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Roscoe16

South Dakota Pheasants

49 posts in this topic

Anybody been out to north central SoDak recently? Has all of the corn been picked yet? Any snow on the ground? A group of us was out in the Hecla area at the end of October and had some tough hunting with all the crop still in the fields. Looking at going back out there Dec. 12-14. Thanks.

Roscoe16

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I'll tell you Monday. I'm heading out there tomorrow night to hunt this weekend. I'll be in the Miller area. I can't imagine there'd be anything still standing. My cousin said all his corn and sunflowers are in. When we were there the first week of November they were all combining until midnight most nights.

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Was out Mon-Wed west of Aberdeen and most of the corn is in, but you run into pockets where none is picked. They are working hard to get it in. When I left on Wed. there was just a dusting and I spoke with my dad (who stayed a couple of extra days) and they got a nice amount on Wed. night. Hunting was good limited out every day and 3 of us were done by 1 on Wednesday. Good luck on your trip.

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We were out last weekend near the Missouri River. I would say by the end of this week most of the crops will be gone.

I'm not sure about the Hecla area, but where we hunt if you could find a good woodlot or some cattails to hunt you would find a whole bunch of birds.

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We are heading out to SD for the first time in a couple of weeks. 4 guys 3 dogs. Just east of Aberdeen in Webster. Looks to be a lot of walk in areas that way. Anyone been in that area hunting lately? I would think this late in the year Farmers would mind letting a few guys walk their property. Any suggestions would be great. kooba.

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It sure doesn't hurt to ask. This time of year there are very few folks out there. If nothing else, the ditches will always yield a limit if you don't mind road hunting.

The other thing my cousin told me was that they are seeing a LOT of birds now.

Well, gotta get back to packin'...

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I was west of there about 50 miles last week. Tons of corn still up! Tons of birds though.

I have hunted the Webster a lot and there is really no need to ask permission. Plenty of birds on the WIA and you can hunt the section lines too-

michael

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Mn archer, what do you mean by section lines?

Out there each section of land usually has a section line, or road, on all 4 sides. These section lines may be gravel or maybe a faint dirt path, but they're considered public right of way and you can legally hunt them. Locals might not like it, but it's legal.

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If you say you can walk section lines,is it only so many feet on each side and how far out if you know?

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From the SoDak regs:

Quote:
Hunting on Public Road Rights-of-Way

Public road rights-of-way are open for the hunting of small game and waterfowl (see Dove, Youth Pheasant

Season, and Resident-Only Pheasant Season for special road hunting restrictions). However, no person

may hunt within 660 feet of schools, churches, occupied dwellings and livestock. Furthermore, neither the

person discharging a firearm nor the small game animal being shot at may be within the 660-foot safety

zone.

The public right-of-way along a section line or other highway is open for hunting if:

1. The right-of-way has been commonly used by the public for vehicular travel, as demonstrated by the

existence of a well-worn vehicle trail.

2. An intentional alteration or adaptation has been made to the right-of-way to enhance the natural terrain’s

utility for vehicular travel or to permit vehicular travel where it was not possible before.

NOTE: Fences are sometimes not on a right-of-way boundary and sometimes there is no fence. Most

section line rights-of-way are 66 feet wide. Some acquired rights-of-way are wider.

• Hunters can take only small game (except doves) and waterfowl within the right-of-way on foot. The

hunter must be within the right-of-way and the game must have taken fl ight from within or be fl ying over

the right-of-way.

The person must park or stop their vehicle as far to the right-hand side of the road as possible.

• If the person who discharges a fi rearm is more than 50 yards from the vehicle, the doors on the side of

the vehicle nearest the roadway must be closed, but the engine may remain running.

• If the person who discharges a fi rearm is less than 50 yards from the vehicle, all of the doors of the vehicle

must be closed and the engine shall be turned off.

• It is NOT legal to shoot small game and waterfowl that takes fl ight from a public right-of-way over a Federal

Refuge or Indian Tribal Trust lands. If a State-licensed hunter shoots at a bird across the fence on either

of these lands, the hunter may be subject to arrest by Federal Fish & Wildlife offi cers.

• Small game and waterfowl taken from the right-of-way but falling onto private property can be retrieved

by unarmed hunters on foot.

• No person may discharge a fi rearm, muzzleloader, crossbow or bow and arrow at any big game animal,

except turkey to be taken with a shotgun using shot shells or with a bow and arrow, from within the rightof-

way of an improved public highway.

