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Thread: First SD trip

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    100

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    No need to stay home. As Matt D pointed out above, a down year for pheasant in SD is still better than anywhere else. The best time to take your first trip to SD is just as soon as you can. There are plenty of birds to be found if you're willing to work for them.
    Here's the site I use to analyze rainfall data- https://water.weather.gov/precip/
    Most of the state got way too much rain in May-June-July, but there are some areas that received amounts fairly close to normal.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    18

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    Thanks for link. No way I’m staying home. I’ll go and regardless of how many birds I see I’ll enjoy the experience and the time with my dog.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    331

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    Used to hunt Marshall, Day and N/NE Brown county almost exclusively starting in 2003 and through the end of that decade. Lots of public land and relatively few hunters until the word got out in the later years. Area was hit hard by the CRP acre reduction and has always been impacted by winter weather and cool, wet springs more than the rest of the state.

    I still hunt there for a couple days each season just because I have so many memories of and affection for the area but truthfully the pheasant hunting is difficult. If you end up hunting there I would recommend really focusing on the basics. Scout a lot and look for and only hunt better cover, save the best large spots for late in the day and the golden hour, hunt the good smaller parcels adjacent to a good food source mid-day, if you see farmers harvesting a field next to a decent looking parcel stop and hunt it.
    Chasing Roosters with a flushing dog on public land. As God intended.......

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    18

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    That’s pretty close to where I was going to go. I originally planned on Webster but many have advised against that area. I’m now thinking about setting up camp in Faulkton. I’m really relying on input from people who have experience in SD. Beyond the normal concerns of harsh winter the vast amounts of water and late planting season will be interesting. Under normal conditions I would expect most of the corn to be out by nov 1. Not sure about this year. Here in Illinois farmers struggled to get all the corn in. A significant amount still got planted and what did will get harvested later than usual.
    Thanks for your advise it’s much appreciated.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    2,272

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    shoot pen raised birds close to home?.....that's what you will get at most SD lodges this season. why drive 13 hours (for me) each way? you can wait for the bird counts to verify the hatch, but rough winter followed by huge amounts of rain this spring don't bode well for production. sure there will be isolated areas that hold a few birds, but they will be hammered by November....late harvest will make things tough too, but good luck....just going to be a tougher year to be successful.
    i hate pen raised birds.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    18

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    Hunter94 I understand where you are coming from. Shoot pen raised at home or travel to shoot pen raised. Pen raised is essentially all I can hunt at home. I’m not hunting a lodge in SD where they are suppplemting wild bird population. I’m targeting public land. I don’t know about you but there is much more to a hunting trip to me than harvesting an animal. For the last 20 years I’ve gone to my uncles in southern Illinois to deer hunt. I had opportunities at home to hunt and kill deer. I enjoyed the time with friends and family away from the stresses of home and work. My uncle passed away a couple months ago and I’m glad I made all those trips to his place and have many good memories and hope to do the same with my pheasant trips. My friend and I may look back and laugh at how bad our first trip was, maybe it turns out good...if nothing else we get a lay of the land.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    South Dakota
    Posts
    1,200

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    For what it is worth, I just cut some 2nd cutting alfalfa and came across a couple of broods. 7 in the biggest one. I did release 100 hens this spring so maybe that is paying off.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    2,272

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    it's sure not all about shooting a limit everyday, no doubt about that......but when i drive that far and never get a shot all day long? And it is tough on a young dog when trying to get some reps and real bird contact as well.
    i am not trying to discourage you, check the fall forecast when the numbers are released, (there may be some bright spots), but from what i saw/know this will likely be a dismal season. good luck and let us know how it goes.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    basehor, ks
    Posts
    2,502

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    Quote Originally Posted by hunter94 View Post
    it's sure not all about shooting a limit everyday, no doubt about that......but when i drive that far and never get a shot all day long? And it is tough on a young dog when trying to get some reps and real bird contact as well.
    i am not trying to discourage you, check the fall forecast when the numbers are released, (there may be some bright spots), but from what i saw/know this will likely be a dismal season. good luck and let us know how it goes.
    If you drive to SD and don't get a shot at a bird all day long you either didn't work very hard or were not paying attention. I can just drive around and have an opportunity at a limit if I put some work in. Phil81, go and enjoy yourself, SD is a beautiful state I have probably made the drive 50+ times in 25yrs. I have seen years when you had to try and not shoot a limit in the first 10 minutes, and other yrs that it took all day. Get up early and spend 2-3 hrs scouting. Once you find the birds plot them out and hunt. Weekdays are better obviously, find dirty ditches next to cut feed and you will find birds. Don't be afraid to move to a different area. Don't let the negativity of some keep you from an adventure. I spent a day last fall not shooting my gun. I watched my dog flush a ton of hens, saw some antelope and mule dear, ate a big steak and had a great day. The next day I shot a limit in about a minute in a half ( with an over under mind you). Be safe and have fun

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Spring Grove, IL
    Posts
    1,743

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    Tomorrow is not guaranteed,neither is next year. Get out there . some guys just want more fields to themselves.😉

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