2023 1st Trip Report (Long post)


Well-known member
Sorry probably should be in the SD page.

I made the trek to SD this past week. Arrived Saturday night (11/11) and used Sunday as a day to relax, run errands and scout private land I can hunt. I did run the dogs on a WPA and regretted not starting my license on Sunday as my rat pack started off pointing birds not 100 yards into the field. We moved several birds guessing 20-30 and all three dogs had productive points. We also flushed 5 prairie chickens in 2 different groups. Oh and the day started with a rooster taunting me in the backyard the house I was staying. If you don't want to read the daily recap here is what we did. Hunted 10 different spots 4 private, 2 ditches and 4 CREPs, Had 64 bird flushes with 18 points and harvested 12 birds over the 4 day hunt. Actual hunting time in the field was 11.5 hours and I walked 25 miles. A few points resulted in multiple birds and my rooster to hen ratio was out of this world. The dogs accounted for all 12 birds, either pointed or tracking resulting in a flush, all downed birds were recovered. Tailgate pics will be added and I have video of Day 1 I need to edit and will post in the video post once i'm done.

Day 1 (11/13)
Was able to spend the day with Dakotazeb (George) and his britt Bree. We hunted 3 different CREP areas and didn't see that many birds, only 8. At the first stop Bree had a good point on a hen. As we were heading back to the truck a rooster flushed out behind us along the road and as we neared the vehicles, my trio again got birdy and couldn't pin the rooster before he flushed, I was able to connect and we were on the board. We traveled to our next stop and the birds were few and far between, Bree again produced a rooster along the fence line and I was able to connect. We continued on for a while and George and I were shooting the bull when a rooster flushed, catching us both by surprise as the dogs had just passed thru the area needless to say we both missed. After getting back to the truck and inspecting the harvested rooster it appeared to be a released bird. While I was eating a sandwich a farmer stopped and George had a conversation with him and the farmer indicated there was a preserver operation in the area. I have hunted this same CREP for almost 10 years and this was the first time I have killed a released bird, the others were all wild, rooster had not tail. We moved on to the next CREP and again the birds really were not there. This spot it was just Bree and River (setter) on the ground. River was working a bird near the cattails and a rooster flushed that I dumped, she made a great find in very tall/thick cattails, another rooster flushed out of range. Bree had been birdy in the middle of the field. As we were heading back towards the truck River bumped a rooster out of range. We didn't see many birds but capitalized on our opportunities to harvest roosters. It was great to spend time with George in the field, he had a busy week and made time to come hunt with me which I greatly appreciated and really value our friendship, which start on this forum. Day one recap 3 sites, 3 points, 8 flushes, 3 harvested birds.

Day 2
Hunted some of the private land I can hunt, didn't hunt it with George as most of the crops were still in the field and area were not really set up for more than one hunter, lineal versus fields. First stop I hunted little pockets of waste land mixed within the sunflowers. Had the trio down again as I usually hunt all three together on the first site to burn off energy, might not be most productive especially on lineal covers as the compete to find the birds....Anyway, Remi (britt pup 18 months) pointed and 4 hens came out, as we progressed along the edge of the field/ditch River got birdy and pointed, a rooster flushed before I could flush it, I hit it hard and saw a leg drop, watch where it landed in the sunflower field and decided to follow up on him. We moved thru the field and River was in the vicinity of where the bird landed and he flushed again, I dumped him so now we are in recovery mode, had all three in the area and River located the dead bird. As we got back to the field edge Bella bumped a rooster out of range. We continued hitting was areas we could access moving more hens. As we got to the southern edge of the field all dogs were birdy and I could see all three in different areas and they all stop/pointed and all hell broke loose, unfortunately at the edge of gun range, I still took shots but missed. Bella and Remi both had points resulting in multiple roosters, and River was closer to me and her point had a rooster and hen, I missed that rooster too. All birds flew into the unharvested sunflowers. Second spot just ran Bella and Remi, good cover and they both got birdy a few times but no birds were flushed, narrow drainage. Third stop ran Remi and River, this area held several birds mostly hens and both dogs had points on hens. After hunting the drainage areas we hunted the fence line, could see birds running ahead and flushing well out of range but they landed within fence running n/s. We continued to follow up and Remi stopped hard on her side of fence, she started moving towards me when 2 roosters flushed in front of me, I dumped one and missed the second, they recovered the downed bird. We continued up the fence line that transitioned into a cattail swale, River had a great point and as I approached a rooster flushed ahead of her just out of range. The pup moved more hens. Our last stop was a ditch, I put Bella down and after walking about 3/4 of a mile I could see birds running ahead. Shortly after that Bella locked up hard, I walked in and flushed a rooster and we had our 3rd bird and done for the day other than the long walk back to the truck. Day 2 recap 4 sites, 6 points, 31 flushes and 3 roosters bagged.