• Big game may not be shot at from any Black Hills National Forest System road.

• Any person who, while hunting a road right-of-way, negligently endangers another person, or puts that

person in fear of imminent serious bodily harm, is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

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I have been pushing for Minnesota to adopt these same rules in sectionland and take it one step further by managing ditches for habitat.

I've heard but haven't confirmed that if we enforce easments(keep farmers from planting)on ditches and section setbacks in our farm country(SW MN) that we could double our WMA acreage in addtional habitat.---Anyone know the real numbers?Hans

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I've heard but haven't confirmed that if we enforce easments(keep farmers from planting)on ditches and section setbacks in our farm country(SW MN) that we could double our WMA acreage in addtional habitat.---Anyone know the real numbers?Hans

I don't know the numbers but I could believe that. It would also stretch out those acres allowing for a better situation for both bird & hunter, in my opinion.

Road hunting has been controversial in SoDak. Some landowners are against it because of the few one-who-thinks-I-am-silly out there that shoot near the buildings or livestock. On the other hand, it's a tradition and an effective means to take game and a way to hunt while resting weary legs. It also allows older folks who might not be able to walk much a way to take part in hunting.

Some scoff at road hunting, saying it's the lazy man's method. The way I prefer to road hunt, though, is not to drive until you see birds, but to drop one guy off at a section corner and park a mile up and the second guy gets out and starts walking. The first guy walks the ditch to the truck, then leapfrogs the second guy by driving 2 miles, park the truck and start walking. Continue as desired, or until a limit is obtained.

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Thats exactly how I think ditch hunting should be conducted. You could enforce it by requiring trucks to be parked near the intersection and only on the west and north sides.

I would like to see snowmobiles and four wheelers be able to use the ditches as well, but to keep the habitat from being crushed make them stay on the west and north ditches and foster bigger habitat and no mowing on the east and and south ditches to keep from drifting in the roads. When you get to your own section drive the ditch home on either side.

Walking ditches is fair chase hunting and I contend the safest form of pheasant hunting because you are always sure what is beyond your target.

If the rules in Minnesota were clearer there would less need for the road hunters to swat and run putting everyone at risk and giving hunters a bad reputation. Hans

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When we were out to SoDak for the opener, we saw hunters that were being guided doing some road hunting. Picture this, a big Chevy Suburban provided by the 'guide' rigged up with fold down platforms on each side, three guys standing on each side, with guns, cruising slowly down the road slowly at sunset. We saw them doing this a couple times, I'm sure they did it every evening. I wish I would have had my camera!!! At that time of day, on opening weekend, there were birds all over, coming out of the corn, I'm sure they were ground pounding birds and having 'great' luck.

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Originally Posted By: hanso612
I've heard but haven't confirmed that if we enforce easments(keep farmers from planting)on ditches and section setbacks in our farm country(SW MN) that we could double our WMA acreage in addtional habitat.---Anyone know the real numbers?Hans

I don't know the numbers but I could believe that. It would also stretch out those acres allowing for a better situation for both bird & hunter, in my opinion.

Road hunting has been controversial in SoDak. Some landowners are against it because of the few one-who-thinks-I-am-silly out there that shoot near the buildings or livestock. On the other hand, it's a tradition and an effective means to take game and a way to hunt while resting weary legs. It also allows older folks who might not be able to walk much a way to take part in hunting.

Some scoff at road hunting, saying it's the lazy man's method. The way I prefer to road hunt, though, is not to drive until you see birds, but to drop one guy off at a section corner and park a mile up and the second guy gets out and starts walking. The first guy walks the ditch to the truck, then leapfrogs the second guy by driving 2 miles, park the truck and start walking. Continue as desired, or until a limit is obtained.

That road hunting strategy you describe is a very solid strategy, particularly if you only have 2-4 people...you will have trouble getting birds up in a large field with just a few people.

Look for thick cover in the ditch, next to a cut corn or grain field. A ditch next to a crp field won't be any good, because the birds will have room to run. We go about a half mile apart, and walk toward each other in stretches that look promising.

As for the original topic, most of the corn is out. I'll be heading out tomorrow (we had a long debate over whether we should go ice fishing or pheasant hunting)...I'll post a report.

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Went ice fishing instead. No pheasant report to give.

On the other hand, about 6" of good ice on Richmond Lake, and the crappies suspend about 2' off bottom around dusk...

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We got back last night about midnight, decided to leave before the blizzard was supposed to hit (according to the weather report - wrong!). Drove thru some pretty tough road conditions from Britton, SD, to Morris, MN.

