First SD trip

A5 Sweet 16

Member
Tomorrow is not guaranteed,neither is next year. Get out there . some guys just want more fields to themselves.��
I like both parts of this response. My theory anymore is...if you don't do it, you don't do it. So you better do it.
That said, I'd like more fields to myself & young Ace this fall, so there really aren't enough birds around to make a trip worth it for the rest of you.
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randywatson

New member
i have a feeling the road counts won't be indicative of what is really out there this year. many crops not planted giving them even more weeds etc to hide in.lots of rain and lots of bugs for the chicks to eat without needing to leave cover.

the 2nd hatch was quite good. i saw big broods 12+ in the 3 that I saw on a sunday morning stroll 2 days ago. You will find birds anywhere you go in the state. CREP land (brown) on the SD public land app is where i would start. The WPA's are good as well since there was typically water there during the drought 2 years ago. THis year they may be difficult to hunt without knee high or even hip/chest waders. The corn most likely wont be totally out by november 1. But since there is less corn to take out this year it may be out. If you come mid november corn is almost entirely out. just never know what mother nature will throw at em this fall.
 

Lee192233

New member
Phil,

Two years ago my good friend and I decided to hunt out of Arlington. Quite a few people discouraged me from hunting the east side of the state. Due to wanting to be within relatively easy driving distance of our young families we decided to do it anyway. Great decision. We had a great time. The hunting is far superior to anything here in Wisconsin. If we had shot better and hunted smarter we would have had legitimate chances to limit every day. The birds schooled us at first! You have to hunt quiet. Keep whistles and talking to a minimum. We figured out hand signals to use and to use the tone function on the e-collar instead of whistles to handle your dog if possible. Scout, scout, scout and try not to hunt the same piece twice in the same trip. Above all, have fun and don't let people discourage you! Maybe we'll see you out there. We're staying at Lynn Lake Lodge this October 28 to November 1. I think it's just a little west of Webster.

Good Luck,
Lee
 

Phil81

New member
Thanks carptom for the encouragement. Obviously I want to kill birds but as I’ve gotten older I’ve adjusted my mindset and expectations. I hunted all morning on a piece of public land here last year to see one pheasant that we didn’t get a shot at and went home happy. My dog was 4 months old and I enjoyed watching him work and learn. Next time out he pointed on 2 pheasants right after 2 guys and two dogs just got done working that field. We got the rooster. I’m really excited to watch my dog this year with a season under his belt. Nothing better than a hunting trip away from home regardless of outcome.
 

UplandHntr

Active member
Thanks carptom for the encouragement. Obviously I want to kill birds but as I’ve gotten older I’ve adjusted my mindset and expectations. I hunted all morning on a piece of public land here last year to see one pheasant that we didn’t get a shot at and went home happy. My dog was 4 months old and I enjoyed watching him work and learn. Next time out he pointed on 2 pheasants right after 2 guys and two dogs just got done working that field. We got the rooster. I’m really excited to watch my dog this year with a season under his belt. Nothing better than a hunting trip away from home regardless of outcome.
This guy gets it
 

Phil81

New member
I was planning Lynn lake lodge but was discouraged to go to Webster. Told not as good as other areas and they just got a bunch more rain.
 
Big hail in central part of state yesterday, Sully county area. Golf ball to Baseball size, destroyed corn fields and I'm sure the birds took a beating also!!!!!
 

dag

New member
My 1st trip to South Dakota was November two years ago. All i heard was how the drought took a toll on the birds and numbers were way down. I saw more roosters in the first 30 minutes then all season in Colorado. I love South Dakota and went twice last year as well. Its a beautiful state and Lynn's Dakota Mart alone makes it worth it. I'm planning at least 2 trips again this year and might try to squeeze in a September sharptail hunt as well.
Have fun!
 

PeteRevvv

Member
Sorry for the delayed post but I am a seasonal site poster only and a little late to a lot of "first time to SD" posts. Faulkton area is a great suggestion for setting up a new base of operations in a central spot. Love driving through Webster and seeing the waterfowl but we continue on to Redfield to stay. About every 5 years we have to shift focus to different areas within about a 60 mile radius of Redfield. The last 5 years have been all in Faulkton area with fantastic bird numbers there as long as we stayed in front of crops and out of the grassland sections. The exception being 2 years ago and the widespread drought where we went all the way out to Gettysburg where the river provided enough moisture for both crops and nesting in order to see a lot of birds.

You need your dog in ditches in front of standing corn or sunflowers until the crops are 100% off. At that point fields with cover concentrate birds enough for it to be productive for a guy with a dog- unless you have a dozen guys and multiple dogs. Skip the walk-ins until late November/Dec and walk ditches- opening weekend when the birds are still dumb is the prime time. Even by Monday of opening week the birds are getting wise and flushing wild so don't key in on the hype about staying away until later in the year due to opening weekend crowds. You need people moving birds around to help you out. Plan on driving a lot yourself while road hunting the last hour of the day until you find them and then ditch hunt the next early afternoons then back to driving the last hour.

Hunters who love working their dogs on their own or in a pair and hitting fields only are a very enthusiastic bunch and get over-represented as far as posting and board activity, in my humble opinion and with lots of respect for their dog skills and dedication. A single bird a week with a good point and flush out of cover is enough for many of them. Ditches and road hunting are a last resort for and kind of beneath them. I wonder how many new SD hunters follow that way of thinking and end up seeing one bird their trip as well, not realizing they are looking for a completely different experience similar to the methods I am describing?
 

Miforester

Member
I have stayed at Lynn Lake Lodge and it is a great setup and the owners are hunters and cater to hunters and fishermen. You can be in good number within in an hour of lodge. Depending on your party size you will see birds, maybe not the volume in other parts of the state but your will have your chance to harvest your birds. Like many others have said even a down year in SD is better than most states and way better than staying at home.
 

duckn66

Active member
Can’t kill birds on the couch. A down year in SD is still probably better than a good year in other pheasant states. Kansas has been pretty bad for several years now but it’s still fun to get out and you can’t beat a road trip!
 

Phil81

New member
Thanks for reply. Looks like there will be 3 of us and two vizslas. Plan is to head west maybe to Ipswich, Aberdeen area. Regardless of how many birds we see it will be a fun trip and good for the dogs.
 

mgorvi

New member
Stayed at LLL 4 times and going again in Nov. Shot birds each time, and pretty hard to beat staying with Paul and Karen. You said it was your first trip to SD. Keep a close eye on the no-tox rules and areas. George had to straighten me out on that a number of years ago and I pay close attention now. Make sure you have Paul explain how the entire area flooded out in the 90s and created that pot hole region. Very interesting set of circumstances for the dairy farmers there. Paul is a walking history book. You will have a great time. Bring enough food. It’s a little bit of a hike back to Webster for a gallon of milk.
 
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