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rundrave

2012 Pheasant reports

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So how was opening weekend for everyone? I didn't hear of many good reports for any Eastern or Southern parts of the state. Central and North Central parts sounded like guys faired a little better.

I knew it was going to be warm but I went for a bit on Saturday because I couldn't let my dogs not get out for at least a bit of hunting. I initially had some private ground lined up but due to the drought an dry conditions it was off limits.

As I result I stayed close to home and hunted public walk in areas. 5 guys and my 2 dogs = zero birds.

First area we walked, had some grass surrounding a huge area of cattails. Right off the bat we had one rooster get knocked down on a wild flush(it was a poorly taken shot on a bird that was too far out) in the thickest of thick cattails. The scent conditions for tracking couldn't have been worse even despite the recent rain. As a result tromping through that thick heavy cover I very quickly ended up with 2 very over heated dogs.

I gave them all the water I had carried with but it was still not enough. Loaded them up and quickly got them to a lake nearby. Gave them some much needed time to cool off and get hydrated and we went back out.

Walked 2 other areas and all we had to show for it was lots of exercise. In the 3 areas, I kept track of 19 bird encounters that my dogs pointed. Unfortunately they were all hens. Only other rooster seen that day flushed wild well ahead of us. Was great to get the dogs out, and I had to chuckle that we still got on birds, despite all the traffic from other hunters out walking through these areas prior to us.

I had no motivation to hunt on Sunday seeing how hard it was on the dogs on Saturday. I am trying to keep them refreshed for a few hard days of hunting later this week. I will be in Huron for a couple days and then possibly up near Gettysburg.

Hoping for the rain, and much cooler temps in the near future.

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Thanks for the report. Sounds like it was a bit too warm. I hunted western MN for a little bit on Saturday and had to keep the walks short as my dog overheats easily. Glad you got yours cooled down. This coming weekend I will be out in SD... towards Aberdeen. Temps are looking better.

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I hunted from 10:30 till 12:30 On Saturday, and missed one bird that I shouldve had and missed another Prairie Chicken. It got too hot so I scouted the rest of the day till 4:30 when I got on some ground around the river where the air temps were cooler.. I bagged one rooster on Saturday.

On Sunday, I hung out till noon, then hooked on the new boat and went fishing on Case. Not much going on unless you were in the fast water, so at 4 I pulled the boat back to C-Lain and dropped it off.

I shot 1 rooster that evening also.

I didnt hunt today, although I could have. Kinda seen the writing on the wall, so to speak, and will wait till later in the season. 1 guy and 1 dog is tough duty right now, as all the birds want to leave early, even if youre in "stealth" mode..

I'll be back!

Added:

Reports I'm hearing are tough for the south part of the state. Like from 30 miles North of I90 to the Neb Border. Up north (where they got some moisture) is reported to be much better..

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Hope your right.... Our party of 7 will be leaving Thursday morning for our first 5 dayer... up in McPherson County. We are looking forward to it as every year. I will post a report next Tuesday, hopefully the weather forecast holds and we get some cooler temps with low winds baby!

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What a difference a week of weather can do. Thursday finally brought us some much cooler temps and even some snow!

Friday 10/26

I got a late start but my main intentions were probably more so around windshield time than actual time in the field. My plans were mainly to scout and scope out public land for late season hunts in Beadle, Spink and Hand counties. There were lots of hunters out and from what I could see just about every piece of public had already seen or was currently being hunted. Usually if I come across some property as I scope it out if there is a vehicle already there I just keep on moving to the next one.

With that in mind I knew any bird bagged that day would be a trophy with the kinds of pressure those areas were getting. I am familiar with a good majority of any public areas in those counties but this year was a whole new ball game. With the drought, areas that were typically wet or unworkable were now fair game.

