Guide ?

Hunted last week public ground south of Brookings. Wow! The WPA's there have some amazing habitat and the size of these are big. 2 of us shot 2 in 3 hours of hunting. Flushed about 12 hens on the 3 places we hunted.

I then met some buddies up near Doland and hunted with a guide. My buddy wanted to get a hunt in as he had some extra days on his license and and so I was invited along. I've been hunting pheasants for 20+ years and with my own dog for the past 13. Never have I ever purposefully hunted with the wind to my back to keep birds on a property. the only time I've done this was to push the birds to our final slaughter spot. ie hunt shelter belts to push them into some standing milo and then approach the milo from downwind with blockers. I can count on 1 hand the number of times we hunted with the wind to our face in the 2 days of hunting with this guide. we had 6 hunters a guide and 4-6 dogs at a time depending on the size of property we were pushing. Was frustrating and we kept making little suggestions to the guide to allow our dogs to hunt better. we walked past many birds that got up behind us because of the wind to our back.

We were in a tough situation that we had never hunted his stuff so we knew nothing of where the birds would be at. But after he said "Im trying to keep the birds on my land" a few times it was evident he didn't care if we shot our birds or not. He also mention he had a group of 16 hunters coming in over the wknd. So after the hunt and on our drive home we decided he wasn't dedicated too terribly hard to getting us our birds as he was with the next group coming in. he was saving the best for them.

Has anyone had experience like this and how did you handle it?


Was a lesson to all of us.
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A5 Sweet 16

Never had such an experience, but then I've never hunted w/ a guide. I'm guessing those were mostly released birds he didn't want to fly off his ground. Doesn't sound like much fun. Although I can't imagine many put-n-take operators are like that, I'm guessing that experience is going to sour you from doing something like that in the future.
he claimed to have access to 25,000 acres in the area, but yet we ended up hunting the same cut corn field twice. The birds werent released as they didnt have the crusty nose from the blinders. It just seemed like every push was to his advantage and not to our advantage.

I hunt public and private. we hunted with a lodge in Presho for 5 years until the price kept going up and up. Great outfit but the price got too much for us especially since 1/2 group just wants to hang out and drink beer.

I get that there are times when you can't hunt with the wind to your back especially on the bigger pieces, but consistently do it made zero sense.
If you paid, and the group of 16 the next weekend is also paying, then it is probably in the wrong of the guide. He needs to allow more time for the land to rest between groups. The few times I do get to hunt private land (for free with a group of friends who own the land), we do strategically walk the land to attempt to keep the birds on the land we have access to. But there is a major difference between paying for private land vs. not paying for it.

He may also be looking at it as, "I don't care if this group of 6 at $150/day ($900 total) has success and returns next year, because I can always fill that spot. But I do care if this group of 16 at $150/day ($2,400 total) has success so they return next year." Either way, without released birds, most land can't sustain paid hunters every day. All land is different, but most of it needs at least 4-7 (preferably more) rest days between groups.


New member
It seems like yourself and the group are experienced hunters so I'm just wondering why you would hunt with a guide anyways. Paying for land access is one thing but, following a guy around who claims to be a guide is something else entirely. I know I would have been frustrated..


If this was something that was paid for I would have voiced my opinion more than once especially if you weren't having success doing what he was suggesting. Anyone that knows anything about pheasant hunting will always try to have the wind in your face, and a guide that says otherwise obviously doesn't know much. Doesn't matter what way the wind is blowing birds are going to go where they want and go to cover/food, I would have told the guide since we are paying for this and I do care about getting some birds and some shooting that what your telling us to do is completely wrong and changed tactics.