2021 Outlook

Golden Hour

Well-known member
This morning was duck opener. I went out with my dad and daughter to a little slough in a pasture that we hunt for pheasants later in the year. I heard a lot of crowing and wing beating, I flushed 8 or so young pheasants from the cattails while retrieving a bird. My thoughts are what they've been most of the summer. The drought was tough on young birds, but probably resulted in some later hatches. I think bird numbers will be down a touch, however, I would venture to say they will be higher than 2019. Pheasants are resilient. That's what makes them a worthy adversary. We shot some geese and some ducks, including a nice wood duck for this time of year. But I'd give up every one of those birds for a shot at one of the roosters I saw this morning. Two weeks. I'm so pumped.
 
Spoke with our farmer this evening, farms about 10k acres in the central part of the state.. Said some of his crops did really well, some did poorly. First hatch failed, but seeing ALOT of young birds now and carry over from last year. Drought was tough but weather has been good of late. Looks to be a promising season.. Safe travels and make some memories...
 

Matt D

Active member
Text I just got from guy that deer hunts our property and keeps an eye on things for us. This would be north central part of the state.

Lots of crops coming out now. I have seen quite a few pheasants all different sizes the last week. Definitely birds for you to chase!
 

Corndawg

Member
Communication we have had with a couple farmers in two separate parts of the state are that they are seeing a lot of pheasants. One said that it is the most birds he has ever seen on his property. Last year was epic and was the most birds we have seen hunting public ground in 11 years.
 

Corndawg

Member
Communication we have had with a couple farmers in two separate parts of the state are that they are seeing a lot of pheasants. One said that it is the most birds he has ever seen on his property. Last year was epic and was the most birds we have seen hunting public ground in 11 years.
I should also add that one of the farmers mentioned that a fair amount of haying has taken place.
 

BigRand

Active member
After running my dog five times this past month through some fields I can say it's going to be very spotty. One field we put up 26 in a half hour. Another we walked for 2.5 hours and didn't get a single bird up. The other three areas were somewhere in between on the numbers. Lot of fields cut for hay pretty much everywhere I drove.
 
I visited with our friends yesterday in Central part near the river, he is not seeing any birds, does not look promising at all. He drove home yesterday and took gravel roads the entire way at 4:30 pm. Never saw a bird !!! Crops are slowly coming out, he is hoping that might help.
 

Golden Hour

Well-known member
Hunted an hour yesterday at a spot that typically holds birds. Shot one, should have had two. Saw plenty of hens, one brood of some "just started flying" age (5 chicks) and some full colored roosters. All in all, it was a very brief, hyperlocal hunting experience, but I saw more pheasants than anticipated. It gives me some confidence in the hatch. Then we get 3" of rain last night and some big winds expected later. I'm going to head out around 5 and see what Sage and I can find.
 

haymaker

Well-known member
After one of the driest summers of my 51 year career we have had 9.5 inches in the last month with more forecasted for Wednesday. Be prepared for mud.
 

hunter94

Well-known member
After one of the driest summers of my 51 year career we have had 9.5 inches in the last month with more forecasted for Wednesday. Be prepared for mud.
much needed subsoil moisture for next year, it will eventually dry up on top, bring it.
 

Matt D

Active member
Crazy for how dry it was to get 11” now in a month. Know the moisture is welcomed but sure guys are wanting to get moving on harvest also.
 

dakotasj

Active member
Good luck to all getting to enjoy the SD NR opener tomorrow.

Leave a few birds for us arriving later in the season.

Its 3 weeks before I make it to SD.

Be safe and good shooting!
 
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