Having a tough time finding open land to hunt I set out for the really really small areas. Areas that I figured people would just drive by because of the size etc. First area we worked was only a few acres in size, not much for cover but a nice slough area hidden in the back. My 2 dogs and I set out working the larger end first. Had a couple points but there were all hens and then I had a dog square off with a couple raccoons (more on those to come later). I had one rooster flush wild into a smaller finger so we worked into that area. About ¾ through to the end both dogs locked up in an area where the finger shrunk down to about 5 yards wide. I readied my gun and went in for the flush. Missed him on the first shot but dropped him dead on the 2nd shot. Reloaded and waited for the bird to be retrieved to hand. I did miss another rooster in this area but won’t bore you with the details lol

Continued to scout and the 2nd area of the day was very large and by far too much for us to cover by ourselves but it currently was unoccupied so we went to work. This area had a very large body of water and was surrounded by very thick cattails and lots of grass. We really got into the birds here and unfortunately it was the worst place for me to get in a shooting slump. I felt so bad for my dogs that continually worked and pointed birds only to watch me miss again and again. I had probably missed 4 birds and really wanted to see redemption on the last one that I whiffed at. We circled ahead to where I believe he went down and sure enough one dog had him pinned. I walked up to the point and readied for the flush. Missed the first and hit him hard on the 2nd shot. Quickly reloaded my O/U knowing there could be more birds near but figured the dogs would be right on top of the downed bird.

As I walked towards the spot where I thought he went down both dogs locked up again. I simply told them to “fetch it up” but they were both frozen still. I began to wonder if something was up and as I reached down to search by hand I was met by a fierce growling sound that gave me the shivers. I knew right away it was just coons but my focus shifted from finding the bird to keeping track of both of my dogs. It was too late and the epic battle began, as soon as I was able to knick one dog and get him out the other dog would dive right back in. This repeated for a bit and I knew there was more than one coon. Finally things calmed down, the coons moved on. Had the opportunity for a safe shot presented itself I would have blasted them with some 3” steel right in the face but with 2 dogs in the mix, and multiple coons I decided to play it safe.

Back to the downed bird, I had a blood trail; I had a feather pile but no bird. We searched and searched finally found a pretty mauled up carcass. I don’t know if the coons stole it, or played tug of war with it and my dogs but it was in rough shape? I decided to leave it there, for fear of disease etc from the coons. As a good sportsman “in my head” I counted it towards my daily limit. We worked the same area until we were abruptly cutoff of by another party of hunters, oh well it happens.

We set out on the road in search of one more bird and do to my late start we were running out of daylight. We set out on what would be our last walk of the day. It proved be uneventful but the shooting slump continued and I missed another 3 birds easily. We were able to get one more and it was dark by the time we got back to the truck.

In my eyes I shot my limit for the day lol, but I also missed more than my limit and donated a bird to feeding a coon. I need to get better at taking pictures but here is one of the birds I showed my son when I got back home that evening: full-6428-25870-img_0095.jpg

stay tuned for more write ups for Saturday and Sunday

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Saturday 10/27

I wanted to hunt in the snow and knowing there were still some traces further east, so a buddy and I set out for some public land that was new to us in Lake and Kingsbury counties. Unfortunately I got an even later start than Friday and didn’t get out in the field until about 2pm. Again, lots of hunters out, and lots of pressure on these public areas. We were having a tough go finding anything that didn’t have people already walking it. First area we only saw a few hens but no roosters.

We then walked a really small area again only a couple acres in size and started to see some birds. My buddy shot one that flushed wild on the side he was walking. As we worked into the last 30yards of the far corner I had a dog go on point. As usual walked in for the flush with my gun ready, and it was a rooster. Still frustrated with my poor show of shooting the day before I wanted to wait and not rush my shot, but I also wanted to get a shot before my buddy did lol. Fortunately I was dead on with my first shot and he dropped (I should have let him get out just a tad further)

We then found a larger area that didn’t look like it had any one walking it. We set out working into the wind and again were seeing lots of birds but mostly hens. I seen some birds flush wild well ahead of us up over a hill to the east but figured if we kept going North we could hopefully circle ahead and get them on the way back.

