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Rick

Pheasant Hunting

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Thank you,Rick,for the fine additions to this great site! Road counts are sounding better for parts of MN, so hopefully this year will be a good one. I can hardly wait to get out and bust a few roosters!

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Hey Rockman! I missed the reports of road counts... what's the newz??? I do alot of trout/smallie fishing in SE MN, and always have my eyes in the ditch to and from my spots. I haven't been seeing a whole heckuv alot of birds. The winter was easy, but all the rain in June concerned me. Maybe things are looking better than I thought?

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J.A.Say Tree, sorry about the delayed reply, I haven't been online for almost a week!!
I heard that western MN had better counts, but SE was questionable due to heavy rains earlier. Again, this is purely hearsay that came to me, and not actual count info., so don't flame me,folks, if the numbers prove otherwise. Try MN DNR HSOforum if you need more detailed info. We will all hope for the best.

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Just wondering if anyone has been seeing any pheasants. As the farmers start harvest, we should start seeing some birds. I live West of St. cloud (Richmond) and have started seeing some roosters lately. Anyone else seeing any?

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ScottS
[email protected]

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Scotts, I've been seeing a fair number of birds around rockville, west of St. Cloud. Based on the DNR road counts are numbers are up significantly this year(let's hope their accurate). Have a good safe hunt.

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How much of a difference is the hunting in MN for Pheasants compared to SD? Do you see about half as many in minnesota, or is it somewhat comparable. I am planning a hunt to SD for my first ever pheasant hunt, but would it be worth saving money and staying in MN?

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"Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything."
Genesis 9:3

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Well, lucky you asked the question! SDakota has about a zillion more birds. If you want action, SD has it. I live in Minnesota and have hunted here for years. I have never been to SD but, while turning up only a few roosters in MN, frields visit our neighbor to the west and come back with plenty. I have been stuborn in past years, no wanting to spend the out of state fee but, this year a trip is required!
Nebraska and Iowa are also good bets...(word of mouth).

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A friend at work always goes to Iowa and says there's many birds there too.

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mnwild14, theres no comparison between SD pheasant numbers and MN pheasant numbers. I was hunting out by Redfield last year around the first part of Dec. We had 10+ inches of snow the night before we got there. We saw hundreds and hundreds of birds in any cover that was left. It was amazing. They were very skittish, lots flushing at 78-80-120 yards but it was truly amazing to see so many birds. Even with the tough winter, I'm going back!!!

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I am also planning a first trip out to SD. We are heading to Platte, SD. near Chamberlain. Was wondering if anyone else hunts this place or had heard of this place? Our trip is being planned during Thanksgiving vacation since we are all teachers.

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I was at the SD dnr site yesterday....it said that Chamberlain had the best numbers in the state. If fact, as a whole SD is down 19% but Chamberlain was substantially up. Have fun.

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Kooba,

Read the regs carefully. The laws are different than in MN. Some to your advantage.

If you are hunting on public land or WIA, be prepared for wild birds. That is not to say that you can't get within range, but your group will have to be smart about it.

The biggest mistake I see pheasant hunters make is arriving at a hunting area and making noise at the vehicle. Slamming doors, yelling at dogs, noisily chambering shells, etc.

Late season pheasants have been hunted hard
and they know the drill. Public areas in SD can still hold plenty of roosters, but you'll never have a chance at them unless you've got a strategy. Last winter, I had birds flushing 250 yards away when they heard or saw me coming. One area was difficult to approach from the parking area without being seen. So, I drove down the road, parked near a draw and sneaked up the draw and into the area holding cover. The birds held well in the cover because they had no idea I was coming and I was suddenly (and quietly!) in the midst of them.

Get yourself a WIA atlas and study it (and realize that a serious misprint means that all walk-in-area are not where they appear).

If you are on private land, you may find birds that are less spooky. Don't forget that you can hunt the road ditches, unlike Minnesota. BUT!!! Make very sure that you are familiar with the regulations. Landowners love nothing better than to nab out-of-state hunters for breaking game laws.

