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Thread: Taking my sons to SD for the first time and looking for advice.

  1. #1

    Default Taking my sons to SD for the first time and looking for advice.

    Iíve decided at the last second as a Christmas gift to take my sons on a pheasant hunting trip to SD for the first time next week. My sons are 20 and 17 and the younger one will be signing with Uncle Samís Navy in a month or so and who knows when we could do the trip if we donít do it now. Heís been pheasant hunting with me almost since he could walk in Iowa where I grew up every Thanksgiving and sometimes over Christmas and going to SD has always been a dream of his (and mine).

    Tentative plan is to leave on the 26th and then hunt next week for 3 or 4 days. I am not looking nor can afford going to some expensive lodge and we are fine hunting public land. We have a 2 year old viszla rescue that has not been trained but worked decent over thanksgiving (havenít had him long and live near Chicago so no access to birds). My son has picked Huron / Chamberlain / Mitchell areas based on some things heís researched. Seems we can find Airbnbís and or hotels that are reasonable in those areas.

    Since a few of you are the experts I thought Iíd post and get your opinions / advice. My questions:

    Are these good areas with plenty of public land? Any other recommendations?

    Any lodging recommendations that are clean and reasonable?

    Iíve looked at this board for years and reading some posts over the last few years make it sound like SD hunting isnít what is use to be - should we just go to Iowa and save the money as we have private land and places to stay for free? Iíd like to experience that ultimate SD hunt with my sons but some things Iíve read on here scare me a bit.

    Any advice for what you can do regarding training of a 2 year old viszla for next spring / summer? We take wings to the local dog parks with some cover but thatís about it in the few months weíve had him.

    The dream about SD hunting is you will see more birds than youíve ever seen and if you can shoot youíll limit out. It would be great to see lots of wild birds but thatís not necessarily what I expect however Iíd like to not get shutout over 3/4 days. I know either way we will have fun together and create some memories and I appreciate any advice / suggestions.

    Thanks in advance and merry Christmas!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Central MN
    Posts
    710

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    I don’t want to dissuade you from SD, but if tons of birds, and “easy” limits are the criteria I think you will be disappointed. There are plenty of birds to be had but they are spooky pressured birds this time of year and an experienced dog is pretty much a must. That being said you will see some beautiful country, tons of deer and other critters. I love SD pheasant hunting (especially late season) but it’s more about the experience than the numbers. The Huron, Mitchell areas are pretty heavily hunted, I would consider hunting “west river” for better bird numbers. West river can be a bit of an adventure as the country is BIG with amenities far and few between ie gas, lodging etc.
    Whatever you decide, good luck and have fun.
    PS 2 weeks ago 3 of us harvested 35 birds somewhat near Huron. This was on good private land, 7 solid dogs, and hunting hard. Pretty awesome trip
    "We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It's the best deal man has ever made." M.Facklam

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    South Dakota / Arizona
    Posts
    6,050

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    Take a look at the weather system coming in on the 26th. It has potential to be a big system covering most of South Dakota and last through Friday. They are not projecting the amount of snow yet but I'm guessing in the next couple of days they will have a better idea. Not the kind of weather you want to be hunting in. And if we get any significant amounts it could really make hunting difficult.
    Janee's August Breeze - Bree
    7/6/2016
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    Godfather's Dakota Elle - Elle
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    South Dakota / Arizona
    Posts
    6,050

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    Not only he snow, but the mild temps we have been having lately are going to take a drive with highs in the single digits and lows below zero.
    Janee's August Breeze - Bree
    7/6/2016
    http://gundogcentral.com/view_pedigr...&generations=5

    Godfather's Dakota Elle - Elle
    1X NSTRA Champion
    11/16/2008 - 11/22/2016
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  5. #5

    Default

    Hunting in parts of SD and ND can be remote and that "remoteness" ups a notch or two in December.