Day 3
Hunted a 480 acre CREP area that has been historically good for me. It was pretty windy so we started into the wind on the NW side of the site. We had hunted for a while with no birds being flushed. Bella became birdy and then Remi as well they both started tracking and this resulted in a rooster flushing and I was able to connect, bird was winged and Remi and River were trying to retrieve but not having much luck, Bella decided she would take care of business and did just that retrieving the bird. We continued on, the trio got birdy again and a rooster flushed out of range. We continued on with a couple other birds flushing wild. As we headed up the eastern side along crops Bella pinned a rooster that I flushed and bagged. We make it up to the road and start heading back to the trucks and the dogs were working the field and ditch and dead windbreak. River got birdy in the ditch and pointed our last rooster of the day. I hit is hard but had trouble finding it, Bella knew it was in the area by the look on her face, i encouraged her to fetch and she finally stuck her head in the thick grass and recovered the bird. As we head back to the truck another rooster flushed in the dead windbreak. Recap, only spot we hunted had 3 points, 7 flushes and 3 roosters.

Day 4
This was our last day, dogs had preformed very well and were tired and sore as was I so I made the decision to just hunt ditches. I started at a site my son and I named the "Limiter" as I was approaching where I wanted to park roosters started flushing out of the ditch. Winds were ridiculous 20 to 25+ sustained. I stopped and got Bella out as the birds only flew 30 or 40 yards ahead. We took about 10 steps and a bird flushed and edge of range and i missed, the other birds also flushed. I went back to the truck and put River and Remi on the ground as well. Bella was birdy and went on point I saw the rooster walk into the field and flushed I hit the bird in the ass but not enough to drop, a second bird flushed and i whiffed on it as well. Loaded back up and continued down the ditch into the gale, again Bella pointed, I flushed the bird and only heard a click when i pulled the trigger, i had loaded my magazine but failed to put on in the chamber....we continued to the intersection moving hens along the way, turned west and the trio was working ahead of me when a group of 5 roosters flushed just out of range and other were flushing in the abandoned wood lot, we were on the road ditch. We walked back to the truck and didnt flush any more, I put Remi and River in the truck and I switched from my 20 to a 12 cause it has to be the gun right?! It didn't take Bella long to go on point, the rooster tried to flush but the fence stopped him, his next flush was in my face, I missed and a few other flushed as well. I was very frustrated with myself as I could have been done in about 10 minutes but yet i'm still walking with very high winds. We made it back to the truck and Bella and I headed down the east/west road and Bella went on point, i walked in and flushed a rooster and I finally connected. We continued and flushed another rooster and hen out of range with the winds. We made it back to the truck, I traveled 6.25 miles over 2 hours, had 5 points and moved 15 birds, all but 4 were roosters. We stopped at our ditch and i put Remi down, it didn't take long and she went on point, birds were flushing wild on the opposite side of the road off private land, a hen flushed, she continued and pointed again, as i was walking in i could hear the movement and she took a step and two cackling roosters flushed, I was lucky enough to silence both of them. Our hunt was done.

Decided to head home a day earlier, had 12 birds and really had an awesome hunt with great dog work and good shooting on my part. I will be coming back in December with my son and his buddy, weather permitting. Tailgate pics below, sorry for long post.


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Nice report Tom. You must be like my buddy. He has a great memory. At the end of the day he's going over all the points shots and flushes and I'm having a hard time remembering what state we're in :unsure::unsure:
Nice report Tom. You must be like my buddy. He has a great memory. At the end of the day he's going over all the points shots and flushes and I'm having a hard time remembering what state we're in :unsure::unsure:
I jot down all my notes after i hunt each site so I don't forget.