We worked about 90% of the area and just as we were coming to the end I had a dog lock up. I walked towards him and my buddy worked in opposite of me down wind. I tromped, kicked and stomped and nothing got up but the dog remained frozen. I then got that feeling that we were in trouble and sure enough my buddy yelled out skunk. I quickly and called my dog but he was focused on that skunk. A quick nick of the collar got his attention and we hurried away.

Just as this was all about to end, my buddy yells at me to turn, and just start walking. He was being very assertive and when I questioned him what for he promptly yelled to just turn and walk and keep going. Turns out we were literally just in front of a bow hunter in a tree. My heart sank and I felt horrible as we probably just ruined that guys day.

As I tried to round up the dogs and head back one goes on point. I was positive it wasn’t a bird but he wouldn’t move. There is no way a bird would have sat through all that commotion. In the end the dog was right and I was wrong, in all that action, yelling and talking that bird decided to sit tight. Well it cost him as I canceled his flight with my first shot when he flushed.

Not having a chance to survey the skunk damage on one dog we crested the hill back towards our truck hoping to find the birds that flushed wild earlier. One flushed near my buddy but it was out a ways. He shot and dropped him but I knew he wasn’t hit very hard. Got the dogs over for a track and they worked it and then we lost it. It appeared that the bird doubled back and the dogs were able to get back on the track. We found a few feathers but nothing much. The dogs kept working with the wind at their back. They suddenly whipped a 180 and knew they were on the bird again once they got down wind. Not wanting to take any chances I jumped in hoping to grab the bird before it could take off again but I came up empty. It was nowhere to be found so I got down on my hands and knees and I still could not find it. Then one of my dogs gave me the look like hey its right here and he dove in and came up with the bird. I was literally kneeling on it and had no idea it was there. The nose knows!

Sorry no pics it was just too wet to pull out the camera, my buddy and I split up from there and went our separate ways. I walked one more area before dark in some good rain but nothing but hens to show for it.

As for the skunk damage, it must have missed my dog. Initially I thought I could smell it on his head but by the time we got back for the evening I couldn't smell anything. I even had the wife double check for approval. Woo hoo no bath!

Stay tuned for Sunday, my weekend ended on a great note!

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Sunday 10/28

Was up and on the road early so I could take advantage of the 10am start time, and I had one piece of ground I wanted to make sure I was first to get to. The spot I had in mind was definitely off the beaten path and required use of some minimum maintenance roads to obtain access. It is split and divided into two sections. I was hoping to be able to hunt the one side and piggy back over to the other to hopefully eliminate drive time.

It was a great morning to be out, nice chill to the air, some very very light snow flurries and just enough wind to get some air moving, couldn’t have asked for a better morning.

We started out working some very light cover and bumped a few birds that opted not to hunker down in the thick stuff we would walk later. This section was very large so we casually just zig zagged our way through it. I just followed the dogs until we approached the perimeter. Along the fence line the grass got a tad thicker, as most do. I watched the dogs get birdy and watched as one dog ran ahead as if he was trying to counter the birds moves while the other got scent and put his nose to the ground.

My dogs are 7 and 5 years old and it’s almost like they were communicating to each other. One telling the other to run and ahead and cut it off while the other stayed behind in case bird decided to double back. And then it happened, the dog downwind locked up, and the other up wind stayed back and honored. I readied the gun and went in for the flush and up jumps a rooster. One shot and he was down on the ground. I watched both dogs take off for it as if it was a race (the younger one got their first lol)

We had a few more birds flush wild on us but nothing in gun range. As we got back near the truck I saw a rooster run right in front of the truck. I figured he was going to make a run for the thick stuff, and not far behind him came a hen and then another rooster! I thought this was too good to be true, but the dogs were needing some water, so we weren’t ready to get back in the thick stuff just yet. But I let them get on the scent and we just walked the fence line hoping the birds were going to follow it. We moved at a pretty good pace with the dogs noses to the ground. One rooster got up way ahead of us but he was still in the fence line so I hoped the others were also. Then the hen got up but not as far ahead as the first bird was. Well that other rooster thought it was time to flush so he did also and I got him on the first shot. He folded hard and was dead before he hit the ground. That’s 2 birds in the bag and its only 10:30am.

