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Thread: SoDak report

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    211

    Default SoDak report

    Spent 5 days chasing roosters in central E. River South Dakota.

    North of where we stayed we hunted for two days. Killed one bird & saw maybe half dozen others
    including a couple missed shots.
    Third day hunted one hour West. Killed one. Saw maybe total of a dozen birds.
    4th & 5th days hunted a dew miles South. Shot two & saw maybe 50 birds that day.
    Hunted S. again 5th day. Killed one & lost a wounded bird in nearby area.

    Every field had standing water. Every ditch was flooded at some point. Much standing corn etc.
    This all occurred or was observed from 11/4-9/2019.

    Slim bird numbers with spotty concentrations of birds in huntable numbers.
    Too much water, too much corn. Had fun anyway.

    https://i.postimg.cc/fTNHd2Md/Vic_pi...6th_season.jpg





    https://i.postimg.cc/fTNHd2Md/Vic_pi...6th_season.jpg


    https://i.postimg.cc/Jz7P6sD4/Vic_re...SoDak_2019.jpg
    Last edited by fourtrax; 11-11-2019 at 01:34 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    211

    Default

    tried to post pix, not links. Guess bbd still isn't working 100%?

  3. #3

    Default

    Thank you for sharing - we're heading up this weekend to the Platte, SD area. Still excited to get up there and run around for a few days!

  4. #4

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    We're you hunting mainly public ground? Just trying to get a feel for our family from California and Alaska coming in. Thanks!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    252

    Default

    Here's a report of mine I just posted in the SD forum, for relatively the same area.

    Hunted 3 days of a very large chunk of South Central South Dakota. Ranging from miles south of I-90, to a few miles north of Nebraska, West of Hwy 37, East of Hwy 49. A mix of public and private land. I will stand by what I have said for years, a small group of 1-3 hunters with good dog(s), hard work, walking where others won't, some luck, good areas, good shooting, can realistically expect to get a limit on a DIY public land trip in South Dakota every day. Overall, I would say this was the best or 2nd best 3 day trip I have had to SD, and I've been taking 2 a year since 2012. Day one a group of 3 got 8 birds. Day 2 and 3, a group of 2 got 6 birds each day. Also got my first ever Sharptailed Grouse - was very cool to see a covey of those flush!

    I would have a hard time saying that bird numbers are down. There were a lot of birds in the ditches and road edges. Don't overlook hunting minimum maintenance roads or gravel road ditches. Read up on the rule book for the rules and definitions of a right a way. They are not my ideal hunting, I prefer watching a dog work a large field, however sometimes you drive by one that just looks too good to pass up. Find a ditch with good cover, water source, and picked crops on each side. If you are by yourself, walk one side down, then the other back to your car. If you are with a group, you could have them drop you off and walk down to the next intersection.

    Found birds in all types of cover, from short knee high grass where you could see them running in front of the dogs, to deep in the middle of thick cattail sloughs filled with standing water and muck, to the base of a single cedar tree in the middle of nowhere.

    I had read about the water, but I am not sure I was fully expecting to see what I saw in some places. There were several spots I have hunted before that were completely inaccessible- whether the entire field or slough that was once walkable was now under feet of water, or there literally wasn't an open road to let you get to the piece of land. Finding some spots was like doing a maze on a piece of paper - go down this road 3 miles, water over road, back track 2 miles and take a different turn, go 4 miles, water over road, back track 3 miles and take a different turn - you get the idea. One spot turned into a 28 miles detour of a maze. But then other spots were completely fine. Don't let the water ruin your trip, just know that you potentially could add extra travel time that you weren't planning on. When you are in the middle of nowhere and the road looks questionable, just avoid it. Save yourself the pain of walking 2 miles to the nearest farmer to make him leave the field to pull you out because you were dumb.

    Crops are coming out quick, obviously behind a normal year, but I also wouldn't cancel a trip because of them.

