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rundrave

2018 Pheasant Reports

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Pheasant Survey Indicates 47% Increase for South Dakota’s 100th Hunting Season

This year's pheasant brood survey shows a 47 percent increase over last year. The 2018 statewide pheasants-per-mile (PPM) index is 2.47, up from the 2017 index of 1.68. The full report provides an overview of upland habitat; which remains a concern for all wildlife across the state. Just as changes in landscape-level habitat conditions have produced peaks and valleys in the pheasant population for 100 years, habitat will again be the key to preserving pheasant hunting for another century

 

Can get a better idea of numbers per location here: https://gfp.sd.gov/userdocs/docs/2018RingneckOutlook.pdf

 

And here: https://gfp.sd.gov/userdocs/docs/PBR_2018_FINAL.pdf

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my take on all of this is if you focus on 10yr avg were are still down in population significantly all over the state. We will never see the numbers we saw in the 90's and early 2000's again.

 

its not doom and gloom but birds will still be hard to come buy.

 

I noticed a significant drop in non resident license numbers from last year, will be interesting to see if that trend continues to get lower.

 

The State of SD will spin the numbers to dry to get those license dollars back but I feel its too late.

 

I will still be out chasing birds already looking forward to prairie grouse season coming up.

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I'm headed to South Dakota over Labor day weekend and will probably do a hunt at a game farm. It will be interesting to see the numbers as I know they don't release pen raised birds.

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6 hours ago, PurpleFloyd said:

I'm headed to South Dakota over Labor day weekend and will probably do a hunt at a game farm. It will be interesting to see the numbers as I know they don't release pen raised birds.

 Where you headed to?  Nearest town?

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Posted (edited)

SD may just have to keep stocking more WI pen raised birds to help pad the numbers...

the encouraging part is the amount of WIA acres added this year along with a better precipitation year vs  last year's haying. but overall CRP acres is still down as you already know

Edited by Jmnhunter

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Most of central and north central SD is still in a drought. They were dry last year also, didn't get much snow to replenish and now enduring a dry summer again. Meanwhile down in my neck of the woods we  now have the 3rd wettest summer ever as of this mornings rain. I am heading west through Huron and Pierre late this week and plan to scout out some public land. Hopefully I still see standing grass and not a bunch of round bales.

 

The pay to play places don't need to go to Wisconsin to get pen raised birds. Plenty of places to get pen raised birds around here, but I wish they would quit buying them all so us little guys could get some to train dogs at a reasonable price.

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Posted (edited)

Juneau4:

 

If it is a SD game farm with a Sept - March season, the game farm MUST release birds.  From the SD G&F site:

 

Quote

Private Shooting Preserves

The Private Shooting Preserves Permit Application can be issued to an individual (South Dakota residents only), co-partnership, association, or corporation owning, holding or controlling by lease or otherwise any contiguous tract of land (must touch at the corners or sides) of at least 160 and not to exceed 2,560 acres.

 

The shooting preserve season runs from September 1 until March 31 of the following year. Shooting hours are restricted from sunrise until sunset. The game birds that can be licensed for South Dakota preserves include pheasants, partridges, quail, and turkey.

The bag limits will vary for each species.

 

The applicant is required to submit a plan of operation which includes information about the facilities available on the preserve, services offered, species of game birds to be hunted, bag limits planned, number of birds expected to be released, age of birds at time of planned release, and approximate dates of planned bird releases.

 

A minimum of 300 rooster pheasants must be released within the preserve during the first year of operation and a minimum of 600 rooster pheasants each season thereafter.  Hen releases are allowed on the preserves, but their numbers cannot be included on the game release records, nor can they be used to meet the required minimum release total for the preserve.

 

The total harvest of released and wild birds cannot exceed 100% of each species of birds released.  For example, if 800 pheasants (680 marked and 120 wild) were harvested on the preserve, release records must show that at least 800 rooster pheasants have been released on the preserve acres.

 

Edited by brittman

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Site link:

https://gfp.sd.gov/shooting-preserves/

 

 

Scroll down and you can see the number of birds reported to be released on preserves.   This number would not include any birds released on non-preserve areas designated as wild bird only hunts (some are, some not so much).

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3 hours ago, rundrave said:

Most of central and north central SD is still in a drought. They were dry last year also, didn't get much snow to replenish and now enduring a dry summer again. Meanwhile down in my neck of the woods we  now have the 3rd wettest summer ever as of this mornings rain. I am heading west through Huron and Pierre late this week and plan to scout out some public land. Hopefully I still see standing grass and not a bunch of round bales.

