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Thread: A fresh report

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    12

    Default A fresh report

    My son and I just returned from the Eureka area after a dove hunt. My approach for the trip was three fold....shoot doves, scout deer and pheasants. We had two great dove shoots, filling limits easily. We saw plenty of deer as well.

    Now the real bad news. I have hunted the 7,000 acre family farm for 22 years and have had such wonderful times hunting plentiful pheasants and deer over the years. In 3 days of dove hunting and driving the normal country roads including 2 tracks, we saw 7 pheasants. Yes, 7. We drove these roads scouting during all hours of the day including dawn, dusk and everything in between.

    Now I understand that all of the crops are still standing and the birds have plenty of places to hide but to only see 7 in 3 days is unbelievable. We typically see and hear hundreds, if not thousands of pheasants as we mill around the abandoned farm but on this hunt it was completely silent. We heard nothing and saw nothing.

    It is extremely wet in Eureka. Many of the normal farm roads are impassable due to the water. The harvest will be late this year, as the crops were planted late.

    I am interested to see the results of the SD Game & Fish brood counts. The report is quite late in being published this year. I in no way am trying to dissuade anyone from going to Eureka to hunt pheasants this season. I applaud those who are willing to spend their money, time and effort doing what we love to do.

    Just an honest first hand report.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Sioux Falls, SD
    Posts
    844

    Default

    Well, if you were out at all hours in some good looking country & saw nothing & heard nothing......unfortunately it sounds like they've been hit hard there. Hope you're wrong, but either way, nice report. Thanks for sharing.
    "Most pheasants in South Dakota don't react too well to #5s." -The Hunt for Red Rooster

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    12

    Default

    I was in shock and highly disappointed by the lack of pheasants we saw and heard. I think the brutal winter they had out there mixed with the abundance of rain this spring that flooded the nests out really did them in.

    We have had only one marginal year out there in recent memory, and that was 2006. That year was super dry. Every other year since the late 90ís, no matter how many guys were in the group, we always scratched out our limit in 5 days. I hope my observations are way off, believe me.

  4. #4

    Default

    your report sounds like SE MN year after year after year. Hope the numbers are better for you in that area. Was hoping you had a better report as we are swinging down from devils lake through the Roscoe area to hunt end of October for a day on our way to Pierre that night. Guess ya never know until you hit the leather on the prairie.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    South Dakota
    Posts
    1,203

    Default

    We had a very tough winter, worst since 97. It will take a toll, I think the brood report will show that if they release it.

  6. #6

    Default

    That is not good news. I was down in south central this past weekend for my annual dove hunt and was shocked by the number of broods I saw. Our area will be up significantly this year. The cover reminds me the way it was in the mid 90’s... many acres of undisturbed pastures and dirty fields everywhere. Early season hunting will be real difficult but late season should be incredible. I will be curious as to what the annual survey shows, something must be up because they have not released it. It’s probably the most young birds I have seen since I have been dove hunting out there. The winter was not as bad there and I think the timing of the spring weather must have given them a window for a successful hatch. It’s depressing when you don’t see the birds... 2 years ago we were wiped out by a hail storm and I remember driving around knowing it was going to be a tough year.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    12

    Default

    I am hoping for the sake of South Dakota tourism that only certain parts of the pheasant belt were hit hard by last years winter and poor nesting success this spring. I am finding it very odd that SD Game & Fish has yet to release the brood counts. My memory tells me that the brood count was always released around the last week of August for the past 20 years.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Sioux Falls, SD
    Posts
    844

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jags View Post
    I am hoping for the sake of South Dakota tourism that only certain parts of the pheasant belt were hit hard by last years winter and poor nesting success this spring. I am finding it very odd that SD Game & Fish has yet to release the brood counts. My memory tells me that the brood count was always released around the last week of August for the past 20 years.
    As inaccurate as the brood survey can be, I think it WILL indicate that only isolated small portions of the state got hit hard. Because the truth is, the winter & spring in most areas just weren't very bad. Wet....but in general not devastating to nesting/brooding.
    "Most pheasants in South Dakota don't react too well to #5s." -The Hunt for Red Rooster

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    2,283

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by A5 Sweet 16 View Post
    As inaccurate as the brood survey can be, I think it WILL indicate that only isolated small portions of the state got hit hard. Because the truth is, the winter & spring in most areas just weren't very bad. Wet....but in general not devastating to nesting/brooding.
    i just hope they tell the truth...i think most of it will be pretty tough.
    Also. Sully county had a pretty large hail event.....not good.
    i wonder if the delayed report includes/could include some drastic measures for recovery?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Sioux Falls, SD
    Posts
    844

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hunter94 View Post
    i just hope they tell the truth...i think most of it will be pretty tough.
    Also. Sully county had a pretty large hail event.....not good.
    i wonder if the delayed report includes/could include some drastic measures for recovery?
    Telling the truth: I've never thought they shied away from calling a spade a spade.
    Drastic recovery measures: Such as?
    "Most pheasants in South Dakota don't react too well to #5s." -The Hunt for Red Rooster

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