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Thread: Late season NE Pheasants

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    259

    Default Late season NE Pheasants

    Have never hunted NE, and won't this year. But one of these years I would like to take advantage of their later season. This is more of an educational/daydreaming post as I try to educate myself for a potential trip or areas to go. It looks like in January the average daytime highs are about 40 degrees. Sometime in a January when I am sick of a MN winter and see that the weather is cooperating and mild in SW NE, I would love to make the drive down for a few days.

    I am very familiar with South Dakota public land hunting, specifically anything south of I-90 and north of the NE border. How does Pheasant hunting differ in SW NE as opposed to say south-central SD? Type of cover? Things to expect/encounter? How dogs work (I run a pretty good lab)? It looks like there is a decent amount of quality public land in the SW part of NE?

    Not looking for spots, more so just very general areas of what part of the state to concentrate on in January. What the realistic bird numbers are like? If there is a 50/50 chance to shoot a rooster or two with good dog work, weather, shooting, walking, then that is good enough for me.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Lafayette, Colorado
    Posts
    323

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    Sw Nebraska can be great late season. If thereís been a lot of snow getting around on the roads can be tricky and if it gets warm the mud can be bad. There are lots of sandburrs in that country and can plague some dogs if they arenít willing to wear boots. Bird numbers vary year to year and arenít anything like you can experience in the Dakotas but Iíve seen years out there that would rival numbers Iíve seen in SD (this is not one of those years...). If you want to hunt a warmer climate Iíd give it a try!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    2,294

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Frangler View Post
    Sw Nebraska can be great late season. If thereís been a lot of snow getting around on the roads can be tricky and if it gets warm the mud can be bad. There are lots of sandburrs in that country and can plague some dogs if they arenít willing to wear boots. Bird numbers vary year to year and arenít anything like you can experience in the Dakotas but Iíve seen years out there that would rival numbers Iíve seen in SD (this is not one of those years...). If you want to hunt a warmer climate Iíd give it a try!
    this just happens to be a poor year to hunt nebraska......kinda like the football team!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    336

    Default

    I like hunting NE but as others have said the numbers are not on par with SD and the birds do get pressured.

    They have a really good hunter access program called Open Fields and Waters that actually provides some pretty good cover to hunt but it can also be pretty remote as well. 100% agree with the comments on the roads being a challenge without a good freeze or some extended periods of dry weather.

    If you hunt the right local areas there are legit opportunities for bonus prairie grouse or bobwhites in addition to the pheasants.

    Check out the PF Rooster Road Trip web page. They just spent 3-days in NE and while their success harvesting birds was spotty it does provide some good info what opportunities exist.
    Chasing Roosters with a flushing dog on public land. As God intended.......

  5. #5

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    I'm on my first Nebraska trip right now. Spent all day driving, but needed to stretch the dogs legs so I stopped a bit short of SW NE. Damn near got stuck risking a "minimal maintenance" road trying a spot that looked decent on the map so I backed out. Drove past a public access crp and saw a couple birds fly from the neighboring corn field back into the crp so I stopped. Flushed a few mostly way out of range, but killed one young rooster. Then drove around scouting a bit. The minimal maintenance roads I saw are a mess and not worth the risk right now IMO, but I saw several fields of nice looking public access crp on roads that are 2wd accessible too. Some of the tall stubble program fields didn't look like much to my eye IDK, but the crp access fields mostly looked ok.

    They are calling for crazy wind tomorrow so I expect a very rough day, but so far so good at least I saw a couple birds.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    259

    Default

    Thanks for the replies, appreciate it! More so just looking into educating myself a bit about the area. Won't be taking a trip to NE this year, but would like to start adding it late season some of these years when the weather, family/kids schedules, and everything else comes together just right for a last minute trip when I am sick of a MN winter and looking for a 40-50 degree getaway with the dog a few weeks after our normal season has ended.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Northern Michigan
    Posts
    869

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    Quote Originally Posted by jackrabbit View Post
    last minute trip when I am sick of a MN winter and looking for a 40-50 degree getaway with the dog a few weeks after our normal season has ended.
    I've hunted late season NE when the temps are below zero without the wind, good chances they will be warmer than MN, but not always a guarantee when you are looking to make the trip.
    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

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    Been hunting in NB since 1980, actually a Minnesota native. Never know what to expect late season in NB, last January we killed a 54" rattlesnake the last weekend of the season, it was 60 degrees. Season before every road in several counties were drifted shut after a 16" snow and 60 MPH winds. This season the bird count is down, hunt with my brother in SD, no comparison between the birds SD and NB. Cover is much thinner in NB, best bet to find birds late season is try to get permission on private land, the public CRP gets hunted pretty hard, if you have some bodies and good dogs and walk the big CRPs you will find birds, just takes alot of energy. Best of luck.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    2,294

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    again, i hunted some kick ass cover, no birds, they are in a huge down cycle......won't go next season either, simply not worth the effort, don't waste your time, really.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    259

    Default

    Thanks for the replies. Like I said, won't be going this year. Just trying to learn a few things so someday when everything aligns just right, most importantly the NE weather, that I can make a last minute trip for one final outing for the year.

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