So we headed back for the truck and I let the dogs gets some water. I knew there were birds in the area, so I was hoping to walk the other half but another truck was just pulling in. I figured I would let the dogs rest and come back to this area another day.

We drove another few miles down the road to another area I thought would have some birds, after all we only needed one more. When we arrived I surveyed the terrain and tried to plan out our best means of tackling this area by ourselves. I knew this area was still holding water so it could get messy in a hurry. We opted to walk along the outer edge of the water in an area where the cover was pretty beaten down. Although muddy it was manageable to get back to the grassy area I wanted to walk to. We came to a path along the fence where our options were to follow the fence and snake through some plum thickets or go along the other side of the plum thickets but get wet. We opted for the dry root and just as we were making our way through I could hear birds getting up. Although I couldn’t see them they were onto us and extra spooky. To make matters worse just as I got some visual after battling to get through the plum thickets up jumps a big bodied buck. The dogs then became more interested in the deer than the birds that were flushing. The race was on, and after a quick “no bird” command got their attention back to birds.

Well the birds certainly were there, we just didn’t get a chance to shoot them. From there it was anybody’s guess as to where they went. A quick regroup had us treading across the wet muddy slough and what I thought was manageable on foot quickly turned into mud over my boots. We trudged on and with the route we took we now had the entire grass area to work back into the wind. From a distance the grass looked to be much thicker but it ended up being pretty sparse. I thought we blew this one but decided to work it anyway and I am glad we did.

My dogs(GSP’s) both really like to open up and run big in this type of cover, each quartering their own section and covering their own ground. We got about half way through and the dogs never got birdy. I figured we missed our chance but then my oldest dog locked up. Again there wasn’t much cover and I figured he was just getting scent off a gopher mound or some other critters home. Sure enough it was a big rooster and again I dropped him with one shot. The older dog not wanting to be outdone this time by the younger dog made sure he made it to the dead bird first.

Our hunt for the day was done and it was barely 11am. It is rewarding to limit out, but as I emptied the gun and heeled the dogs to my side and head for the truck. It was hard to get into to even more birds on the way back and have both dogs give you that look as if they are questioning why you did not shoot them.

That’s my weekend recap, hope you enjoyed it even though my posts got a little long winded. Here are a couple pictures. Nothing wrong with being done in time to get home and watch football though!

full-6428-25888-imag0666.jpg

full-6428-25889-imag0671.jpg

full-6428-25891-dsc_5378.jpg

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great write up! great photo's, man that one bird has some magical color!

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Excellent report! I worked in Plankinton all weekend. Spent a few hours in the local pub on Saturday night. Not a real good report anywhere in the bar.. Theres some nice bucks in the country though. Headed west again on Wed. but un fortunately, its for work again.. Presho this time.

Nice write up!

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Nice write-up and pics. smile

Get a springer laugh and you will get more of those rooster runners. wink

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Well, back from the "easy" life. lol

Thursday- We got out to our area and unloaded our trucks around 2pm.

Our group of 7 got right to it, with only 4 hours to hunt. Conditions were just about perfect and we hammered 17 with many first day misses. (seems to usually happen, accuracy rate goes up with the days spent in the field)

Friday- The winds were really rockin out of the NW, and birds were hard to come by. Alot of walking gave way to road hunting, neither produced well. Ended with only 3. The emergency haying hopefully will not happen anytime soon... That is all I will say about that.

Saturday- Winds switched to the East, and calmed down some. Hit one big honey hole and got the true SD experience with so many birds you dont even know what one to shoot at. Ended up with 19.

Sunday- Super foggy and overcast for most of the day. Found some pockets of birds, and went back to the honey hole in the evening. Got 14.

