Anyone care to report on SD pheasants? Last year there were too many crops standing till late and hunting was tough! We are headed there (Huron/Mitchell area)next week, mostly public land - hope you guys left some birds. Thanks.
Just got back from the Mitchell area on Thursday. Shot our limit everyday in less than 2 hours (24 birds). The crops should be off by the time you get there, as they were over half way done while we were there. If your are duck hunting, it was the best I've seen in the 9 years. Good luck and have a safe hunt.
This year again we had to hunt, and not do our normal "shoot."
All the beans were out of the fields, and the corn; 20" rows, 10'-12' tall and square miles (sections) of made for real hunting.
Our operation sold all their combines and bought new Deere large tractors. Consequently, when the contracted combiners came in, they weren't interested in stripping out the corn.
The second week-end was better, although we did all limit out every day. We got into some stripped corn and it, honestly, was a beautiful sight to see 300-400 birds take flight and provide some interesting opportunities to shoot in some good winds.
We had to hunt all day, whereas in the past we have even limited a large group in the first of second field.
The birds were reported up 3%. The Game, Fish & Parks did their pheasant counts SOUTH of I90. We hunt all wild birds near Plankinton (west of Mitchell) north of I90. We hunt on about 20,000 acres my a large farming operation we are part of. We used to host some of the Browning guys, but no longer host anyone-just friends. Lots of birds, more than we could possibly shoot.
Thanks to those that replied to my initial question. Heres my report for SD Pheasants.
Day 1: We start sniffing around public areas but the wind is blowing 50 mph with 65 mph gusts! With crap flying around from harvested fields, it hard enough to stand straight and move the gun against the wind! One thing - there were many birds around but hitting them in the wind was another thing. Once a bird got into the wind you had better double, scratch that, triple your lead to have any chance. We hunted hard and everyone limited out eventually.
Day 2: It started snowing during the night and the wind kept on howling at yesterday's speed. We went out and hunted the ditches and shelter beds. Birds were bunched up but walking with the wind & snow was a challenge and the sleet in your face was stinging like yellow jackets. It wasn't easy but because the birds were bunched up everyone got their limit by the end of the day.
Day 3: The wind and snow died during the night and sun came out. It was bitter cold but calmer and much better than the past two days. The birds were out in the fields and not letting anyone get close. We hunted some private land and managed to sneak up on some birds but not everyone was able to get their limit!
Day 4: Weather was good and we hunted private land (green fields of radishes and some other stuff that I didn't recognize - lentils maybe?). Finding a dead bird in those fields was a challenge as the dogs only wanted to chase the ones running from them. Everyone in the party got their limit of roosters by the end.
Day 5: I was tired by now and only hunted AM and got a nice rooster before I took off. Others got their fill by the end of the day (or so they said!).
Al in all, a very enjoyable hunt and I will recommend SD to everyone. We only hunted wild birds and there were many birds around though they were not easy to bag. We worked hard for our roosters but it was worth every bit and then some. Will do it again next month and looking forward to it already.
I think there is another thread here about SD guides - take a look at it. I suggest taking the 12 rather than the 20 if your are going after wild birds. They are tough and will take a lot of lead/steel before you can lay hands on them.
We shot a bird and during cleaning I realized it had been shot before - it had three good sized holes in it that had green stuff around it. Ended up discarding it.
I've hunted SD numerous times over the years and this was the warmest 3 days I've ever experienced hunting in SD. They had about 6" of snow and high winds the previous week. Temps while we there ranged in the upper 50s to mid 60s.
Plenty of birds but slow was the go for the dogs since they were panting a lot and getting hot. We had lots of water on hand for both the dogs and us.
Took time out to hit the stock ponds and let the dogs cool down. Our party of 11 did manage to get our limit of 3 birds each day. About half the corn and beans had been harvested.
Lots of birds...down side was we didn't recover a few birds that went down. With plenty of cover for the birds and the high temps, my guess is the dogs simply had a difficult time picking up the scent due to the heat and lots of panting....breathing through their mouth and not their nose.
Everyone was very patient and understanding and took great pride in the care and handling their dogs (Man’s best friend) and in knowing their dog’s limitations. In the end, a great time was had by all including the dogs.
Just got back from Aberdeen Sun. night. We hunted just south of town on a private farm for 4 days. Unbelievable! Not uncommon to get a 100 plus birds out of a field. We limited out 14 guys every day in about 3 hrs. and that was missing more than we hit. Mike
Aberdeen is downright awesome! I have hunted there a couple times and have never seen so many birds in my entire life! Hundreds can go up at a time and they are as wild and tough as they come! Also they are very leery of hunters at that time of year and you practically need to sneak into the area you are hunting without making a sound or they will be gone before you know it...If you go there be sure to eat at Mavericks! Great ribs steaks etc....