The birds are there, even with a decrease in population in some areas. I hunted in Central South Dakota over Thanksgiving last year. There was snow.....it was cold, but I got my limit of both grouse and pheasants two days in a row (I deer hunted the first two days, otherwise I may have had more!). I saw several hundred birds each day.....you might think I'm exhaggerating, but I'm not. Both species tend to bunch up where the cover and food are concentrated during the winter. I'm not saying I had shots at several hundred, just that I saw them.

Good Luck!

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Thanks a lot guys for the information. This site is so helpful for so many people. I also looked on the DNR site for SD. Wow, am I getting excited after seeing the numbers. We are going over there with a fellow that grew up in that area. He is very familiar with the laws and regs. I believe we are staying at his old farm house by Chamberlain. We plan on also hunting grouse also after pheasant hunting if we get lucky enough to get our birds. I am hunting with some poor shot hunters. They seem to get excited and don't aim when a bird is in front of them. Again thanks for the info and keep it coming.

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Papermouth - the bird count in Iowa this year is down considerably. That shouldn't stop anyone from getting out and enjoying the hunt but with the costs of out of state fees etc you may think twice and head to SD. I just got back from Wyoming on an elk hunt this past weekend and coming thru Nebraska on I-80 I saw a lot of birds (early in the A.M.)in the Kearney/ North Platte area. Good luck all!

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Bird numbers in IA are low. Most birds you see now have little to no color. Road side counts say they are down over 44% from last year. I wish we had a web site like this in IA.

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Fish Landers - where in Iowa do you live? I agree a forum like this would be great for us Iowegians. I'm not computer literate enough to do something like this but someone here in Iowa that enjoys the outdoors is. All we need to do is find them. Good luck this coming bird and deer season.

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Well, tomorrow is the big day for you MN rooster-chasers! Only saw two cocks yesterday while scouting for fowl out west. Did see 4 roosters together north of Grove City earlier in the week though. Looks like there's a lot of corn out there yet, however. That can be a big factor in how many birds are being seen right now. Hopefuly the year won't be as bad as they are saying!

I'll be working in MPLS this weekend frown.gif I guess I have to hunt vicariously through you dedicated forum hunters till I can get out later in the week! Hope everyone has a good hunt! Be sure to post you success (and UNsuccess) stories!!!

Good Gunnin'

Duck-o-holic


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Fish Landers - I'm in your backyard on the west side of Ankeny. I've been in the Shelby/Cass County area and then southwestern Iowa in Taylor and Page Counties. I have a good friend that farms over by Elkhorn that says the count is way down there but there are enough birds to make it interesting come opening. Down around Bedford & Clarinda there are fewer birds than north of there. Heard a few quail this summer in Page County. I'm headed up north this week-end to Itasca County, MN to drain the pipes and do a little work on the deer stands. Have a good season.

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All I can say is I'm glad it's over. I'm [PoorWordUsage]ED!!!

Started out cold, wet and nasty. After two solid points on a couple hens, we finally got our first rooster around noon. Cindy, my wife, was the first to score. She's a helluva shot with that 20ga. Our second and final rooster today was mine. This old guy was busted trying to sneak down a river bank by my two year old Eng. Setter, Jazz, while we were on our way back to the truck.

We were hunting northwest of Dassel and have found the bird numbers to be WAY down. Of the six birds we found, all day, four were hens. And we put in a TON of walkin' in three different areas, with two fantastic, and now very tired, English Setters. If we walked 50 miles, they must have done 5000.

Not a picture perfect day, but worth the effort. It always is.

How did you do? And where?

Dan

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Me and Oscar (my pooch) walked up and down the wma in faribault. Oscar flushed two hens, one about 4 feet from me in the grass! Anyway, that's it. Lots of walking and very wet. And yes, I am very beat.

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Pheasant hunting was slow. Sat morning my brother and I saw four hens in a WPA in eastern Kandiyohi county. Sunday morning hunting private land in Meeker county, we jumped one batch of 8 pheasants, got one rooster, should have have had two. Nice to be out but not many birds flushed!! Will keep getting out if only to get my dog and myself in shape for South Dakota!

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