hatch

I know a lot more info will be available in a few months, but I'm just wondering what people are thinking/seeing about the nesting conditions in eastern SD(and western MN) and if there will be a good hatch this spring. The winter seemed pretty mild and the spring seems to be going fine. Hopefully we get some nice light rains, but not too much, so that water levels return to a more "normal" level.
 

haymaker

Active member
I know a lot more info will be available in a few months, but I'm just wondering what people are thinking/seeing about the nesting conditions in eastern SD(and western MN) and if there will be a good hatch this spring. The winter seemed pretty mild and the spring seems to be going fine. Hopefully we get some nice light rains, but not too much, so that water levels return to a more "normal" level.[/ QUOTE]

The winter was not to bad but who knows what the nesting season will be like. I made a trip to north central Nebraska a couple of days ago mostly on highway 45. I saw one hen, several roosters but they were close to preserves so I am guessing they were released birds. If there are breeding stock in the area it should not be too bad but seriously short on nesting habitat.
 

Hockeybob

Member
I am usually a pessimist but not this year. Winter was fine, lots of carryover birds, plenty of good habitat where we hunt.
Need just a average spring and numbers will be good, get a great spring and bird #’s will be amazing.
 

blackstorm

New member
Just had a call with the land owners, winter was reasonable and the snows were not too deep and didn't last long. Our landowner got their crop out in December but their neighbors just came out, the big problems still are the washed out roads haven't been fixed and some of the fields are still under water. They are seeing a lot of birds in the fields and along road edges
 

Golden Hour

New member
I was out to a property I manage this past weekend to stake out where the matting needs to go for this springs tree project. I had the dog with me, as it is the last weekend I run her in habitat in the spring before nesting starts. My observations:

1. It's still incredibly wet in northeastern South Dakota. We had the optimum melt and that is beyond a blessing. Things are slowly drying up, but it is a reminder that while necessary for winter survival, cattails cannot be relied upon for nesting. Pheasants must have grasses.
2. Strong populations. The past two weekends I have gone out scouting public land spots and have seen multiple hens and roosters at each spot. At the place I manage, we kicked up close to thirty hens. If the spring continues the way it has, I've got high hopes for the hatch.
3. I'm going to jinx it and say that we will have a widowmaker blizzard this year. Or we will not have a widowmaker. Whichever needs to be said to ensure we won't have one, that's what I meant to say. :) It is looking positive the deeper we get into April, though. Next week will be in the 60's.
 
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