying about 2-3 days each as we went along. So biggest party was 8, usually 4-5.

    Mostly hunted private land that we've been on the last decade or more. Birds numbers WAY down from the halcyon years of pheasants every where you stepped. None the less, we got a decent bag most every day. Not everyone limited but some limited every day. Had to hunt much longer to get that decent bag; in fact, we hunted the entire legal shooting day.

    As some have mentioned, corn+cover+water source = pheasants. It doesn't all have to be in the same quarter. We've all seen pheasants cruise hundreds and hundreds of yards with a few wing beats and glides. Not to mention a good sprint after they land. But all those things need to be in relatively close proximity to each other.

    Many if not most of the usual sloughs were mowed like a golf fairway. A lot of good old spots just worthless this year. Some of the corn wasn't out and that might have helped. However, land that in the 2006-2011 time frame might see flocks of 50 or more flush were only holding a small handful of birds. This does not bode well for the immediate future.

    We did hunt some public land and all I can say is what a disappointment. My group has always accepted that the school lands are essentially worthless for upland hunting. We were surprised however that CREP was often the same bare, heavily grazed land. CREP? The land the book tells you is "improved" for wildlife? Huh? Game production areas we >slightly< better with a few crop strips here and there. Walk-in wasn't very good either. We gave public land 2 days of effort and had our lowest reward for that effort.

    I doubt it will happen but SD Game, Fish & Parks needs to SERIOUSLY overhaul their public hunting program. They should look to what Nebraska is doing. Heck, Kansas does WAY better than SD with public areas. It seems to me that SDGFP just spends/hands out $ willy-nilly with no consideration as to whether the land they're spending on has any real relationship to good upland hunting.

    I'm just VERY thankful we have access to good private land.

    None the less, I also echo Rude One's last statement. It's all about walking behind the Labs with a shotgun a a few shells. Nothing beats having your dog bust a big, bold, gaudy rooster out of thick, waist high canary grass right in front of you.

    Good luck to you all this season. May we get the moisture and temperatures we need for a bountiful hatch next Spring.

  9. #29
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    Jun 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chestle View Post
    Rude One, you are spot on about SD public hunting areas. Truly a waste and a disappointment.

    Just back from North Central SD, 9 day hunt 27 Oct-4 Nov. Group of 4 "old regulars" with another 4 younger folks coming and going but only staying about 2-3 days each as we went along. So biggest party was 8, usually 4-5.

    Mostly hunted private land that we've been on the last decade or more. Birds numbers WAY down from the halcyon years of pheasants every where you stepped. None the less, we got a decent bag most every day. Not everyone limited but some limited every day. Had to hunt much longer to get that decent bag; in fact, we hunted the entire legal shooting day.

    As some have mentioned, corn+cover+water source = pheasants. It doesn't all have to be in the same quarter. We've all seen pheasants cruise hundreds and hundreds of yards with a few wing beats and glides. Not to mention a good sprint after they land. But all those things need to be in relatively close proximity to each other.

    Many if not most of the usual sloughs were mowed like a golf fairway. A lot of good old spots just worthless this year. Some of the corn wasn't out and that might have helped. However, land that in the 2006-2011 time frame might see flocks of 50 or more flush were only holding a small handful of birds. This does not bode well for the immediate future.

    We did hunt some public land and all I can say is what a disappointment. My group has always accepted that the school lands are essentially worthless for upland hunting. We were surprised however that CREP was often the same bare, heavily grazed land. CREP? The land the book tells you is "improved" for wildlife? Huh? Game production areas we >slightly< better with a few crop strips here and there. Walk-in wasn't very good either. We gave public land 2 days of effort and had our lowest reward for that effort.

    I doubt it will happen but SD Game, Fish & Parks needs to SERIOUSLY overhaul their public hunting program. They should look to what Nebraska is doing. Heck, Kansas does WAY better than SD with public areas. It seems to me that SDGFP just spends/hands out $ willy-nilly with no consideration as to whether the land they're spending on has any real relationship to good upland hunting.

    I'm just VERY thankful we have access to good private land.

    None the less, I also echo Rude One's last statement. It's all about walking behind the Labs with a shotgun a a few shells. Nothing beats having your dog bust a big, bold, gaudy rooster out of thick, waist high canary grass right in front of you.

    Good luck to you all this season. May we get the moisture and temperatures we need for a bountiful hatch next Spring.

    saw several large walk in areas that you couldn't lose a golf ball in.........pitiful.

    SD is beginning to lose it's appeal to the public land hunters......losing 300k acres of CRP over the next year will only make it worse.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
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    Sioux Falls, SD
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    Landowners get paid a pittance to be enrolled in the WIA program. Here's a link with info, including haying & grazing. http://habitat.sd.gov/resources/docs/wia-info-pack.pdf Not sure how it all fits into rules associated w/ CRP acres. But I think there are times when a landowner (BECAUSE he's enrolled in 1 or both programs) HAS to do something (grazing, plowing/planting, burning, etc.) in order to provide a certain type of cover, control noxious weeds, or otherwise maintain healthy habitat. Don't quote me on that though. Also, there's emergency haying, which I think is more prevalent in real dry years. I've seen WIA's mowed, disked & replanted all in the same year. I've never thought the resulting cover was any better than what had been there previously. Same with Waterfowl Production Areas that undergo similar events (especially grazing). But....I'm no expert & don't know all the rules. All I know is that for a couple years, that land is pretty much useless to me, and afterward, there aren't any more birds than before. My guess is there are loopholes, especially in the CRP program, that allow haying, grazing, etc. when & where hunters would least expect it, leaving us really scratching our heads.
    "Most pheasants in South Dakota don't react too well to #5s." -The Hunt for Red Rooster

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