Monday- The weather was perfect, was a shame to only hunt a couple hours before we went for the long drive home. Birds were definetly getting smarter, but the sun helped us to get 7 more.

All in all, pretty decent hunt. Cover was hard to find other than stomping through sloughs or a shelterbelt hunt. Birds were acting like a late season hunt, grouped up so tight already. But that goes back to the lack of cover I would believe.

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Nice write-up and pics. smile

Get a springer laugh and you will get more of those rooster runners. wink

I think after hunting with my buddies springer 2 weeks ago I would agree. What a amazing little dog. He save us many birds during our hunt.

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rundrave-does your liver colored dog have a big cut on its right front leg or is it just the shadow causing that? Bird dogs take such a beating I am always paranoid for them.

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rundrave-does your liver colored dog have a big cut on its right front leg or is it just the shadow causing that? Bird dogs take such a beating I am always paranoid for them.

it was a little raw. typically I would have been able to run my dogs in thick cover in the off season when we train and then when it comes fall it usually isn't too hard on them as their skin has been toughened up.

however this year, with the heat and drought it was pretty tough on the dogs to get some good hard field work in. As with most bird dogs they don't know when to stop even when its hot, so I cut back on field work this year and focused more on roading when it got cooler in the evenings or early mornings.

they get nicked up, raw noses and skin but they don't skip a beat. I used to be very paranoid about it also, but after multiple barb wire incidents and seeing the wear tear its just part of owning a bird dog. It doesn't seem to phase them.

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Nice job rundrave! Thanks for taking the time to write it up, it was fun going through it with you!

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Just returned from 4 days of hunting Aberdeen to Faulkton areas. I hunt manly ditches and some walk-ins and Crep lands. Worst trip ever. Due to the draught the grass is short and a lot mowed. All the crops are in so no new birds are there. I walked 25-30, mile long ditches and only flushed about 10 total birds. Lots of similair reports at the hotel.If you have private land or pay to hunt Go for it. But if you hunt like I do forget the trip and save your money. Over the years I've had plenty of good trips but not this trip. Good Luck to All DrJ....

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got out yesterday in the rain. The fog early on made it difficult to see in some areas. Did not do well for bird encounters but I was by no means in a prime area for birds.

Missed a easy one right off the bat that I should have had. I had both dogs on point and waited and waited for a bird to flush but it never did. I have been a little leery of long period points after our skunk and coon run ins so far this year. I figured this situation was just that because even after all the hollering and stomping around that bird never decided to flush. But then just as I gave up it flushed and I was all twisted up and facing the wrong direction in the grass to get a good shot.

My only other shooting opportunity came in one of those classic South Dakota moments where you work an area just right and happen to be in the right place at the right time and the sky goes black. I thought I was gonna get a true double but I was so caught up in the moment with the number of birds flushing that I rushed the first and dropped a bird on my 2nd shot. There were literally so many birds that busted out all at once that I didn't know where to aim. One of the very few times I wished I wasn't using an O/U.

Birds are getting extra jumpy and spooking easily. I have Monday off so will be out again. Other wise I am gonna give it a rest until we get some snow and then I will really get after them. Looking forward to some frozen ground and some easier access to get to some birds.

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Nice job on both post

I havnt been pheasant hunting in 25 yrs it was my #1 passion when I was young went everyday after school

Ive really have had the urge to go the last couple yrs and this year I was working dowwn in the MT lake not far from where my dad and couple of buddies had 4 farmers down in Lakefield that only let them hunt on their land It really got me pumped as i got to go down there a couple times and experienced what you said was the sd black sky.. now this was yrs ago

We got rained out at work one day so i took a drive down there it was during havest and to say the least I was very disappointed and it kinda took the wind out of my sails Idrove around all morning in areas we use to hunt the best I could remember and didnt see a bird any where and began to notice there was no where for them to be.. very very little cover for them.just seemed like a shame..but reading your post gets

my blood flowing again guess I'll just hafta think bout headin outa state I was working out in NW ND last spring and saw an abundance of birds out there

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Agree with DrJ..... Just came back from 5 days NW of Aberdeen in the Eureka area. Most WPA's and WMA's have been either hayed or cattle have grazed the fields where they look more like golf courses. Also, most ditches have been hayed. The result is very little cover and few birds. We hunted mostly cattails and did ok but this has to be the worst SD pheasant hunting that I have experienced in many many years.

