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2019 Pheasant Reports


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GFP brood survey is out as of today, you can find it here: SD GFP brood survey


My take on the numbers being down %17 is pretty good considering the winter we had and wet spring/summer. 


I typically don't read too much into the numbers as I will be out no matter what. A few observations that I have seen this off season is that we did have a wet spring and that caused a lot of issues for farmers getting crops planted. But just about every rural area across the state had issues with too much moisture. On one hand you know that's bad for nesting conditions. But another factor we know has been lack of conservation and losing habitat at a significant rate.


Well this year a lot of acres that were typical row crops didn't get planted at all. What I am seeing is that instead of fields being turned over this spring, many were left sitting and they just ended up as acres and acres of weeds what ever else could grow there. These are prime areas for nesting and cover that typically wouldn't be.  Out where I live none of the fields near me in SE SD got planted. I have heard and seen pheasants in places I have never seen them in before. I saw some of those fields got disc'ed up late summer and some sort of cover crop was planted but there still is a bunch of weeds and grasses growing too.


I am hoping that there were some late hatches, and I am still seeing young broods of birds that are not very old yet and were likely missed in surveys. Going to be a late harvest regardless have to factor that into your early season hunts also.


Prairie grouse numbers are about the same as last year, no decline but not a big increase either. Should be able to shoot a few if your willing to put in the work to get them.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Getting closer been running my dog every day when time permits, but up until just recently the heat has been hard to get some good miles in so resorted to a lot of water work instead. Looking forward to cooler temps but now we are in a wet pattern again. Saw a lot of cover crops plowed under in the last couple weeks in the fields that were too wet to plant this spring.


Going to be a late harvest, not seeing any beans or any crops coming out yet. With this wet pattern may have to wait for a good frost now.


I am seeing birds here and there but haven't been doing any walks in prime bird number areas. Not sure what I will get out of this 12 year old dog this year but hes still got a long nose that's for sure:


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Well SD resident opener is this Sat, Sun and Monday on public land.


Seeing some beans starting to come out and harvested in some areas but still pretty wet in others to get any equipment in the fields. This weather coming is just going set them all back even further.


More rain and lots of snow in some spots in the forecast. Could be an interesting weekend of hunting. I don't plan to venture too far from Sioux Falls. Will get out for some quick hunts, just to get out and I am not expecting much for results in the areas around here. Focus will be more for getting the dog and myself some miles in the field as we are both not in prime shape yet.


Its wet everywhere, might be a combo of waders and snow shoes to get to some spots lol

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