    Overall, work very hard, go where others may not go or overlook, have good dogs, scout in the mornings, aside from drive time, walk non-stop from 10am - sunset, and you'll have success. Large groups - I would say otherwise. Whether we had a group of 2-3 or group of 7-10, we were probably getting about the same number of birds - there were a few spots we could have used a blocker and gotten a few. Or you could split up as a group to cover more ground and increase your chances of success. It's not easy hunting, unless you come across a good spot don't expect to be done by noon. Then again, I'm not traveling to SD to only hunt 2 hours a day, I want to hunt non stop from 10am to sunset. The hunting season and hunting days are short enough as it is, you've got to spend all day out in the field - your dogs deserve it.

  6. #6

    Default

    Similar to what I've experienced in the past, but this is great info - thank you for sharing! We're going to have 10 guns and 4, maybe 5 dogs. Never expect limits for any amount of people before noon, but good to hear a hard days work pays off still!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    52

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jackrabbit View Post
    Here's a report of mine I just posted in the SD forum, for relatively the same area.

    Hunted 3 days of a very large chunk of South Central South Dakota. Ranging from miles south of I-90, to a few miles north of Nebraska, West of Hwy 37, East of Hwy 49. A mix of public and private land. I will stand by what I have said for years, a small group of 1-3 hunters with good dog(s), hard work, walking where others won't, some luck, good areas, good shooting, can realistically expect to get a limit on a DIY public land trip in South Dakota every day. Overall, I would say this was the best or 2nd best 3 day trip I have had to SD, and I've been taking 2 a year since 2012. Day one a group of 3 got 8 birds. Day 2 and 3, a group of 2 got 6 birds each day. Also got my first ever Sharptailed Grouse - was very cool to see a covey of those flush!

    I would have a hard time saying that bird numbers are down. There were a lot of birds in the ditches and road edges. Don't overlook hunting minimum maintenance roads or gravel road ditches. Read up on the rule book for the rules and definitions of a right a way. They are not my ideal hunting, I prefer watching a dog work a large field, however sometimes you drive by one that just looks too good to pass up. Find a ditch with good cover, water source, and picked crops on each side. If you are by yourself, walk one side down, then the other back to your car. If you are with a group, you could have them drop you off and walk down to the next intersection.

    Found birds in all types of cover, from short knee high grass where you could see them running in front of the dogs, to deep in the middle of thick cattail sloughs filled with standing water and muck, to the base of a single cedar tree in the middle of nowhere.

    I had read about the water, but I am not sure I was fully expecting to see what I saw in some places. There were several spots I have hunted before that were completely inaccessible- whether the entire field or slough that was once walkable was now under feet of water, or there literally wasn't an open road to let you get to the piece of land. Finding some spots was like doing a maze on a piece of paper - go down this road 3 miles, water over road, back track 2 miles and take a different turn, go 4 miles, water over road, back track 3 miles and take a different turn - you get the idea. One spot turned into a 28 miles detour of a maze. But then other spots were completely fine. Don't let the water ruin your trip, just know that you potentially could add extra travel time that you weren't planning on. When you are in the middle of nowhere and the road looks questionable, just avoid it. Save yourself the pain of walking 2 miles to the nearest farmer to make him leave the field to pull you out because you were dumb.

    Crops are coming out quick, obviously behind a normal year, but I also wouldn't cancel a trip because of them.

    Overall, work very hard, go where others may not go or overlook, have good dogs, scout in the mornings, aside from drive time, walk non-stop from 10am - sunset, and you'll have success. Large groups - I would say otherwise. Whether we had a group of 2-3 or group of 7-10, we were probably getting about the same number of birds - there were a few spots we could have used a blocker and gotten a few. Or you could split up as a group to cover more ground and increase your chances of success. It's not easy hunting, unless you come across a good spot don't expect to be done by noon. Then again, I'm not traveling to SD to only hunt 2 hours a day, I want to hunt non stop from 10am to sunset. The hunting season and hunting days are short enough as it is, you've got to spend all day out in the field - your dogs deserve it.
    This is completely accurate as far as what I saw. Some places we saw very few birds. Others we saw several hundred per day. Most were on private land we had no access to....but they’re there. We didn’t kill as many as we’d hoped but if we connected on all shots we’d be close to a limit every day for four guys.
    It’s tough hunting but better than anywhere else I know of.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Western MT
    Posts
    312

    Default

    Two days two of us have been filling out. Others staying at the same place haven’t been as fortunate. Last hour of the day seems to be able to top us off easy enough.

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