Checking in ...

nstric

New member
First time checking in this season. How’s everyone doing so far? Seeing good numbers? How much corn is still in where you hunt? How are you shooting?

My buddy and I have been out four times so far, taking two of our kids on our last outing. We’ve seen good rooster counts, but I’d say fewer hens have been noted compaired to years passed. I’m hoping that’s circumstantial and not indicative of numbers.

Our now older dogs (9 years old) are a bit slower, but still finding birds. Windy and dry conditions have limited really tight sitting roosters, the exception being Opening Day.

My buddy is carrying me on his back, already up nine roosters on me. He’s been Johnny on the Spot, and as always, shooting well. I’ve hit more than I’ve missed, but opportunities have been more limited than normal as of late. That tide will turn in time.

Still a lot of corn in south of highway 20, and not surpringly we’re seeing more birds north of that line.

We plan to get back out on Monday, after family obligations this weekend.

Unrelated, how ‘bout our Hawks!?! Currently up 31-17 in OSU!!!
 

IA at heart

New member
Nate - Glad to see you checking in with the crew. This site has slowed down dramatically, still have never seen anything from Kbell either.

I cant believe Gunner is 9 already. What's that old saying.....the only problem with a dog is they don't live long enough. I have not been out yet but will probably get out a day or two this week. I always like to let the first two weekends pass by before I get out there. I have heard decent reports in south central with birds being taken. One of my new neighbors went out yesterday and said he hunted hard all day with a dog in Atlantic and did not see a single bird. The most common theme I have heard is way too much corn in for the first week or so. That shall pass quickly though.

Gunner is probably a lot like me; still loves to get out there and chase the birds but probably cant swing a full day of hard hunting anymore. My damn groin bothers me after about 2 or 3 hours of walking, especially in the tall grass or extra deep snow. But, I just take my time. If it works out, we will have to get our annual couple hour walk in some time later in the season. Being right in the hood now, it makes it that much easier. Hope all is well with you and the family!

PS, Oh yea, your Hawks. Good lord, what got into those boys? That was one heck of a performance!
 

Awesomeness

New member
Nate - Glad to see you checking in with the crew. This site has slowed down dramatically, still have never seen anything from Kbell either.

I cant believe Gunner is 9 already. What's that old saying.....the only problem with a dog is they don't live long enough. I have not been out yet but will probably get out a day or two this week. I always like to let the first two weekends pass by before I get out there. I have heard decent reports in south central with birds being taken. One of my new neighbors went out yesterday and said he hunted hard all day with a dog in Atlantic and did not see a single bird. The most common theme I have heard is way too much corn in for the first week or so. That shall pass quickly though.

Gunner is probably a lot like me; still loves to get out there and chase the birds but probably cant swing a full day of hard hunting anymore. My damn groin bothers me after about 2 or 3 hours of walking, especially in the tall grass or extra deep snow. But, I just take my time. If it works out, we will have to get our annual couple hour walk in some time later in the season. Being right in the hood now, it makes it that much easier. Hope all is well with you and the family!

PS, Oh yea, your Hawks. Good lord, what got into those boys? That was one heck of a performance!
That's sad to see that the Atlantic area wasn't well. I haven't been out yet this season, but I should be around the Manning area on Friday, so I guess I'll just have to wait and see.
 

Ranger Rick

Member
Yes, this site has been pretty quiet. I've been asked why I, and others aren't on here. It's been suggested because people know bird numbers are down, etc..

I'm back at my desk after hunting east of Fort Dodge Thursday-Saturday. We shot some birds, but worked hard 8-4:30 each on Friday-Saturday. First factor influencing the hunt, all but 1 or 2 were older birds, so it's obvious this year the reproduction suffered. There was corn up around every spot we hunt. They're working hard at it and I would think most will be off by this coming weekend, though. The third strike for us is there was another crew that hunted all of our area during the week. We hunt all private ground, but my buddy's in-laws let a crew from out of state hunt. This year we were a week late due to work schedules, and they beat us to it.

We hunt some really nice ground. The farmer has done prairie restoration on all of the parcels he farms. Where there's cover, there are birds. But as with so much of Iowa, outside of those parcels, there isn't a spec of cover for miles.