 

I hope the report stays true and that there should be minimal amounts of grazing/bailing

 

Britt, I wish they would release more hens, the one study I read said something like only 3 out of 100 released hens survive to reproduce

 

 

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16 hours ago, PurpleFloyd said:

East of Faulkton

 

South of Warner --Sons Father-in-Laws land- usually pretty good. More missing than hittin.

 

 Last time I talked to him -he said he thought the hatch was way up from last year. That was a month ago.

My son who lives in Aberdeen also says he has seen quite a few birds.

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I just do my own roadside counts and don’t worry about the GFP numbers 😁

 

This pic was from last night at sundown, I am loving the cooler temps we are finally starting to see. The bird I flushed was pretty young yet though he could barely fly and didnt have much color yet.

 

E2FA8688-3A0F-4D50-877F-D3B2D0550594.jpeg

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starting to ramp up the conditioning and putting on some miles with both the dog and myself lol. Bumped 2 really young birds again last night at sundown. They sat while my dog was on point forever and even me stomping in the grass couldn't get them to flush. One finally did and I thought that was the only bird but dog was still locked up. sure enough another bird sat even longer despite the first flushing and all the commotion from that.  Both of those birds are going to have a hard time surviving the winter as young as they are now. 

 

Trip last week out west was really dry if I could sum it up. Around Huron the corn was really short and already brown, where down here in the SE part of the state its green yet and very tall. Hopefully that means early harvest for some areas. Grass in the area is really short and dry also.

 

Drove through FT Pierre national grasslands and same situation. Prairie grouse numbers look like they are up a bit according to GFP from last year but still not a boom year. Grasslands look like they are survivng ok but again very dry. I think any grouse or prairie chickens are gonna be pretty spooky and hard to get with not a lot of cover around. They are gonna see us coming a mile away. Going to have to hunt the hill tops and be quick on the draw.

 

pic from lastnights bird encounters:

 

D3DF21DE-8368-4CA0-ABD8-1AB57CF19A01.jpeg

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SD resident opener was a wet one. Saturday I didn't go out. Sunday morning woke up with 4.5" inches of snow at my place a few miles south of Sioux Falls. Never would I have imagined we would be able to hunt in snow this early! The other odd part is that none of the weather people even hinted at any accumulation or even predicted any chance of precip. It literally just came out of nowhere.

 

Yesterday I hunted the entire day from noon to sundown and was fortunate enough to still have some snow stick around in areas.. My only summary is swamp country. I wore the wrong boots, wrong pants etc. Should have just wore waders would have been able access things better. My biggest mistake was not going far enough west and not far enough north. But there is a ton of public land where I headed and I hadn't been able to scout that way yet this year. Everything that looked walkable was wet it didnt matter how high or low it was. If it looked good at knee level it very likely had ankle high standing water under it. Ditches were full of water, some roads were underwater it was just wet everywhere and I don't see any signs of any harvesting starting any time soon. The water just made things difficult to walk as some areas I am familiar with. I could walk one side and work it good, but then get land locked because of water and have no way of getting to the other sides and ended up back tracking and walking a lot of same areas twice  which usually isnt productive.

CF7A8FF8-E493-4FA5-8E3C-34161EC6DBD6.jpeg

 

I only managed 1 bird all day. I missed 1 bird my first walk probably at 12:01pm right after getting out of the truck. Just was slow to get the gun up and was way behind it. Typically early season lull, I think I just stared at the bird before I even realized I should be trying to shoot it. I downed another bird early afternoon and I knew it wasn't hit hard. Made a good mark on it and then my dog got a good track and pinned it down. As I went to grab it with my hand the dog released and the bird took off like a bat out of hell and we never were able to recover it because of all of the water. As soon as I put my hand on it, it just exploded and was gone. Was just an odd scenario.

 

Saw a few other hens but otherwise a very very slow day. I had spotted a bunch of birds coming out of some CRP earlier in the day that headed for corn. I came back an hour before sundown and hunkered down hopefully to get some pokes at them during the golden hour and they never showed up. I know the birds are around but all the crops in makes it difficult to hunt during the day.

 

I dont know what to suggest for people coming for the big opener this weekend. Its going to be difficult with so many crops in. I would say anywhere north of HWY 14 should be a little drier in areas but they have still seen some moisture the last couple weeks. Up near Brown county they are basically in a drought and down in the south eastern part of the state we are breaking yearly precipitation records. Harvest is off to a slow start all over. I know this weekend is the big opener everyone gets fired up for but if it were me I would be coming back for late season hunts and skip the circus this weekend.