Habitat is becomming a very big issue. Not sure if I will go back in December like I normally do. Real bummer!

Very similiar to what has happened in Iowa and Minnesota. SD is going to start losing significant revenue when out of state hunters stop making their annual trip.

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You guys hunting around Aberdeen just need to head further west. There are plenty of birds around you just need to scout for them.

I am pretty confident in saying the concentration of birds are in the central and north central parts of the state.

I have heard lots of below average reports of numbers of birds in the Aberdeen area and that's from a good chunk of private and public land hunters. I am not sure why that is. Loss of habitat, flooded land from 2011 never got a good chance to grow back with the drought this year etc etc??? Your guess is as good as mine. I know that area has ample opportunities and lots and lots of public land but I would skip all of it and head further west.

Im done for a couple weeks or at least until we get snow. We had 3 guys yesterday and hunted hard all on public land around the Lake Thompson area and only got 3 birds. I have never had good luck hunting on really windy days but went anyway. We didn't see much at all, not even birds flushing wild way ahead of us. And when we did get into birds they simply out smarted us. We had a strong NW wind and we figured they would flush down wind and they always seem to do the exact opposite of how we planned to go after them. These same areas held birds 2 days ago and they were no where to be found yesterday.

I am done with the short 1hr trips from home (Sioux Falls) its just not worth it to drive an hour and spend an entire day walking and not shoot birds. I need to get further west in order to shoot birds so that's what I am doing from here on out. Its a night and day difference and I have seen it first hand.

The good news is that the water is freezing and the muddy areas in the cattails are hard enough to walk on so that's opening up some options to get to some new areas. I don't know if that will hold up with the warm weather this week but it certainly helped yesterday.

I wont be out next weekend because of deer opener but I have 4 days planned for Huron over Thanksgiving. Hoping for snow and the colder the better!

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Agree with DrJ..... Just came back from 5 days NW of Aberdeen in the Eureka area. Most WPA's and WMA's have been either hayed or cattle have grazed the fields where they look more like golf courses. Also, most ditches have been hayed. The result is very little cover and few birds. We hunted mostly cattails and did ok but this has to be the worst SD pheasant hunting that I have experienced in many many years.

Habitat is becomming a very big issue. Not sure if I will go back in December like I normally do. Real bummer!

Very similiar to what has happened in Iowa and Minnesota. SD is going to start losing significant revenue when out of state hunters stop making their annual trip.

JConrad, you sound like you hunt the same areas we do. My post earlier echoes the same as you. A few guys will be going back for the December hunt, but half will not. Myself included. I just cant see the couple hundred bucks for the exact same hunt. The early hunt was just like a December hunt in the way the birds were grouped up. Really a bummer to not hunt a single grassland this year...

SD better rethink their practice of the emergency haying, or their #1 tourism cash crop will be hurt.

And Rundrave, there didnt seem to be a difference where we went, we put on the miles this year.

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SD better rethink their practice of the emergency haying, or their #1 tourism cash crop will be hurt.

Wow. Tourism is important to the SD economy, but not nearly as important as ranching and agriculture. I am sorry your hunting wasn't as good as normal. But seriously, I think someones living is much much more important than someones hobby, and its not even close. I think people fail to realize how serious the drought was out here. Many areas of SD did not see a measurable rain from early April until late September. One rancher I talked to got 300 bales off of ground he got 2500 off of last year. Emergency haying was not really an option, it was a necessity. Even with emergency haying feed is still hard to come by.

When there is a natural disaster it sucks, for everyone. I would much rather be in your position of having a less than stellar hunt than be a rancher selling off cattle at a loss because I do not have feed for them, then hearing people complain that I effected the success of their hobby.

