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Thread: 1st time to South Dakota

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    83

    Default 1st time to South Dakota

    I was able to get 4 days off before I got really busy with work. Really wanted to head to SD (instead of kansas- which is a lot closer to me). I went alone with Lilly, 3 yr old gsp . We got to SE SD Saturday afternoon about 3 30 and decided to scout for public land backing up to freshly harvested fields. This was not hard to find, combines were in full force!! I had 3 fields picked out by the time sun went down. I had 2 days to hunt nov.25 & 26th. I got to the first field 830 am the next morning. Me and Lilly sat in the truck quietly waiting for 10 am to roll around. As I sat there, I watched pheasant flying over my truck, around my truck, across the road, just to get to the corn field across the fence from where I was! It seemed like eternity for 10 am to arrive! We unload into the wind, Lilly slams into a point 70 yards from the truck- I chuckled cause I physically watched a rooster take off from there and glide into the corn field while we were waiting in the truck.. The second was about a minute later..again a spot I saw a rooster lift off earlier. I could see a small cattail slough up ahead- Lilly pointed a hen in there. I literally had to kick her in the behind to get her to fly. At this point I was getting excited thinking today they might hold really well?? It was super windy Sunday morning. We worked that property best we can (not really knowing the lay of the land). Lilly gave me 12 solid points on this property- we flushed 20 plus hens and only 2 roosters.i did manage to kill these 2. All these birds allowed me to flush them. We did have a couple of others that we couldn't pin down. As we walked to the truck at noon, i watched the combine come and cut a last standing strip near our public land fence line, sending about 70 pheasant onto our huge crp field. At this point we got out of there, promising to be back in the morning. We took a 1 hour break to eat and rest Lilly up a bit. I thought it would be a good idea to hit a really big cattail slough a couple of miles down the road on a crep property. (All our birds so far were all burrowed down in the thickest cover) we basically walked around the whole slough in about 30 minutes- Lilly pointed 3 times, again I literally had to touch them to get them to fly! I got rooster up here and I flat out missed him! We called it a day and decided to head west to scout out a "hot tip" the last 2 hrs of light-that was a no-go. Monday morning we were back at our public field waiting for 10 am to roll around. Again, we witnessed multiple pheasant flying to and from the corn field across the fence from me. I had a good bearing on the wind and the lay of the land this time. We shot the first rooster about 75 yards from the truck. He was with a bunch of hens and another rooster. I tried to shoot him a second time as I could see him"wiggle and flap" as he was falling- the shotgun jammed. Of course, we lost him in a nasty tangled mess of weeds. We decided to push the high grass on the far side first which would set up our approach with the wind and maximize our ability to pinch birds. Lilly pointed 5 times in that high grass. That grass was crotch to face high. I wounded another lost rooster, and wiffled on the third one of the day. Lilly was on fire the second day! She pinned and pointed over 20 birds in the first hour in that high grass. We came up on the fence bordering the corn field, Lilly went about 400 yards and started picking up the pace, she wiggles her tail and arse when she's birdie. I was jogging to stay near her as I could tell she was on birds. Suddenly she locks up hard, I trot up in front of her and 2 hens get up within about 3 yards of me, followed by a single roostet right behind them. I dumped him! When I shot, 2 more rooster get up from same spot! I swing on right one first(I'm right handed- to shoot both, I need to get the right one first). I dumped him too! Quickly I swing to the bird going around me on the left, I dumped him too!! I killed a triple on the second day and it was 1120. We packed up right there at the field and started that 15 hour ride home! I feel so blessed for the opportunity to follow a dog in a place that still has plenty of pheasant. I absolutely could have limited first day, and did limit the second.Everyone was so friendly and very hospitable. I can't wait to go back come late season. Without a dog there was no way I would have seen the birds I did. They absolutely did not want to fly. Also, for the guys heading out soon-get on a fresh harvested field next to the rooster! I'll try and get a few pictures up.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV
    Posts
    21

    Default

    All in all, it sounds like a great couple days of hunting. Nice work! I try to never judge a hunt by the body count and it sounds like your dog was a pleasure to watch.

    I'm heading back to SD tomorrow afternoon for a short Friday-Sunday hunt. I can't help myself, the first trip in the first week of November had a litany of things go wrong. Looking forward to some great times with my GSP Tuff.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Posts
    25

    Default

    Great Story! Iím heading back to SD this weekend for round 2.

    I remember my first, and only triple in SD, it happened at 10:01am, from the dirt road driveway, as I was about to walk in first field. I think our entire group of 5 guys limited in the first minute, without even setting foot in one field. That was crazy how many pheasants there were 10 or so years ago.

    I find hunting in SD to be more fun now, with way less birds, because itís more time actually hunting, with friends and dogs. There isnít much to do in Winner, SD at 10:30 in the morning after limiting out at 10:01.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    198

    Default

    Nice report, which proves that SD is still a phenomenal place to hunt. I think almost anyone with a dog can realistically expect to get a 3 bird limit in a full day on public land in most parts of South Dakota. Some days easier than others. But lots of variables- some fields just simply may not have birds for whatever reason, and if you happen to walk one of those from 10-noon, then rest/drive from noon-one, and walk another one of those from 1-3:00, then before you know it you are in do or die time with sunset only 2 hours away and still needing to find a new spot.

    You also took other steps that lots don't, you spent time driving and scouting!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    OH
    Posts
    497

    Default

    Great report and story. Jealous of the guys making their second trips out there!! Hard to complain though I guess since my trip this year covered 11 days including travel time.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Rolla Mo
    Posts
    253

    Default

    Glad you had fun!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    83

    Default

    A few pictures that I promised!
    IMG_0913.jpgparked right across the fence not 30 yards from my truck....success!
    SD.jpgcombine sending birds my way!
    lilly2.jpgLilly on Day1
    56494581251__2403AACF-9846-4F7E-A271-22EBA9A13BE1.JPGso blessed to be able to experience SD!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    83

    Default

    Sean(Waterman) -A huge thank you for your insight the past 2 seasons!! I hope to have you as my quest in my home state of Texas when our quail numbers are back to normal!! ..hopefully we'll put you on more quail than your dogs can handle!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    83

    Default

    almost forgot to post one more picture:
    How old do you guys think this bird is??
    IMG_0954.jpg

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

    Default

    Great photos. Thanks for sharing!
    1. That bird is most likely a 2nd year bird about 17-18 months old. Some say the spurs of older birds are dark colored, but I've seen all sorts. There's the odd exception, but generally public land birds in this state just don't make it past 2 seasons.
    2. Hunting next to a wagon full of corn is baiting.
    "Most pheasants in South Dakota don't react too well to #5s." -The Hunt for Red Rooster

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