Thursday afternoon I hunted two public access areas. In the first I flushed 8 hens and 1 rooster. My setter pointed the lone rooster at the fence of the property. It flushed across the fence on land owned by a hunt club. Being as they had already been out watching me and the dog work, I didn't dare pull the trigger and drop it on their land. On the second parcel I shot 1 rooster and flushed 1 hen.

Bottom line, sure bird numbers are down, but there's some pretty good hunting out there. If people want to listen to gloom and doom, and stay home, it's their loss.
 

Hockeygolf

New member
Group of 5 of us hunted public land near Forest City the last two weekends (mainly Saturday Oct 28th and yesterday). Bagged 4 roosters last weekend. Saw quite a few hens as well. Yesterday wasn't nearly as good - bagged 0 birds and only saw a handful after walking all day. Being from MN, it's great to actually see some birds. With that being said, we are interested in hunting some private land later in the season. Obviously, we'd be willing to pay to hunt. I'd greatly appreciate any help in an introduction to a land owner in North Central Iowa. Thanks! Love the forum.
 

waterdog09

New member
Group of 5 of us hunted public land near Forest City the last two weekends (mainly Saturday Oct 28th and yesterday). Bagged 4 roosters last weekend. Saw quite a few hens as well. Yesterday wasn't nearly as good - bagged 0 birds and only saw a handful after walking all day. Being from MN, it's great to actually see some birds. With that being said, we are interested in hunting some private land later in the season. Obviously, we'd be willing to pay to hunt. I'd greatly appreciate any help in an introduction to a land owner in North Central Iowa. Thanks! Love the forum.
Where do you hunt in MN, we went out opening wknd and saw plenty of birds in SW MN, and a couple buddies of mine went out last wknd and got four and should have had their limit but again saw a ton of birds. They stated they have not seen near the birds in IA this season as in the past 2 years. Ill be out this sat for the first time in IA after taking a week off after our SD trip.
 

Simple Man

New member
I lived in Iowa back in the late 80's and have Pheasant hunted it every year until around 2010 mostly around Shelby County. Due to life changes and bird populations I rarely hunt that area anymore and am looking to establish new hunting areas perhaps near the Fort Dodge area or possibly Forest City. Appreciate any recommendations - might even go up to the NW corner where we have plenty of access to public ground. I have hunted that area a few times and it certainly had good bird numbers. I should mention that I have plenty of dog power but small hunting part of 3 old friends that enjoy a day in the field with plenty of old stories to tell and hoping to add a few new ones. What do you think my chances are of getting permission to hunt private ground in these areas?
 

kanstiss

New member
I'm hoping to hear something about fort dodge area as well. There's potential I may head that way this weekend. Looking to possibly go toward Story City also.
 

Hockeygolf

New member
Great to hear that you saw plenty of birds in MN. Haven't been out in MN yet this year, my comment was based on hunting public land in the Windom area in years past. May have to give MN another go this year.
 

Shawk

New member
First... yeah, how about those Hawks! Not sure what happened with Northwestern but I usually dread that game every year so I'm never surprised at that outcome... they just have our number. MSU and PSU were both should of and could of games. We'll see what happens in Madison this weekend. Props to the Panthers and the Cyclones as well that have figured things out this season as well. ;)

I snuck out yesterday with my pooches for the 2nd time this season... our older GSP is now 9+ (hard to believe) and our "pup" will be 3 this winter. She hit auto pilot early last season and it's been fun watching her get after it! We spent about 5-6 hours in the field yesterday, 7 1/2 miles on foot and just one opportunity which we took advantage. He was a lone runner I happened to get on video as my pup tracked for 50-60 yards b4 finally pinning him down. Our first day out last week we did manage to get our 3 birds by noonish... same area and saw a few more birds the first day. I try to run my pooches at least twice a week so we're a little behind on field time but we'll get that made up! No question, I saw fewer birds our first two times out versus the last couple seasons... yeah, a decent amount of corn standing but the numbers were noticeably less than I expected. I expected to see more yesterday with most of the corn now out, and had a much tougher day than expected. I didn't have a "hard day" like yesterday until much later last season.
Oh, of course my pup already found her first coon... though he'll live another day as I couldn't get a shot on him while they tangled... not a fan of raccoons! I honestly think my older dog just passes them by... doesn't seem to locate them but I think my pup finds every coon in the county!