    I always say when traveling in the Dakotas - you never pass an open gas station without topping off the gas tank. Especially true in winter.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rooster Hawk View Post
    Iíve decided at the last second as a Christmas gift to take my sons on a pheasant hunting trip to SD for the first time next week. My sons are 20 and 17 and the younger one will be signing with Uncle Samís Navy in a month or so and who knows when we could do the trip if we donít do it now. Heís been pheasant hunting with me almost since he could walk in Iowa where I grew up every Thanksgiving and sometimes over Christmas and going to SD has always been a dream of his (and mine).

    Tentative plan is to leave on the 26th and then hunt next week for 3 or 4 days. I am not looking nor can afford going to some expensive lodge and we are fine hunting public land. We have a 2 year old viszla rescue that has not been trained but worked decent over thanksgiving (havenít had him long and live near Chicago so no access to birds). My son has picked Huron / Chamberlain / Mitchell areas based on some things heís researched. Seems we can find Airbnbís and or hotels that are reasonable in those areas.

    Since a few of you are the experts I thought Iíd post and get your opinions / advice. My questions:

    Are these good areas with plenty of public land? Any other recommendations?

    Any lodging recommendations that are clean and reasonable?

    Iíve looked at this board for years and reading some posts over the last few years make it sound like SD hunting isnít what is use to be - should we just go to Iowa and save the money as we have private land and places to stay for free? Iíd like to experience that ultimate SD hunt with my sons but some things Iíve read on here scare me a bit.

    Any advice for what you can do regarding training of a 2 year old viszla for next spring / summer? We take wings to the local dog parks with some cover but thatís about it in the few months weíve had him.

    The dream about SD hunting is you will see more birds than youíve ever seen and if you can shoot youíll limit out. It would be great to see lots of wild birds but thatís not necessarily what I expect however Iíd like to not get shutout over 3/4 days. I know either way we will have fun together and create some memories and I appreciate any advice / suggestions.

    Thanks in advance and merry Christmas!
    WPA's of decent size will have lots of birds after that storm hits...hard to approach them, however....look at the GFP atlas...you will see where the public land is...WPA's are RED and usually are full of cattails, which you will need after the snow hits...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    2,191

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    Quote Originally Posted by BRITTMAN View Post
    Hunting in parts of SD and ND can be remote and that "remoteness" ups a notch or two in December.

    I always say when traveling in the Dakotas - you never pass an open gas station without topping off the gas tank. Especially true in winter.
    if the snow comes with any any amount of wind, the roads will be impassable and walking through knee deep snow will wear you out quickly...plus wild ass birds!

    Iowa sounds good to me as your best alternative. birds are up this year over most of the state and road access will be slightly better.
    if they get heavy snow too, it will be difficult there as well.

    late season hunting is always rough with cold and snow common.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Minnetonka/Minneapolis
    Posts
    1,819

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dakotazeb View Post
    Take a look at the weather system coming in on the 26th. It has potential to be a big system covering most of South Dakota and last through Friday. They are not projecting the amount of snow yet but I'm guessing in the next couple of days they will have a better idea. Not the kind of weather you want to be hunting in. And if we get any significant amounts it could really make hunting difficult.
    This is sound advice! This snow storm looks huge, at least for the southern part of SD. Not only will the main roads be difficult, the secondary/gravel will be a problem. Can you postpone this trip?

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by benelli-banger View Post
    WPA's of decent size will have lots of birds after that storm hits...hard to approach them, however....look at the GFP atlas...you will see where the public land is...WPA's are RED and usually are full of cattails, which you will need after the snow hits...
    follow the james river down from the nd border all the way to the ne border...look 40 miles either side of it for wpa's

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    2,191

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    Quote Originally Posted by benelli-banger View Post
    follow the james river down from the nd border all the way to the ne border...look 40 miles either side of it for wpa's
    latest forecast i can see is 5-8 inches w/30 mph winds......a lot of sloughs will not have ice thick enough to support a hunter, but enough to hold pheasants......they will be in the cats, but dangerous for walking!

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