Hotspotting

Abbeyroad

New member
Hi All,

Don't know where to post this, so I guess I'll put it here. Does this forum have a 'hotspotting' policy? I doubt it given how much of it happens on the regional boards. I see nothing wrong with general reports (east river SD, North Central KS etc because everyone knows there are birds there. But when folks are talking about specific townships and even counties, that gets a little too cozy and is a disservice to folks that are from there or have put in the boot leather to learn those places. Mods, what's your take on this?
 
Look at how many views a thread gets when locations begin to be discussed. I'm not sure why people feel compelled to give out locations, maybe they get warm fuzzy's by documenting their successes and the where and when becomes a part of that.

For almost 10 years I hunted a particular county in KS for opening weekend, with little hunting pressure. One year a young hunter puts up a tailgate shot with 2 limits of quail and tells the exact WIHA location where he took them. There were 5 covey on that 1/4 section. The year prior I hunted it 4 times, took 6 total birds, and pretty much broke 2 puppies on those coveys. The next year, by December, it looked like the path of Sherman's march on Atlanta. Additionally the number of out of state vehicles I encountered in that county was 5x what I had ever seen before. Maybe that young man was well intentioned, but he severely underestimated the power of the internet.

I for one am against the posting of locations, but if it drives internet traffic to a site, why would the site be opposed to it?
 

PeteRevvv

Member
I don't think there is since I provide the most complete report I can after my opening weekend trip to SD. I only make it out one time a year so if anyone wants to go behind me and cleanup all the birds I missed, more power to you. Just 20% of the birds I see/shoot are 2-3 year old so most are going to winterkill anyway and I'll be on new birds the next year. If you are a local hitting the same public walk-in places within 10-20 miles of home every weekend and you'd rather not have any more competition, I understand if they stay quiet. But its not their spots or their birds any more than it is their land. it's not like the 20-30 public grounds in 400 sq mile area are in danger of being over run if I point out numbers in a 20x20 mile section. The annual brood surveys in SD, when they used to give out specific route information, matched up with what I saw and there wasn't unusual populations in any of those areas following that info being published that I ever saw.

A couple hundred individuals might view a thread on this board; maybe half of them actually hunt SD; maybe make it to one of the more popular weeks of the season; are staying in one of over 30 counties with decent bird numbers; based on year old information I gave out; also hunting ditches and sections lines like me (seems many on the site are large section hunters with field dogs) and are not paying for or have access to private land. That's a very mathematically small chance of even running into someone I gave out info to in any year. That's in the context of 120K hunters in SD taking 1.2 million birds a year so any impact from this site in total is a very small number. It's a very short-sighted instinct not to provide new hunters with all the hunting tactics and location recommendations, IMHO. You see them on this site all the time struggling with tactics and locations to get started or thinking about not coming back to hunt another year. The bigger the number of hunters, the better your chances of maintaining and improving hunting opportunities for all.
 

Flushedup

Member
Eh ^^^ I wouldn't go quite that far. The bird numbers (public) can only support so many hunters. If an area that is close to Mitchell or Huron gets shared, whatever... that spot gets pounded hard anyways. But if you call out a small town area on a website, that is going to bring in the flies. I have spots that get hunted, but generally would say there isnt a person that walks them Mon-Thurs. I want to try to keep it that way.

Also, a person that is a seasoned pheasant hunter should know what to look for - a newbie, yeah I could see giving them a little tip.
 

PeteRevvv

Member
Agreed- it's bad conservation. Hard on the habitat and reproduction to give out a single location so posting publicly by mistake or on purpose is not ideal. The people who are showing up are either newbies who don't know better or dumb donkeys who think there will still be birds in that spot after everybody knows about. A honey-hole can only exist in few know about it so anything that is post, isn't a hotspot.

A busted honey-hole is a bummer for a local but by the third or fourth time someone shows up they must be getting skunked and aren't ever going to be back. Have any of you gone back to a spot after it gets out and did it ever rehabilitate?

If I give out a 40x40 mile section of prime SD area there are likely 20-30 public areas, plus a dozen pay to hunt spots plus endless miles of ditches and sections line so I guess I can feel much more generous than the limited good opportunities that a local from central MN or KS might have. But that narrows it down for someone coming from out of state or the first time who might otherwise end up in the middle of the lakes/pothole region or the Black Hills when with a good tip they could have ended up in Aberdeen or Pierre if someone told them.

Is it really that satisfying to hit the same spot year after year for easy gimme birds? Don't you enjoy the effort and payoff when you have to find new spots and you know, hunt?
 

reddog

Active member
I cannot speak for pheasant hunting, or public ground, because I don't hunt public, and I won't give out where I'm at on private ground. But when it comes to fishing, which is basically always done on private, the worst are the one timers, who have no regard for the impact they can bring onto a resource. The days of calling a bait shop and asking for a report are long gone. It's now all about the Internet, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. With that said. I don't see it changing anytime soon.
 

Nugent

Active member
I ran into 4 guys from Texas last year, flailing away in a public place that I knew would be futile. I told them about another public place about 30 miles away, that I knew was much better.Those guys drove all the way from Texas!!
 

Hobie1026

Member
I’ve had honey holes get blown up on the internet and shot Out. I only hunt public land, and spend close to a grand every summer in gas scouting. So when my spots get flagged on a forum I get a little upset.

