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birdswacker

SODAK Reports

60 posts in this topic

we walked our tails off yesterday, our hunting party 3 guys, and 7 dogs had some success, should have had our limit but missed a few with the heavy winds, we did manage to bring home a few birds though

it was a warm and windy day so it was nice to have dogs to rotate. there still is just too much corn in yet we didnt see too many birds out in the grass until just before dark.

the grass is also very thick and very tall in areas which made walking hard. it also made for hard scent conditions for the dogs because theres no air moving through the weeds near the ground. I had some great points on birds that sat tight, but there were also some pretty wild birds already.

its warm again today with little wind, and one of my 2 dogs is cut up and little tender so I am not going to go out until about 4:30 this evening to hunt. that way it will be cooler and the birds will be coming back out of the corn.

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We had to work for our birds, too many crops are still up. Usually we shoot 60 roosters in a couple hours, it took us 5 hours this time. It will be awesome in a few weeks when there is less corn.

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my boss told me that on his drive back to sioux falls from winner that he had never seen so few hunters on opening weekend. maybe the economy has kept some from making the trip this year?

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I am heading out on Thursday this week. I hope some of the corn is out but I think it should be good anyway. The bird #s in my area seem to be down this year.

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4 days 60 pheasents,25 grouse, 10 huns-4 guys 1 gal and 4 dogs corn was all in the feilds and had zero effect on our way of hunting. Dont let the corn scare ya or be your escuse(sp).

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3 days - 113 roosters and 2 Huns... lots of corn! Limits both Saturday and Sunday, should have been Monday as well, but lots of holes shot in the sky that day and most everyone left at 3 to go home... so we ended the day with 29. Great fun! A little rain on Sunday, fantastic weather Saturday and Monday. Bird numbers seemed down a little, biut my guess is 80% were in the corn with zero corn harvested yet. Beans were probably around 75% harvested in the area we hunt.

Hunter numbers were down as well... Walk-in areas around where I hunt have been dramatically cut in numbers... so go the hunter numbers... a few frustrated hunters sneaking on the private land... never ceases to amaze me....

Ended the trip with a Pheasants Forever banquet on Monday night... the guy who owns the land I hunt came home with a new over/under.... so that made our night!

Good Luck!

Ken

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Where did you target grouse in SD and what species of grouse?

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With a different number of guys hunting on different days we got are limits Sat - Mon. Not as many birds probably due to the corn but we got what we needed anyway.

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Hemi

I'm sure Sharptail. We see a few flocks each year... I quit shooting them... I don't care to eat them, so I don't shoot... They taste zero like a ruffie! But I know guys who will shoot and eat them....

Good Luck!

Ken

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Thanks Ken,

Will be out there a week from tomorrow and have never gone after sharptail. I guess I may have to try one if I can....

Heading up north for ruffed this weekend.

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Four days, five guys, three dogs, 55 birds. First two days were great, lots of birds and lots of shooting. Third day was tough, weather was too nice, birds were all in the corn - until sunset, and then you can only cover so much ground. Fourth day was wet, stopped after three hours, still had eleven birds. Lots of birds out there and lots of corn!!! In the evening when we were scouting around, we stopped by a couple of corn fields and you could hear pheasants all over the country side!!! Several spots we saw 10-15 roosters working their way from the corn to the grass. If we would have wanted to road hunt, we could have limted out easily. Can't wait to get back there in November!!! More corn will be out and I'm sure we'll see waves of pheasants!!!

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I have an oppurtunity to go to a place in Eureka, SD for some pheasant hunting and have never hunted in the area. If anyone here knows the area and would like to answer some very general question I have please send me an email if you would like to keep it private - thedogger23 at gmail dot com. Otherwise let me know, and I will fire away on here. Thanks in advance....

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Lets hear your questions.. I work in Ipswich a little southeast of Eureka, I could possibly help you out.

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Sharpies arent bad eating. shot a few in No. Dak. Its definitely darker meat than a ruffie. They seem to like more open areas like pastures which makes the tougher to shoot because they see you coming. You have to think quick because they sort of look like hens except no long tail feathers.

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Hunted opener limited by 2 both days 20 guys less than half as many dogs. Didn't have to road hunt, but I'm sure it would have been productive. 80% corn was in, we didn't even touch the corn though hunted public, crp and food plots. They were holding pretty tight with the wind overhead.

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Last Thursday to Sunday near Webster SD all on private ground. One bird for three shooters and three dogs. Wounded two more, saw maybe 4 or 5 more. Heavy rain on Friday, 50+ mph winds on Sunday. No corn has been harvested. We didn't flush many birds even hunting the heavy cover. I am cancelling a trip for next week and I don't think it's worth going back until the corn is in. There were very few pheasant hunters at the motels and restaurants so the word must be out at least for that area.

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I have had similar results as Tom7227. I dont mind getting out because I love watching my dogs work, but I have litterally been walking my a$$ off on private land that always yields great bird numbers only to have limited success.

This last week or so I have skipped the whole noon to 5pm hunting time and been going out just before dark with much better success. In most areas you can sit and just watch the birds fly into the grass from the corn just before it gets dark. Its not my favorite way to hunt, but lately its the only thing I can do to find birds. Public land later in the day has also yielded good success.

Last week was really really wet all over SD, with some areas seeing 3"+ of rain. On saturdy the land I hunted on was mostly under water in most parts.

Good news is that with sundays super high winds and the cold temps lately have been drying things out.

I do agree that the hunting will get better once the corn gets out. I am looking foward to the first snow already to help knock down some of the grass. It seems areas I have walked in past years was only knee high, and now this year its thicker and very tall.

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I was in the Webster area from Fri-Sun, ditto what Tom & rundave said. A lot of corn in making it very difficult to find birds. We had best luck in the high winds of Sunday. Everyone we talked to had the same story, a lot of walking w/few birds and TOO MUCH CORN! One guy said it was the worst he's seen since he started hunting out there in 1948!

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I was heading out to the Webster area this weekend although it doesn't sound too encouraging. We were out there last year and the hunting was tough, but there seemed to be good numbers(getting at them was a little difficult). Is the lack of hunting success due to a decline in birds or just more crops still out? Looking at the sdgfp pheasant forcast it looked like numbers were down a little in the area.

I also read that Day county lost about 1/3 of it's walk in area, has anyone noticed a great deal of grasslands last year turned into crops this year?

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the number of birds isnt a problem, its the amount of corn/beans that havent been harvested yet. its just been too wet to harvest and the birds have too many places to hide. as the crops get harvested the hunting should improve.

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I also read that Day county lost about 1/3 of it's walk in area, has anyone noticed a great deal of grasslands last year turned into crops this year?

i drive from sioux falls to aberdeen and back numerous times each month, and over the course of the fall, i have noticed many smaller plots of grass and pasture being turned over. havent seen too many big tracts plowed over....yet....

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double_treble,

Sorry to high jack your post, but last year was my first year hunting SD and we hunted near Ipswich. We hunted all public land, and did okay. I was wondering, is it diffcult to find private land in that area???? Our small group is heading out there again in mid November and mid Dec, and would like try to build some relationships with the locals.....

We attempted a little last year, but we struck out.

Thanks for your help...

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