First SD trip

Phil81

New member
Making first trip to SD. Staying in Webster and hunting public first week of November. Anyone hunt this area and are you being successful. Second any thoughts on whether crops will still be in and how much that will affect me.
 

haymaker

Active member
Hi, I think you will find the Webster area has been extremely wet and probably not that great of an area. If you know someone that says there are birds there then great but I think it won't be that good. Great waterfowl though.
 

Phil81

New member
Can you suggest a better area to focus on. Is there Anything close to Webster so I don’t have to change reservations. Aberdeen. Maybe. I don’t mind driving a bit while I’m there.
 

haymaker

Active member
Probably further west and south. I live west of Aberdeen and I think it is going to be tough going here after the winter we had.
 

Phil81

New member
Thank you. I’ve seen some older posts about miller which is south and west of Aberdeen. Thanks for the advise. Since your near Aberdeen any suggestions on lodging near the area. I was planning on Lynn lake lodge in Webster. I like the setup and I have a dog
 

Dakotazeb

Active member
As haymaker said, Webster is not in a prime pheasant area. There are birds but not like in other parts of the state. And it has been extremely wet this year in that area as well as around my area of Watertown. We got 2.5 inches yesterday and I've never seem so much water standing everywhere. Areas around Webster got over five inches of rain yesterday on top of already water logged fields. I think a lot of land will be impossible to hunt due to standing water. Many areas of the state took a hit with the bad winter and now we've had one of the wettest springs and summers on record. Not sure how hunting will be this year. If I was you I would wait until the road count survey is completed and the results posted later this month before choosing an area. Good luck.
 

Matt D

Member
I would not stay home personally as a bad SD year is likely better than most anywhere else. I would look to the west if Webster though. Nice thing of the 10 am start is it leaves a lot Of time for scouting and traveling if needed. I have a contact that has some rentals around Faulkton if you are interested. Shoot me a PM and I will do some checking for the contact info.
 

roadscholar

New member
No need to stay home. As Matt D pointed out above, a down year for pheasant in SD is still better than anywhere else. The best time to take your first trip to SD is just as soon as you can. There are plenty of birds to be found if you're willing to work for them.
Here's the site I use to analyze rainfall data- https://water.weather.gov/precip/
Most of the state got way too much rain in May-June-July, but there are some areas that received amounts fairly close to normal.
 

Phil81

New member
Thanks for link. No way I’m staying home. I’ll go and regardless of how many birds I see I’ll enjoy the experience and the time with my dog.
 

Downtown Bang!

New member
Used to hunt Marshall, Day and N/NE Brown county almost exclusively starting in 2003 and through the end of that decade. Lots of public land and relatively few hunters until the word got out in the later years. Area was hit hard by the CRP acre reduction and has always been impacted by winter weather and cool, wet springs more than the rest of the state.

I still hunt there for a couple days each season just because I have so many memories of and affection for the area but truthfully the pheasant hunting is difficult. If you end up hunting there I would recommend really focusing on the basics. Scout a lot and look for and only hunt better cover, save the best large spots for late in the day and the golden hour, hunt the good smaller parcels adjacent to a good food source mid-day, if you see farmers harvesting a field next to a decent looking parcel stop and hunt it.
 

Phil81

New member
That’s pretty close to where I was going to go. I originally planned on Webster but many have advised against that area. I’m now thinking about setting up camp in Faulkton. I’m really relying on input from people who have experience in SD. Beyond the normal concerns of harsh winter the vast amounts of water and late planting season will be interesting. Under normal conditions I would expect most of the corn to be out by nov 1. Not sure about this year. Here in Illinois farmers struggled to get all the corn in. A significant amount still got planted and what did will get harvested later than usual.
Thanks for your advise it’s much appreciated.
 

hunter94

New member
shoot pen raised birds close to home?.....that's what you will get at most SD lodges this season. why drive 13 hours (for me) each way? you can wait for the bird counts to verify the hatch, but rough winter followed by huge amounts of rain this spring don't bode well for production. sure there will be isolated areas that hold a few birds, but they will be hammered by November....late harvest will make things tough too, but good luck....just going to be a tougher year to be successful.
i hate pen raised birds.
 

Phil81

New member
Hunter94 I understand where you are coming from. Shoot pen raised at home or travel to shoot pen raised. Pen raised is essentially all I can hunt at home. I’m not hunting a lodge in SD where they are suppplemting wild bird population. I’m targeting public land. I don’t know about you but there is much more to a hunting trip to me than harvesting an animal. For the last 20 years I’ve gone to my uncles in southern Illinois to deer hunt. I had opportunities at home to hunt and kill deer. I enjoyed the time with friends and family away from the stresses of home and work. My uncle passed away a couple months ago and I’m glad I made all those trips to his place and have many good memories and hope to do the same with my pheasant trips. My friend and I may look back and laugh at how bad our first trip was, maybe it turns out good...if nothing else we get a lay of the land.
 

haymaker

Active member
For what it is worth, I just cut some 2nd cutting alfalfa and came across a couple of broods. 7 in the biggest one. I did release 100 hens this spring so maybe that is paying off.
 

hunter94

New member
it's sure not all about shooting a limit everyday, no doubt about that......but when i drive that far and never get a shot all day long? And it is tough on a young dog when trying to get some reps and real bird contact as well.
i am not trying to discourage you, check the fall forecast when the numbers are released, (there may be some bright spots), but from what i saw/know this will likely be a dismal season. good luck and let us know how it goes.
 

carptom1

New member
it's sure not all about shooting a limit everyday, no doubt about that......but when i drive that far and never get a shot all day long? And it is tough on a young dog when trying to get some reps and real bird contact as well.
i am not trying to discourage you, check the fall forecast when the numbers are released, (there may be some bright spots), but from what i saw/know this will likely be a dismal season. good luck and let us know how it goes.
If you drive to SD and don't get a shot at a bird all day long you either didn't work very hard or were not paying attention. I can just drive around and have an opportunity at a limit if I put some work in. Phil81, go and enjoy yourself, SD is a beautiful state I have probably made the drive 50+ times in 25yrs. I have seen years when you had to try and not shoot a limit in the first 10 minutes, and other yrs that it took all day. Get up early and spend 2-3 hrs scouting. Once you find the birds plot them out and hunt. Weekdays are better obviously, find dirty ditches next to cut feed and you will find birds. Don't be afraid to move to a different area. Don't let the negativity of some keep you from an adventure. I spent a day last fall not shooting my gun. I watched my dog flush a ton of hens, saw some antelope and mule dear, ate a big steak and had a great day. The next day I shot a limit in about a minute in a half ( with an over under mind you). Be safe and have fun
 
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