10 UggM start for opener

PeteRevvv

Active member
We barely make it out to the field on time for a noon start most openers so 10AM is going to be a real challenge. This is as much a social trip and we enjoy the nights out as much as the hunt. Noon start was a good excused to laze around, pick apples, scoop up some cast off corn for feeding birds and sit around the feed store.

I'm sure we'll make a valiant effort Sat/Sun to catch all the dummies running around at opening bell but Mon-Wed might be questionable to get out before noon. I've never had the chance to hunt later in the season when 10AM start is normal. Is there still a chance that you'll catch some in roosting areas if it's cold/wet? Are they much more likely to still be in the feed rather than loafing in cover? About 2-4PM is never very productive so we often stop for lunch break then- is 10AM-noon also likely to be a slow action time where they are still feeding and then it picks up around noon when they move to cover?

Getting out that early will certainly require a limit of one trip to the breakfast buffet. Might be tough this year to get into Redfield on time- sorry Leo.
 

Birddog23

Member
I hated the Noon start time.

Now my brother in law and his sons, no matter what the start time is, are always late getting into the trucks to get out there to start hunting.
 

PeteRevvv

Active member
If you had a choice at 10AM would you walk crop strips or grass/shelter belt? Are they likely to be still mostly feeding or is that done and they'll be in cover like I'm used to seeing at noon? I've heard a few times the noon start was that so you didn't catch them still roosting in the morning. I've never been up that early in SD but by the time we head into breakfast at 10AM I've never seen them roosting in trees- maybe a hay bale here or there. If I get up any earlier I think I'd end up getting roped into doing farm chores.
 

A5 Sweet 16

Well-known member
PeteRevvv check your private messages.
 

Woollybob

Member
If you had a choice at 10AM would you walk crop strips or grass/shelter belt? Are they likely to be still mostly feeding or is that done and they'll be in cover like I'm used to seeing at noon? I've heard a few times the noon start was that so you didn't catch them still roosting in the morning. I've never been up that early in SD but by the time we head into breakfast at 10AM I've never seen them roosting in trees- maybe a hay bale here or there. If I get up any earlier I think I'd end up getting roped into doing farm chores.

First time I have heard anyone (other than my teenage son) refer to 10 am as "that early" :)

I have always hated waiting until noon to hunt. Waste half of your day sitting around (many of which are precious vacation days) with dogs going crazy. At noon, you miss those stragglers still on the roost at 10 am. Other than the first field of the first day, subsequent days are very slow from noon until golden hour. With 10 am start, you get more birds still hanging out on the roost so a more productive first field, which allows you to relax and have more time scouting for your next field vs trying to cram in one more field before the last field.

It is my dislike for the noon start that has made me choose more week 2 hunts than openers - Get a 10 am start and daylight savings has not changed over so maximum huntable daylight. And yes - we have closed down many bars over the years and followed that up with cards (Note: This is not the best year to go packing into the bars).

The noon start was never about protecting the birds. If that was the case, they would not move it to 10 after the first week. The noon start was always there in hopes all the tourists would stay late at the bars, hit the local cafe for breakfast or run to the sports store for gear and ammo. Some states allow hunting right after sunrise.

At any rate, if you have the ability to hunt corn strips as you stated, you must be on some private ground managed for birds. In that case, you should have no problem finding birds. They will be in there at 10 am feeding, or nearby in the cover.
 

PeteRevvv

Active member
I get my hardcode hunt going with duck, field goose and deer getting up hours before sunrise. Just nice to take it easy for one trip, know that there's plenty of birds to go get in SD and nobody is getting a head start on you. I am that tourist they are aiming for and either the bar or the breakfast buffet might be missing a couple hundred dollars from our group this time if we get out there at 10 every day.

If a rules change or habitat stamp ever dictates that all WIAs/CREPs/CRP walk-in public area must have a strip of milo planted down the middle of it, then you know they made that decision based on pheasant hunters and I wouldn't have to choose between feed or cover. Then we'd all be done by 10:30 and still make it to breakfast and have nothing to do but spend money the rest of the day.
 

waterdog09

Member
I hunt MN, IA & SD and I love the early start in IA of 8am, birds are starting to move and come off the roosts but you can still find plenty of birds in CRP or light cover. MN is 9am and by that time most birds have already moved to the food and have left the roosts so it makes for a more challenging hunt depending on weather. SD is 10AM and by this time most if not all the birds have moved to food and you might catch a couple sleepy birds still taking their dear sweet time getting to the crop fields. Either way I enjoy hunting all the states because they all offer something a little different even though it's the same bird. But at the end of the day nothing really beats the golden hour when you watch birds pile into a public piece that last hour and you come up with a plan and they still outsmart you no matter what you throw at them!
 

jackrabbit

Active member
One of my annual hunts started when we were in college. It was a struggle to get going by 10am then. A decade and few kids (for most of us) later and no matter how late we stay out the night before we are now up with the sun sipping coffee, talking about investments, insurance, politics, etc., and doing everything we can to kill time till 10am. How the times have changed...
 

McFarmer

Active member
I remember 7:00 being breakfast time when I was a kid. Thing is dad had already been out and done the early chores and gave mom time to get the meal made.

I still shake my head at that generation. I also remember it being odd to see a dad at a kids ball game. A town dad maybe, but he was probably the coach.
 

KS GSP

Active member
Yeah we hit the fields as soon as the sun comes up in KS. It's going to be weird having to wait until 10am on our SD trip this year.
 
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