 

I wont be hitting it hard any time soon will probably just stick to some sundown hunts closer to home for now. I have some gopro footage I need to get edited from yesterday got alot of good stuff on video including the bird that got away.

 

Good luck to those heading out this weekend!

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youtube was down last night so wasnt able to upload video. Maybe I will get it done later today.

 

Here is an update on harvest:

Quote

The federal Agriculture Department in its weekly crop report says less than a full day was considered suitable for fieldwork.
    
Harvest progress is at 5 percent for the sunflower crop, 21 percent for sorghum, 17 percent for corn and 29 percent for soybeans. All are behind the average pace.    

 

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Any reports from the weekend? Still a lot of crops in. Finally starting to see some beans getting harvested. Got a long way to go yet and unfortunately some rain in the forecast again will probably set them back.

 

5035EE86-9541-493D-B904-9E116E11D610.jpeg

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Here is an update on harvest:

Quote

Late season harvest progress reports include 16 percent for sunflowers, 33 percent for sorghum, 41 percent for corn and 77 percent for soybeans.    

 

I have yet to get out since resident opener but hopefully that changes this weekend. Although it looks to be wet I will probably go out anyway because both my dog and I are getting a little antsy.

 

good luck, don't be afraid to share some reports or tailgate pics :)

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well this wet weather pattern continues, as it was a wet weekend in the south east part of the state anyway. Spent my weekend just jumping around all over in the Mitchell, Spencer, Salem areas. Lots of public land that way and just felt like scouting some new areas I haven't hunted before. The bird numbers and counts were a little higher in these areas than others, but that also seemed to draw lots of other hunters to the area. If you could get to a spot at 10am and nobody was there, you better walk it. After that it was just roulette the rest of the afternoons as I saw hunters coming and going from all over at every piece of public I drove by or scouted. Lots of different license plates, small groups of hunters, to big groups, guys pulling big dog trailers etc they were all over. I was hoping the rain would keep some guys away but I guess if I drove across the country to hunt I wouldn't be sitting in my hotel either.

 

Saw plenty of birds this weekend it was just that the hens outnumbered the roosters about 10-1 in my walks. Saw birds on every piece of public land that I walked. Unfortunately lots of corn in yet, and as most know when it gets wet the last thing those birds want to do is sit in wet grass. Its hard to hunt them but there are certain types of cover I was able to find some. Any cattails are full of water so they are off limits to walking right now. Most crp and other tall grasses were too wet but you could still find a few birds here and there. But if you walked some dry timber or dried out cockle bur patches I was finding lots of birds hanging out in those types of cover when it was wet out.

 

My sundown golden hour walks were very productive when I did it along areas with corn still in. But its was always just hen after hen but the numbers were very encouraging to see in several spots. It was unfortunate that most of my walking during the day was pretty slow in terms of finding roosters but did pick up some birds. But the best method this weekend  unfortunately was road hunting. It was about the only sure bet with the rain and its not something I typically resort too but it was about the only way to get some birds in my vest. I walked about 10 miles each day so wasn't like I was not out there working for them either. 

 

Nothing frustrates me more than walking mile after mile and then seeing this lol:

3C0DD864-46AF-439C-BDE1-2301E4686AD7.jpeg

 

Got a tired hunter (me) and wet smelly, tired bird dog. Good news is that wet damp cover doesnt tear the dog up as bad. Gonna rest up next couple of days and get out next weekend sounds like it will be really cold which I am looking forward to.

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We ran into the same thing the previous weekend in central  Mn .  Fridays drizzley weather and Saturday mornings fog they were all over the roads, found some in the trees and thickets but by Saturday evening the grass dried nicely.  Usually by now I've had enough of state land but we're still seeing birds, and not much for other hunters so might as well keep walking em.

Edited by bobberineyes

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I'm seeing more birds so fare this season then I have in a long time. My land was surrounded by corn until the week before deer hunting. last weekend sitting in my stand I could see rosters flying from one end of the land to the other.

We even had them sparring next to my stand. I can't wait until deer season is over.

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spent a few days in the Huron area, and the hunting was fantastic. First trip to that area for me this year and I was pleasantly surprised. Seen a few hunters out there but not as many as I have seen in years past.

 

Found that birds weren't to bunched up yet and didn't seem to be too wild. Had a lot of birds hold for some nice points. Couldn't walk on the ice in all the areas yet but if you stuck to the edge you could.

 

I didnt take many pics but will try to get some gopro footage up.

C892724A-D515-46F1-8C5F-5B8D2A05B955.jpeg

A3FD6F7F-B6F8-4FBE-9BB5-A0CB0FDDA41F.jpeg

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