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Thread: 3 days in South Dakota

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    35

    Default 3 days in South Dakota

    Just wrapped up a 3 day trip to South Dakota, 6 guys, 4 dogs hunted mostly public and some prime private part of the last day, also had great weather for hunting. We spent most of our time between mobridge/redfield/Pierre. Have to say I was very disappointed, we did not see near the pheasants and near the good cover that we expected. Seems like lots of pay to play operations with pen raised birds. Talked with a few farmers and they all had the same thing to say “farming is different now and what we are growing is different”. Not near the corn there used to be, and most of the road ditches are mowed. Sad to see South Dakota going this direction. Shocks me that people are willing to come out and spend that kind of money for pen raised birds. Anyway we hunted pretty hard averaged about 1 bird per guy per day. We did get up quite a few hens, but very few roosters. Maybe a 10 hens to 1 rooster ratio. Very wild birds, if you didn’t block or flank them good luck. Anyway that’s my take, pretty weak for the pheasant capital of the world. Had much better hunts in other states.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    43

    Default

    I'm shocked as well that people travel there to hunt caged birds? Every state has 20+ operations that you can hunt fat, slow, easy to shoot caged birds.....I will NEVER drive 12 hours to hunt caged birds.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    South Dakota
    Posts
    1,174

    Default

    Agreed. I will never offer that.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    321

    Default

    Thanks for continuing to perpetuate the myth. Lessens the pressure on the wild roosters I chase.......
    Chasing Roosters with a flushing dog on public land. As God intended.......

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Sioux Falls, SD
    Posts
    719

    Default

    A buddy & I & our 2 springers hunted WPA's 1.5-2 hours from Sioux Falls yesterday. Didn't hunt long or hard because of the cruddy weather. Got 4. Could've had 6. Today, Buzz & I hunted little bits of cattails in ditches 50 minutes from Sioux Falls in a VERY heavily hunted area. 8 little walks; maybe 1.5 hours, tops. Birds in every single one of them. Saw maybe about 50 birds; 7-8 roosters. Got 2. Missed 1 longer poke and....missed probably the easiest layup I've had all year. 1"-2" of snow. Ice very poor. Saw very few hunters all weekend. 100000% wild birds of course. So right. Don't come to South Dakota. There's nowhere good to hunt, too much pressure & no birds.
    "Most pheasants in South Dakota don't react too well to #5s." -The Hunt for Red Rooster

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    83

    Default

    Too many variables to sum up the whole state after hunting a given area for 3 days... I agree that it's crazy to travel all the way to sd to chase caged birds! To each- their own I guess.

  7. #7

    Default

    There are plenty of wild birds...and plenty of places where the hunting is tough, mainly due to the hangover of the 2017 drought, which was devastating to the birds. Just because there were birds in certain places 2 or 5 or 10 years ago, isn't relevant at this point...again, plenty of wild birds...and yes, lots of released birds out there...if you're paying for land access, and it's a chunk of change, you may be paying for birds unwittingly...especially if you see lots of roosters and few hens...and the habitat is void of large tracts of grass...just food plots in the middle of black dirt, or mowed grass...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    35

    Default

    Yes, can’t argue with you there, 3 days isn’t enough time to make an accurate judgement of the entire state. I was was just really surprised at the number of pay to play outfits that released pen raised birds and the lack of good cover, particularly in the ditches. Hopefully make it back someday and find better conditions and hunting. Most the farmers we talked to were great, but they didn’t sound very optimistic.

  9. #9

    Default

    Maybe you didn't put enough effort into finding places to hunt. Public land gets hammered obviously and it's now towards the end of the season. Did you hunt pockets where previous hunters may not have hit? Did you hunt Cattails? I can tell you there is a reason South Dakota is called the pheasant capital of the world. But, hunting is hunting, if it were easy everyone would be doing it. I'm heading back to SD Pheasant hunting on this Thursday. I'll be hunting private 90% of the time and a little public land, not much. Wild birds are very smart by this time of the year. I think the old SD Ringneck just kicked your butts. It happens to us all. But, that's the game we play! It's not always all about the birds. I go to watch my dog work, I go to view beautiful scenery from the plains of SD, see old friends, the sunrises/sunsets, and hopefully get a few birds. But I love every minute of it!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Central MN
    Posts
    137

    Default

    While I can't argue with your last sentence, the rush of the flush and "warming the ol' gun barrel" is a big part of it. If you want to sit back and be theological, go ahead but there is a reason its called hunting and not sunset watching.

    I can only hope that one day, it will be close to the first year I ever hunted out there, 2010. (which wasn't even the best)

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