I love my Helix unit also, and GPS has been a game changer for me. No more fumbling with my phone in the cold with apps eating my battery and trying to keep it out of the elements.
I miss the simplicity of my Marcum VX-1 but after getting my Helix dialed in I have no complaints.
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.
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!
Posting. Cuz I can’t sleep worth a dump. Gonna be a MEA yahoo for most the rest of the week. I’ve heard good reports from the friends that are already out there. They took the whole week so I’m driving myself out Tuesday night.
Just getting the the back of the truck filled with dekes got me too revved up. Gonna be hard packing anything else besides waders, layout blind, guns and shells! Who needs food and more than one change of clothes for 5 days anyway?!
I was ALMOST headed to Ely as well but opted to stick to “productive” pursuits at home, figuring I probably missed the October window this year. That only lasted a day though before I headed west.
It looked really cool though. Quiet too I bet.
I have a couple LX5s and have been very happy with them. I had to get a second one for the wheelhouse since after I set it up for the wife, I usually go out hole hopping my original one. Then come back with fish only cuz I was using the “cheat mobile”.
With the second one I was able to let her stare at it long enough to figure it out cuz apparently my teaching skills are sub par. She normally wanted to have the camera down all the time but come dark, it’s kinda hard to see anything.
Who knew a wheelhouse and flasher would change her from a winter hibernator to an ice fishing addict. She wants to go EVERY weekend now.
Anyone wanna buy a wheelhouse? 😉😂
Just kidding.... but I wish she’d wanna try for lakers every once in a while.