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Thread: SD 2019 Report

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Northern Michigan
    Posts
    858

    Default SD 2019 Report

    Well this was my second week of my western trip, traveled to South Dakota from Nebraska on the 16th of November and gave the pups the weekend off starting our hunt on Monday. A nice surprise, I forgot I had purchased my license on December 15th of 2018 which meant I still had 5 days available to hunt in 2019, so I bought some more shells. As I was driving around noticed there was still alot of standing corn and majority of the beans have been harvested. The 2 days off did my pups wonders and they were eager to get back to the fields on Monday. My dogs are Bella (Brittany), River (English Setter from Prairie Drifter) and Ellie (Yellow Lab).

    11/18 Day 1 - The weather was sunny in 30's and windy. I ran all three dogs in the first quarter section of CREP, dogs did really well. A few hens flushed wild as I tried to keep my feet dry, which was a challenge. Most of the property was not huntable because of the standing water. My setter finally pinned down a rooster and she had a nice point, I dropped the bird and my lab made a nice retrieve. There were 2 other public hunting areas adjacent to this 1/4 section so we moved on to the next parcel. This next parcel had some standing water too, however, it also held quite a few birds. Bella was tracking a bird and this resulted in a rooster flush ahead of her we dropped that bird, however, after long search we were unable to locate the winged bird. We hunted a total of 3.5 hours and i should have limited but my shooting was just off and I didn't trust my dogs a couple of times.....I was encouraged after hunting this first fields. We traveled to a Game Production Area, 1/4 section with majority in cattails, we hunted the perimeter and my setter push a rooster to flushing just at the edge of gun range, she is solid when the birds hold but if they run she pushes them to hard to the point of flushing. Birds were also skittish with the high winds. We relocated on the other side of the cattails and a few hens flushed wild. My britt was tracking and she went on point, unfortunately, my lab knows her point mode on her beeper and she broke on a dead run and flushed the rooster before I could get there and didnt get a shot. One of the pitfalls of hunting all 3 dogs, but one I don't mind dealing with. We hunted this area for 1.5 hours. I moved to a historically good road to hunt and just ran Bella, we saw several birds but none provided any good shooting opportunities.

    11/19 Day 2 - Weather was sunny and calm winds temps in the lo 30's to start. Hunted a 3/4 section of CREP with all 3 hounds, told myself I would be trusting the dogs and follow more closely when they are birdy. This would primarily be Bella and River. Ellie flushed a lone prairie chicken and before I realized it was a chicken it was to far away, we did find a small flock of 4 but they flushed out of range. Second year this area has produced chickens. Bella did a great job today she was able to track down 3 roosters and pointed to of them, the birds didn't hold till I could flush but at least held long enough for me to drop them and the dogs did a nice job retrieving them. We hunted this area for 2.5 hours and them temps were climbing to hi 40's. Traveled to another road that has always produced birds, however, it was flooded with water so we continued up the road to hunt a 1/4 section CREP. This field held several birds, River and Bella tracked several birds that flushed wild or just past gun range. Bella did a nice job of getting a soft point on a rooster that I was able to drop for my third bird of the day. We hunted this are for a couple of hours and flushed several more birds as we were heading back to the truck.

    11/20 Day 3 - This day was overcast with temps in hi 30's. This day for some reason the dogs were full of piss and vinegar to start the day and busted alot of birds right off the bat. After a short team talk we continued on and they settled down, bella point a rooster that i dumped and she made a nice retrieve. I missed a couple of chip shots. We hunted down a road, while walking roosters in the standing corn were cackling and roosters on the road i was walking returned a cackle, just a matter of whether they would hold for us, the road had standing water over it with a picked bean field on either side and then the standing corn. As we got the end my brittany and setter went on point, 3 roosters flushed, I dumped one and missed the others. We hunted the fence line along the picked beans and standing corn, bella has a great point and I flushed the bird only to realize at the empty click I forgot to reload, what am i a rookie! This CREP was on of our most productive one, hunted 2 hours. Saw a nice road to try, as bella and I were walking up to it saw a rooster fly and land in the ditch, game on. We continued up the road and bella started getting birdy and was slowly tracking the bird when he bust out about 20 yards in front of Bella, I dumped this bird for the 3rd bird of the day, bella made a nice retrieve, this was about a 45 minute hunt and a fine way to end the day!

