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Thread: 1st Trip in the books (observations)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Lonsdale, Mn
    Posts
    213

    Default 1st Trip in the books (observations)

    Just got back from out first trip of the year to SD, we pushed our annual trip back 2 weeks hoping for cooler temps and more crops out compared to opening week. Well we got the cooler temps for sure but crops out not so much. I would guess that 90% of beans have been started but only 25% of those fields are finished. Corn was probably 50% started and 25% completed. With that said we had great weather for the most part, temps in the mid 20's to upper teens everyday which was great for the dogs, the wind was blowing all but 1 day with average winds of around 15-25. Our group of 5 hunted 4 days and 1hr on the final day as we had two dogs bleeding from there feet from cuts from ice on there paws so we cut the day short and headed home. We hunted 3 of the 4 days on public ground and 1 day of private. We limited every day except Saturday but that's not to say we didn't have our chances. we ended up coming home with 55 birds for 5 guys. We lost 3 and had to throw 2 away as they were shot a little close and there wasn't much left. We found our best spots had not been hunted in days maybe longer looking at the roads that you had to travel to get to them. all days on public we saw birds and for once on this trip we had good shooting from everyone on the trip. We found birds in light to moderate cover, saw tracks in cattails but never got a bird up out of them. Birds are still using the standing as a sanctuary and we saw plenty going to/from the fields at night. If and when the rest of the crops come out the season will really get interesting as the birds won't have giant fields to hide in. I can't get over the amount of standing water in the fields and the roads. We had a lot of time in 4wd on the roads and even managed to get stuck on a MM road (Min Maint) we were breaking ice on a lot of roads and that made them almost un-passable. Can't wait to get back out after X-mas when the sloughs are froze and crops are out! here are a couple pics from our trip.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Lonsdale, Mn
    Posts
    213

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    Couple more from the 1st trip.
    sd8.jpg
    sd7.jpg

  3. #3

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    That's pretty cool.congratulations on a good hunt.I shot a nice Tom today, that flushed like a pheasant, and I dispatched him in the air.Pretty cool.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Western MT
    Posts
    299

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    Thx for the report! We head that way next week.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV
    Posts
    21

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    Damn... REALLY making me think strongly about a second trip after Thanksgiving. The season only comes around once a year! I may have to start begging the Mrs. to let me take another trip!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Full time NE South Dakota now
    Posts
    199

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    Wow very well done! Nice looking birds. I am sure there are some good stories to go along with a nice harvest! Love South Dakota pheasant hunting. SDviking

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Posts
    20

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    We will be headed that way from sunny, well.. rainy this week, South Carolina the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Hearing good bird reports but slow harvest reports. Anyone want to speculate if the temperatures gets into teens and singles if the birds will leave the standing corn sanctuaries and head for the cattails? That is during hunting hours. Thanks, john

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Sioux Falls, SD
    Posts
    721

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    Quote Originally Posted by sjohn View Post
    Anyone want to speculate if the temperatures gets into teens and singles if the birds will leave the standing corn sanctuaries and head for the cattails? That is during hunting hours. Thanks, john
    If temps get real cold and there’s little/no snow on the ground, they’re more likely to stay in standing corn (if available) or thick grass. If it’s windy, they’ll prefer to find some trees to mosey around in (especially the roosters). So much of the cattails were in standing water this year that they’re not very cozy, especially the further you get into the slough from the edge (deeper water). The floor is ice, rather than weeds they can burrow into. In general, though, while hens use cattails more readily, most roosters won’t be in cattails during the day unless they need to be (thick grass has been beat down by snow, corn is picked, & there are no good trees to hang out in).
    "Most pheasants in South Dakota don't react too well to #5s." -The Hunt for Red Rooster

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Posts
    20

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    Thanks for that insight A5. I hadn't accounted for the wet feet. The sloughs are either mostly dry or frozen when we usually go. We have had good success on a few public cattail sloughs. One time I stuggled to stay on top of the ice as I pushed to the corner where the water was getting deeper. It was the last hour and the birds were flying into it from the surrounding fields. There was snow on the cattails and an ice sheet that for the most part held 175 lbs. Maybe the snow and weathered cattails offered a little better insulation? At that time all the crops were down.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Sioux Falls, SD
    Posts
    721

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    I should clarify. Basically, during the day, MOST roosters won't be in cattails unless they need to be. Some will be, especially the edges of cattails near picked corn.
    "Most pheasants in South Dakota don't react too well to #5s." -The Hunt for Red Rooster

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