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I know last year in spring of 2011 a lot of the CREP areas and walk in areas didn't get planted because it was simply too wet to get the grasses in.

Fast forward to this year, we got no snow over the winter, and no rain over the summer. It literally went from one extreme to the next. What used to be grassy habitat was under water. Now that same area that was flooded has dried up. I am sure in ideal situations these areas of conservation fair much better but unfortunately the weather has been anything but normal.

Its frustrating, trust me but unfortunately we cannot control mother nature.

Happy hunting.

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Not that I depend on the dept of tourism, or even the GFP counts whether I hunt or not,, it would be nice if they at least told the truth about the situation.. When I bought my reservation license, they told the the pheasant count was down over 30% and the prairie birds even more.. The state said they were up 18%.. Somebodies lieing, and I'm pretty sure I figured out who it is after this last 5 day trip.. We shot 52 pheasants in two days for ten guys.. Not bad,,, but we put out 85... If it werent for the bought birds, we maybe wouldve harvested 6 or 7 on Thursday and 4 or 5 on Friday for the ten guys. Now, the provider of this hunt has always supplemented birds on this corporate hunt on private ground. For the most part, his reasoning is that not everyone is an experienced hunter,10-15 guys and 3 with dog or dogs) and there needs to be a few "easier" birds now and then to relax the hunting conditions a little.. I dont think he has ever supplemented with this many birds though. While this is not really my type of hunt, I am grateful to be invited year after year, because this hunt is exactly the reason I started hunting pheasants in South Dakota..This hunt takes place in between Plankinton and Wessington Springs on private ground that has some quarters of hunting ground and some strictly farming ground.(wheat stubble) that held some wild birds, but we couldnt corral them.

I hunted South west of Presho on Saturday alone, which was also deer opener, so I opted to stay off public and the private ground I had has to be shared with the deer hunters using it. Not that I didnt have any opportunities, because I did, but there are just not as many opps as usual, and if you mess up, like I did several times, its gonna cost you in the bird bag. I got tremendous dog work, but I didnt adjust to the extra clothing needed for the 17 degree temps..

Frankly, If I could wind every bird up again, after the dog brought it back, and let it go, I'd be a pretty happy guy. I know killing birds is low on my list, and watching my dogs work is paramount for me. Heck, I had two staunch points that I just let go. One less than 6 feet away, and one about 20 yards when it broke out of the cover. The other 5 times in 2 days I missed. LOL

I came home without a bird last trip. The first 2 days, someone wanted them worse than I did, and the other two days, I never connected.. I dont think I even got close.

Sometimes, when a bird gets up, its like my world is turning in slow motion. The gun hits my shoulder, my trigger finger strokes the cold steel. No recoil is felt as I watch the shot string stretch out and wrap itself around the gawdy bird and drag hm to the ground like the ghouls at the end of the movie "Ghost" ..

Then, there are days that someone shoves me from behind just as I'm jerking the trigger on a bird that seems to be going mach 3, daring me to catch up to him.. which I dont... Why I pull the trigger at all those days, when I know the barrel isnt within 6 feet of the target, Ill never know.. But, I can only hope that I continue to have both of those kinds of days for years to come. Ill take whatever I get..

I'm not mad at the pheasants, havent been for a long, long time, but I'm telling you one thing, the walleyes better beware this winter, because theres going to be a schedule change a little earlier in the year this year, me thinks.

Dustin, You cant get much closer to Iowa and live in SD than you do.. I'm envious.. Someday..

We drive by your house every trip..

R

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Dustin, You cant get much closer to Iowa and live in SD than you do.. I'm envious.. Someday..

We drive by your house every trip..

haha stop stalking me smile

Next time stop by and help me get some projects finished lol and then you can say hi to the boys.

Was it the garage project that gave it away? Finally got concrete poured, should have the kennel runs done and up shortly. Still got a list of a million other things to get done yet.

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