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leech~~

S/D Black Hills Spring Hunting help!

15 posts in this topic

frown Well didn't get my Turkey premit this year for MN!! So thinking about maybe running out to S/D Black hills area. This would be the first time hunting out there. Any ideas on a good zone or section to try? Any other helpfull ideas and what to prepair for going out that way, weather, camping, red tape issues, land acc, week that maybe the best to go for struting activity?

I heard you can a Lic, over the counter but you have to sign up on line? Any ideas for going through that process smoothly? Thanks for any help! smile Leech~~

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I made the trip last spring so I can share a few things. You must apply for a tag in the black hills but tags are unlimited and guaranteed, good for one bird. You can also apply for prairie units bordering the hills or anywhere in the state for that matter to get additional tags. The prairie units are good for 2 birds but the lottery isn't unlimited nor guaranteed. The deadlines are soon though, I'd check on dates today. The hills are full of birds, however from our experience last spring, a good majority are holed up near farms or in areas where horses frequent. Mainly, a lot of private land. We primarily hunted from Custer to Edgemont and worked birds everyday but never took a shot. We were bowhunting, had we had guns, it could've been a different story. We camped near where we hunted. Not much better than being woken up to gobbles in the tent. Also found a few cheap motels in Custer to shower and sleep in a bed if needed. We went the 3rd week of April. Still lots of snow up in the hills and grouped up birds. I neglected advice from others to go in May and opted for unpressured birds in April instead. When I go back, it'll be end of April, early May. Ask questions. There's quite a few guys here who have made the trip and will give some sound advice. It's a fun trip - I hope you can make it out there.

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Stick, I do hunt deer with a bow but not sure I want to try birds yet! wink I thought I heard someone say you could use a rifle? Not sure I would do that either but I suppose sometimes people wish they had for some of the long shots you could take. So If you get a tag can you hunt anywhere in the Black hills area? It sounded like you guys were up and down by Custer? May try around first part of May as we always go for the first week in MN and it is usally cold and rain-snow still! And why could you hear birds in your tent? Shouldn't you be out of bed and in the woods by then!! grin Thanks for the help, getting some ideas!

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And why could you hear birds in your tent? Shouldn't you be out of bed and in the woods by then!!

Yes, we should've been in the blind by then. Some "unexplained" events took place during the night and we didn't get much sleep. crazy We still made it out while the birds were in the trees though. You could stop and ask to talk to Matt at Top Pin Archery in Custer. He had some good advice for us. Otherwise I know Al Krause at Black Hills Archery in Rapid City is very knowledgeable as well. Your black hills tag is good for anywhere you want to go in the hills. You'll see the map. I know they're trying to do away with the rifle thing but as far as I know it's still legal. Why anyone would want to use one is beyond me. Not much of turkey hunt IMO. If hunting is slow, lots of good tourism around too. We toured Wind Cave for a mid-day break - pretty cool.

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I have been out there a few times and it is really a nice area to roam around in, just never hunted out there before. I always feel like the first time I hunt a new spot it seems like almost a waste because it takes so much time to scout it out and learn it well. And you never seem to get enough time to do that when you have to drive so far to get there! But hopefully I can get a jump from you guys that have been out there already, maybe I may even be able hook up with a group going! wink

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Hey leech shoot me an E-mail at elevatorgod at hotmail.com and I can give you my number and we can chat. I have been going out there for about 8 years and I can maybe help you out. And I will be going out there on the 15th of april. And we may have some room. I could type a novel about hunting out there so it may just be easier to talk over the phone.

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The Black Hills Unit is an emense area to hunt. You'll find birds there are in pockets and very mobile. Running and gunning is a great approach with thousands of acres available and birds that tend to be very vocal.

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I've been out there but can't add too much to what you've already read, except the rifle part.

I took a rifle with me on both hunts (22-250). Partly because I was hoping to get a crack at a coyote and because I didn't know what to expect my first year for ranges. Plus I like to try things that are new to me.

My first year I took a bird at 12 yards with my shotgun. My second year I actually tried rifle shooting a tom at 80 yards. They weren't coming to my calls and I had been carrying the long ranger with me and had practiced quite a bit - so why not.

Well, its hard to hold those cross hairs on a bird's head that you've been working all morning. I didn't want to body shoot it cuz I like to eat things I shoot.

I missed. More than once. It was like a stupid carnival shooting gallery with the bird not knowing which way to go. Back and forth, back and forth. crazy

Wished I would have tried one last calling attempt with the shotgun but now I know.

I have heard but not seen a yote out there yet. I want birds more than yotes. It gets too [PoorWordUsage] tiring carrying two guns for 3-4 days. Leave the rifle at home. wink

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It was like a stupid carnival shooting gallery with the bird not knowing which way to go. Back and forth, back and forth.

The exact reason why they shouldn't be allowed. Safety. I wouldn't want to working those birds from the other side trying to dodge rifle slugs. Heck, it's almost cheating with the shotgun...

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Point taken, Stick.

Just to let you know though, the bird was against a hill with large pines behind him. I saw where each bullet hit and there were no ricochets.

I do believe if you can rifle deer hunt safely you can rifle turkey hunt safely. Usually in turkey hunting you can be tipped off to another hunter closeby by their calling. In deer hunting it is less likely you'll hear the other hunter.

When I had the gun at the range, I could consistently hit a quarter at 100 yds from the bench. Well, I had a rest on a log, but the silver dollor size target wouldn't stay still. Plus I wasn't all that calm. wink That's the biggest reason I think it's not a great idea to use a rifle for turks.

Unless you want to body shoot em and harvest meat scraps.

I don't mind sharing what didn't work for me in case it saves another a little frustration.

Good luck out there. smile

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well, you have the choice of using either the shotgun or rifle here in SD for turks. It's your choice but, to opine what one state does and another doesn't when you are hunting as a non-res is a little arrogant. And, the choice is there as well, if you don't like a states law then don't come/go here/there.

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Paul, enjoyed the state of S.D last year and will again the year 10th of april thru the 14th, Blaack Hills. same as last year between snow storms . the shot gun for me and still have a few miss's but a great time.

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crawler, drop me an E-Mail ....GRNKPR@AOL.COM. & I'll give ya my phone number. Maybe you'll have a spare moment to have a cup of coffee. I'm fairly central and can reach any part of the Hills in short order. I don't hunt the birds myself nor do I know of many that do so I can't really help ya out any on particular spots. FYI....once you hit the outskirts of Sioux Falls ya better slow er down to the posted 65 MPH. Our boys like to lay in that zone for the sleepy heads that were in the 75 zone. Same for the Rapid area. The 65 starts just East of the Ellsworth AFB exit.

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