Stay safe and best wishes!Best wishes all!
 

nstric

New member
Good to see some activity on here!

Kraig ... text and we'll find a time to get out.

All ... I got out on Monday with a friend, hunting near Des Moines, and we got our 6 in a couple hours. Saw decent numbers, with corn still standing. I also found myself with a free day today, and decided last minute to jump in the truck with Gunner and my four month old pup, Piper. We headed up towards Jefferson and hit a field I've been hunting for better than a decade. The grass looked great, surrounding corn was picked within the last week, so I was expecting better result than that realized. We saw one hen and one rooster, mostly hunting edges. I took the rooster on a right to left cross, then exited the field not wanting to put any more pressure on what appeared to be a low bird population.

I stopped at one more field on the drive home, some big block CRP with blue stem near 8 foot tall. Less than 5 minutes in Gunner put me on approximately 12 pheasant, all flushing at once, and just a hair outside of what I was comfortable shooting. I let them fly, simply taking in the sight of so many birds. On we pushed, towards the south edge, working east. Not a bird seen nor scented by Gunner. Now on the far east edge, working north, adjacent to picked corn. Beep, beep, beep ... Gunner locks up and I walk in. Up flush a CLOUD of at least 25-30 pheasant, unlike I'd seen in quite some time. Mostly hens, but a bunch of roosters too. I drew on two of the roosters in the bunch, dropping each for a rather easy double and my limit for the day. Out we walk, Gunner pointing more roosters. Was fun to say the least!
 

kanstiss

New member
That's great! You're making me rethink if I should drive a little further west than my original weekend plan of hunting near story city.
 

bpope

New member
Can you guys help educate a MO hunter? How does the lack oof corn, or more corn harvested help with pheasant hunting? I was thinking that was vital for them or good cover? I made the voyage to the furthest NW point of MO in hopes of bagging a rooster from my home state to no avail. Saw a fair amount of quail. I have an uncle with the family farm in Centervill, IA and thought about going up that way.
 

nstric

New member
The pheasants use the corn to escape the grass and feed. And since most don’t hunt standing corn, that means one’s access to pheasants near standing corn is usually quite limited.
Can you guys help educate a MO hunter? How does the lack oof corn, or more corn harvested help with pheasant hunting? I was thinking that was vital for them or good cover? I made the voyage to the furthest NW point of MO in hopes of bagging a rooster from my home state to no avail. Saw a fair amount of quail. I have an uncle with the family farm in Centervill, IA and thought about going up that way.
 

bpope

New member
The pheasants use the corn to escape the grass and feed. And since most don’t hunt standing corn, that means one’s access to pheasants near standing corn is usually quite limited.
I see. Well, I probably went about it wrong because I hunted standing corn. I was going off of how we had hunted in SD with a guide, in the past. Pretty much only hunted down corn or milo rows in SD and shot lots of birds. Why is it most dont hunt standing corn. I apologize for the ignorance, just trying to learn.
 

McFarmer

New member
I see. Well, I probably went about it wrong because I hunted standing corn. I was going off of how we had hunted in SD with a guide, in the past. Pretty much only hunted down corn or milo rows in SD and shot lots of birds. Why is it most dont hunt standing corn. I apologize for the ignorance, just trying to learn.

Was the SD corn a large field or a piece only a few dozen rows wide ?
 

bpope

New member
Was the SD corn a large field or a piece only a few dozen rows wide ?
They were rows of corn, I would say 30-50 feet wide and half a mile long. Cut on at least one side. He would run at least two dogs. We had gunner on each side and one in the middle and then a blocker at the end. When I hunted this past weekend in MO, it was me and one other guy with my one dog. I mainly hunt alone.
 

McFarmer

New member
They were rows of corn, I would say 30-50 feet wide and half a mile long. Cut on at least one side. He would run at least two dogs. We had gunner on each side and one in the middle and then a blocker at the end. When I hunted this past weekend in MO, it was me and one other guy with my one dog. I mainly hunt alone.

The corn fields folks here are talking about are of the 40 to 160 acres or more. The birds can run across the rows to elude.
 

Marshmallow

New member
We’re up in the spirit lake area for the week. Having a very tough time. Lots of log flushes, and lots of miles with no birds.
 
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