    11/21 Day 4 - Another overcast day and temps in 30's. Started the day on a short road, most of the road was waterlogged but there was a small area of grass wind wasn't in our favor but Bella caught wind of a bird and back tracked to the edge of the picked corn and pointed, a rooster came out and i dumped him, bella made a nice retrieve. Hunted another CREP area bisected by a creek/river, right off the bat River puts up a rooster that I missed. The dogs were tracking birds towards the creek and got real birdy, my lab put up a rooster and I dropped him and she made a nice retrieve. We put several more birds both hens and rooster with no shots. Moved to other side of creek after pushing the length of the creek both Bella and River when on point and a rooster came out and I missed once again. I was having some gun issues, not sure if it was trigger issue or lack of feel with gloves, either way I messed up on this nice find. Hunted this area for 2.5 hours. Moved to yet another CREP area, River put a rooster up out of range and after navigating around alot of water, Bella tracked and soft pointed a rooster that I was able to bag, dogs made a nice find and retrieve. Quick hunt of only an hour and my 3 bird limit. Dogs are doing well, River is starting to point more birds, but still pushing to hard on tracking or trailing birds.

    11/22 Day 5 - I have to be honest, starting about Thursday i was getting warn out and didn't care if we saw or even killed a bird, until we bagged the first one of the day. Last day was the coldest and moderate winds. Started at a WPA and dogs did a good job on trailing birds and River bumped a rooster just out of gun range and we saw a few hens as well, hunted 2 hours here. Went back to a spot we hunted earlier in the week, saw a rooster running on the road he ran up the road and into the ditch. When we got close he flushed about 60 yards in front of us, he didnt fly very far so we immediately followed up, I was just running Bella and see tracked and pointed him......I missed this chip shot, yet again. We continued to hunt the field and when we got to the end of the field Bella was very birdy and after a bit of searching she went on a very solid point. I flushed the rooster and she made a nice retrieve. We did locate the other rooster i had missed and after moderate tracking he flushed out of range and I just tipped my hat to him. We went back to road we had seen several birds earlier, Bella had a great point that produced a rooster and i winged and she did a nice job tracking him down and retrieving him. We continued on down the road, Bella got birdy and tracked into the adjacent field and went on point, I just stayed on the road wondering how long it would take for the bird to flush, after a few minutes a rooster flushed and Bella came back and we continued on the hunt. We didnt find any other birds and my trip was done. Good way to finish the trip with 2 roosters taken off 2 very nice points and retrieves.

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    This was a great trip to SD and a great bird hunting trip. I walked a total of 42 miles in SD, the weather cooperated for the most part and my dogs learned a little more on how to handle the pheasants. It is the most rewarding part of hunting is seeing the dogs learn and improve on their hunting skills. Wish I could hunt more wild pheasants other then 5 to 10 days a year. You guys in the pheasant states are very lucky. Rough numbers from my trip, approximately 165 pheasants moved in front of us while hunting and 5 prairie chickens. I'm hoping we to make a return trip in late December with my son, hoping mother nature is willing to cooperate with us.