That said, I’ve IM’d people on this forum with info when they tried hard and just need some help.

I didn’t come from a hunting family so a couple old timers gave me general areas and told me what to look for. It’s the folks that just lurk on these forums, contribute nothing, just looking to poach spots are the ones I find troubling.
 

Nugent

Active member
I’ve had honey holes get blown up on the internet and shot Out. I only hunt public land, and spend close to a grand every summer in gas scouting. So when my spots get flagged on a forum I get a little upset.

That said, I’ve IM’d people on this forum with info when they tried hard and just need some help.

I didn’t come from a hunting family so a couple old timers gave me general areas and told me what to look for. It’s the folks that just lurk on these forums, contribute nothing, just looking to poach spots are the ones I find troubling.
I can understand that.Good public places, that dont get hammered, are hard to find!
 

A5 Sweet 16

Well-known member
I'll give general/broad vicinities, along w/ my opinion/experience on bird numbers in those areas. But you have to ask me personally if you want more than that. Then I decide how much to divulge. Most people who rely on someone telling them precisely where to hunt, don't know when/where to find pheasants on their own. Consequently, unless I divulge "when" & "how" to this type of person, giving up the "where" doesn't affect my own hunting much.
 
I am happy to help someone who makes the effort to engage with me beyond "tell me where I should go". I'm not overly protective of my favorite public spots, but I'm protective enough where I don't blast specific coordinates. Some of the public spots I hunt wouldn't get a second glance as they don't appear gamey from the road and others I know get hunted a lot. That said, the area where I hunt has a good number of public parcels. If someone figures out where I call home and do my hunting, they still have a lot of guessing to do to figure out where they need to go. And figuring out good spots and not so good spots is one of the most enjoyable aspects of the sport, for a lot of us anyway. I always try to check out a few different spots each year. If a person simply wants to shoot birds, there are commercial outfits readily available.
 
This reminds me of some canucks a few years back....i was asked to host some folks out of Regina for a local DU chapter here in Montana on a pheasant hunt, had a really good day with them, I thought we had become friends, fast forward a year, I learn they gps'd every farm I took them to and proceeded to ask permission the following year invoking my name and how we were friends....can not make this sh!t up.
 

A5 Sweet 16

Well-known member
I get that I was blessed to have grown up pheasant hunting in an area that has pheasants & places to hunt them. And I get that there's a difference between traveling an hour to hunt vs. traveling many hours to hunt. But the fact that 51 years later I still live in pheasant country is intentional. There have been more outings than I care to think about that have resulted in no birds, no shot; just plenty of fresh air & exercise. But never once have I considered quitting hunting as a result of those days. If anything, those days make me want even more to get back out there & try to change things the next time. Consequently, in 40 years of being a student of roosters, I've learned a thing or two. I'm STILL learning. And I STILL have those days. But the knowledge I've acquired & my not-so-accidental ability to drive an hour to any number of spots & stand a good chance of at least getting a shot or 2....is worth a lot to me. I don't feel so sorry for newbies (I was one too once) that I'm regularly willing to divulge many secrets. White privilege? I don't think so. South Dakota privilege? Maybe.
 
If people don't find birds they stop hunting. When they stop hunting the DNR has no money to pay for walk in. Everyone loses.

In 2001 there were 5.43 million small game hunters. In 2016 there were 3.5 million. How much walk in do you suppose the states will dedicate to bird habitat when we loose the next 2 million?

If you are lucky enough to live somewhere with public land that supports birds you are lucky enough. I drive 7 hours to have a reasonable chance at wild birds on public.
 

A5 Sweet 16

Well-known member
There's obviously a difference between the average pheasant hunter & someone who's truly a hopeless addict. South Dakota could bring back the roadside survey & report tomorrow & tell me with "98% certainty" that there aren't any birds around. I'd still spend the whole season trying find some. And I think it would take many years of that scenario (plus the unlikely case of my not finding any) to make me hang it up.
 

KS GSP

Member
I started pheasant hunting 2 years ago on all public lands in KS. I enjoyed it so much I decided to get a dog even though I would walk 10 or more miles and not even see a bird. If you actually enjoy it, you'll put the time in to hopefully find some birds. If all you want is a guarantee of birds (which is what hotspotting boils down to), go to a preserve.
 

A5 Sweet 16

Well-known member
Ricwoodard....if you're still walking 10+ miles a day....slow......down. Let the dog hunt while you watch in amazement. Of course cover varies & so does pace, but in general I believe if you're covering more than 1-1.5 miles in an hour, you're going too fast. Now that I've shed that bit of light, you have to stay in KS, far away from "my" public spots. :LOL:
 

KS GSP

Member
I'll start hunting at sunrise and don't stop until sunset. Granted I don't walk 10 miles daily but I definitely do a lot of walking. I have noticed I've slowed down a lot since my GSP started to really shine. I will be coming to SD for a week in early December but I'm not likely to come across your spots since it's my first time there. What part of the state are you in?
 

Nugent

Active member
Somebody mentioned , the how, and the when.That is an excellent point, especially on public lands. I know a public area, that took me years to learn how to hunt.I guess I'm an addict, and I agree with that, just keep at it synopsis. I too, have been skunked many days, but I enjoyed the exercise, and my dog.
 
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