We managed to get our limits (6 birds for 2 guys) each day. Hunting conditions were brutal on Saturday, +11 temp, 25-30 MPH constant wind. We had fun but the ride home was no fun. Good thing we left early as we'd still be out there right now, twiddling our thumbs.

Roscoe16

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Roscoe.....we hunted all day Saturday also and it was cold. Definitely the worst conditions I have ever hunted but we managed our limit (2 guys). The previous day we could have had our limit had our shooting been better!

We decided to tuck tail and drive home after hunting Saturday to try to stay ahead of most of the bad roads. Not sure what weather report you got but the NWS out of Aberdeen had blizzard warnings begging 6pm Saturday night all the way through Sunday night for Central SD (luckily I have internet on my phone!). We left Eureka about 5:30 Saturday night and got home around 1:00 am Sunday. Was a long drive after hunting those conditions all day and the road conditions were tough even when we left.....but we managed about 50-60mph the whole way to I94 so I am sure it was better than what you had. It was a fun trip...just wish we could have stayed through Sunday and hunted Sunday!

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We left Eureka at 6:05 pm, got back to my place in Ramsey at 12:30am. The weather report we got said the heavy stuff would hit Aberdeen after midnight, and was working it's way north and east, so we figured we were in good shape. That must have changed as we hit some tough sledding around Britton. Did you take 27 or 28 out of Browns Valley? We started on 27 and then after a couple miles of no tracks and poor visibility doubled back to 28. It got much better when we got to Morris. We were also wishing we could have hunted Sunday after we finally found some birds that would sit tight for my dog.

Roscoe

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We left for Chamberlain at about 9:30 Friday night. Hunted Saturday, (which was really nice there) Got up to let the dogs out at about 2:30 am Sunday morning, and seen that they had closed I90 from Chamberlain west. Like you, I decided it was time to pack it up and get going, while the going was good.

Got home at about 7:30 am Sunday morning.

Hated to waste a license for one day, but didnt realy want to be out there snowed in either.

I planned on going again this weekend, but the weather is looking just as nasty then also.

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Dang! I wish I'd known you two were going to be in Eureka... was out there at a buddies Friday-Monday. Could've met up for a quick hunt or two... maybe even on his land. Incredible hunting there. Or you could've helped me sing back up at Karoke at the Wolf's Den on Friday night! Maybe even came over to our little game feed we do for them every year...

Was planning on leaving Sunday eve after hunting but, ummmmmmmm the weather changed that. Stayed holed up in the shop all day, watched a movie, grilled some of the most incredible steaks I've ever had (incl Mannys) and just plain ol' got to sit and visit with friends... not too bad for one day. The wind out there on Sunday was incredible! The highest reported gusts in Eureka was 56 mph... visibility was in feet at times. 3-4 minutes tops was attainable when you went out side. The wind could literally suck the air from your lungs. The dogs did not even care to go out to go to the bathroom.

Woke up to -19 on Monday morning with a windchill of -30 / -40 below. Hunted 4 smaller sloughs and food plots for 2-3 hours before hitting the road. Managed birds though, was worth the couple hours of hunting. Seen incredible numbers in both the cattails and food plots. The birds and deer did fine getting through the blizzard. Amazingly the stubble feilds are still fully accssible to the birds for food also, the wind blew them fairly clean. Flushed a couple roosters with tumble weeds frozen to their tails (quite a funny site) and an unfortunate coyote that also had grass and cattails frozen to it's rare end... decided it could wait for us to walk by it... but when it got up at 10 feet it realized that it wasn't a good plan.

With some flexibilty, it stilled turned into a fantastic trip...

Roads on the way home were brutal from Granite Falls to about 40 miles west of the cities. pure ice.

Good Luck!

Ken

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Did you take 27 or 28 out of Browns Valley? We started on 27 and then after a couple miles of no tracks and poor visibility doubled back to 28. It got much better when we got to Morris.

We took 28 through Morris. Wasn't sure how far north on 94 the storm was tracking. I have never taken the 27 route....but looks like it could possibly be a little faster.

Labs.....too bad we didn't know that. It would have been fun to get together for a hunt or two! Had thought about hitting up the Wolfs Den Friday night for a drink....but never ended up leaving the house.

Did either of you run a dog trailer? I know one group pasted us at the gas station while I was filling up....and we drove by another group of guys east of Eureka on public land. Was just curious if it may have been anyone from here. We were in my black Dodge Ram with a topper.

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