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    Attached Images Attached Images
    River - 3 yr old English Setter
    http://gundogcentral.com/view_pedigr...&generations=5
    Bella - 5 yr old Brittany
    http://gundogcentral.com/view_pedigr...&generations=5
    Ellie - 6 yr old Yellow Lab
    Jazi - 12/30/2005 -- 10/13/2017
    Kaci - 3/23/01 - -10/8/15

  2. #2

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    Great report. It was fun to read about your hunt. Good looking dogs too.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Sartell, MN
    Posts
    30

    Default

    Well documented trip to SD, best wishes for your return trip in Dec.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    252

    Default

    Nice report, always fun to read detailed ones like that and daydream or reminisce about my own trips or similar stories. Don't want you to give out any exact locations, but I am curious where you hunted because you mentioned CREP several times, which is mostly all east river (along with the flooded roads), along with seeing prairie chickens, which are more so west river?

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by jackrabbit View Post
    Nice report, always fun to read detailed ones like that and daydream or reminisce about my own trips or similar stories. Don't want you to give out any exact locations, but I am curious where you hunted because you mentioned CREP several times, which is mostly all east river (along with the flooded roads), along with seeing prairie chickens, which are more so west river?
    Why not enjoy this persons report and leave it at that. I'm guessing he didn't mention a specific area purposely. Which I applaud.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    252

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mill Creek View Post
    Why not enjoy this persons report and leave it at that. I'm guessing he didn't mention a specific area purposely. Which I applaud.
    My fault for not wording it better. I don't want any location (which I stated), more so just a curious question if there are indeed prairie chickens east river? I've always thought of them west river, Pierre National Grassland, etc.. Overall its one of the better reports I've read, which I stated in my opening sentence...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Northern Michigan
    Posts
    858

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jackrabbit View Post
    Nice report, always fun to read detailed ones like that and daydream or reminisce about my own trips or similar stories. Don't want you to give out any exact locations, but I am curious where you hunted because you mentioned CREP several times, which is mostly all east river (along with the flooded roads), along with seeing prairie chickens, which are more so west river?
    I have no problem sharing areas where I hunt as it is all public hunting and i only get out there once or if i'm lucky twice a year. By the way thanks for the kind words regarding my report I"m a bird hunting data nerd and keep track of each hunt via a spreadsheet and by dog and hunter if I'm with others. So it is fun to post our adventures. So where did I hunt, I hunt East of the Missouri, North of 14 and West of I-29. Majority of my hunting is on CREP or WIA's with a few scattered WPA's and GPA's. I don't see many chickens, but one particular CREP has produced chickens the last few years so that is fun to see, i'm never thinking chickens so by the time my brain figures it out they are gone.
    River - 3 yr old English Setter
    http://gundogcentral.com/view_pedigr...&generations=5
    Bella - 5 yr old Brittany
    http://gundogcentral.com/view_pedigr...&generations=5
    Ellie - 6 yr old Yellow Lab
    Jazi - 12/30/2005 -- 10/13/2017
    Kaci - 3/23/01 - -10/8/15

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    252

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Miforester View Post
    So where did I hunt, I hunt East of the Missouri, North of 14 and West of I-29. Majority of my hunting is on CREP or WIA's with a few scattered WPA's and GPA's. I don't see many chickens, but one particular CREP has produced chickens the last few years so that is fun to see, i'm never thinking chickens so by the time my brain figures it out they are gone.
    Good enough of a general area for me, thanks! Would love to get a chicken someday. Got my first ever Sharpie this fall in the south central part of the state, really wasn't expecting it and seeing a covey of 10-15 was very cool. Dropped the first one, then so many birds got up that I struggled to pick one out to properly aim at after that... missed the rest of my shots.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Rolla Mo
    Posts
    267

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    Quote Originally Posted by jackrabbit View Post
    Good enough of a general area for me, thanks! Would love to get a chicken someday. Got my first ever Sharpie this fall in the south central part of the state, really wasn't expecting it and seeing a covey of 10-15 was very cool. Dropped the first one, then so many birds got up that I struggled to pick one out to properly aim at after that... missed the rest of my shots.
    Rabbit, there were always chickens west of where you went to school in those alkali pastures to the north and west of the old Wilder place. Shot them there regularly, just not a ton of roosters around.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    172

    Default

    Good report. Nice to see photos!

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