Hunting between Hettinger and Lemmon

PTH

Member
I was just curious what the pheasant hunting was like in the areas around Lemmon and Hettinger. Going to be headed up that way this fall for the first time. Hopefully get into a few pheasants. Anyone familiar with that area as far as bird number usually go. Thanks
 
I was just curious what the pheasant hunting was like in the areas around Lemmon and Hettinger. Going to be headed up that way this fall for the first time. Hopefully get into a few pheasants. Anyone familiar with that area as far as bird number usually go. Thanks

Best area in the state to hunt pheasants.
 

gjw

Member
Hi, pheasanthunt is pretty well right on. Excellent area of the state. As this will be your first time up here, there are a couple things you should know. They've changed the opening day this year. The opener will be on 7 Oct 17, pending approval (which is a mere formality). If you do come on the opener, be advised that non-residents may not hunt any state lands (including PLOTS). You can hunt private and Federal lands. Some of the WPA's can have some great hunting, only you have to use non-tox ammo. If you do come a week or so after the 7th, some of the PLOTS have been hit hard and may not hold many birds. On the flip side, most guys go out for a couple weekend and it's back to football. So these same PLOTS can be real good later in the season, especially when the row crops are down, they sometimes is the only decent cover around.

A word about PLOTS, some are very good, but a lot will have cattle on them or are either hayed, grazed down to a nub or plowed. You'll have to do some scouting to find a good one. IMO the G&F need to re-look at the PLOTS program, fine idea, but too many PLOTS are just plain crappy. The PLOTS guide doesn't show any roads so kind of worthless when try to get to one. I'd pick one of these:

https://www.amazon.com/North-Dakota...rd_wg=oiD60&psc=1&refRID=A9T4FFGH1APAS10K618S

You can use it with the PLOTS guide, I use both of these a lot to find some of the out of the way PLOTS (these are the ones you want to find, not the ones right off the road.)

Your best bet is to just knock on doors and get the ok from private landowners. You may have to knock on a few, but you'll eventually get the go ahead. But, there is also a lot of fee hunting that's starting to creep into this state, so be aware of that. Another suggestion, try and stay off the Rez or tribal lands, you'll need a permit from the tribe to hunt them, and there have been some problems as of late due to the Dakota Access Pipeline.

If you come out in November, that's out deer gun season, lots of land will be closed up and lots of guys out and about.

Hope this helps a little. I sure hope you have a successful hunt here and please enjoy the best of the State I love so much.

Best,

Greg
 

PTH

Member
Thanks guys for the responses', I sure hope the hunting turns out being productive. Hopefully the hatch is a strong one this year, sounds like that can have a noticeable impact in the fall. Can't wait to get my EB's up there and let them stretch there legs. Should be a good time regardless, but it's always nice when you get into the birds.
 

Byrdoglvr

Member
Our group of five will be there also for the first time 11/6-11/12. Tried hard to find a house to rent but ended up at the Tip Top. Maybe in years to come we'll find a house. After 7 years we're bored of SD and look forward to ND. Birds or not we're looking forward to a change of scenery and new memories.
 

bird-bandit

New member
Last year my group hunted just west of hettinger and did pretty well we normally to our hunting just south of Bowman but that area was lacking in Birds. Last year birds in that hole general area varied By Area greatly
 

Byrdoglvr

Member
I know this time of year there isn't a lot of people checking in to this site. But when things pick up will some posters/regulars to that area please paint a picture of what it's like to a first time group heading to Hettinger. On a side note I found out that my grandma lived in a sod hut in Hettinger in 1910 back when the government was handing out property to expand the area.
 

bird-bandit

New member
I can expand on my comment a little bit I guess if you're not familiar with that area the main thing over there is finding cover especially this year with the lack of rainfall cover is going to be at a premium if you find good cover you will find the birds and if you find good cover next to a cornfield preferably a picked one then jackpot. We get some of our best Birds adjacent to cattle impoundments. There are multiple reasons why we always find them next to the cattle food water there's normally a little bit of cover there and you can also get close to them because they are used to human traffic around them with a lot of farmers don't want you shooting very close to their cattle so that can be a touchy one. Last year we were lucky enough to have a partially picked corn field to hunt along with an unpicked sunflower patch in the middle of corn stubble. The one key piece of advice in this whole Ramblin dissertation is find the cover your find the birds
 

BRITTMAN

Active member
Bowman is now in the severe drought zone which is level D3 (with D4 extreme being the worst). Hettinger - Lemmon is in the moderate drought zone.

Mother Nature can be rather rough on the Dakota prairie. Much (if not most) of the area of ND that took the brunt of the Dec '16 heavy snow is now in the midst of drought.

If you look at the drought zones - it coincides very closely to ND's best pheasant hunting range (SW ND, MO river corridor, into NW ND). NE MT pheasant area also under really tough drought conditions.
 

gjw

Member
That map is informative but makes me worry. Are the crops looking like a disaster?
Hi all, well, down be me they are in poor shape. The corn I've seen is not even shin high, like the old saying it should be "knee high by the 4th". The wheat is also stunted. The hay crop is bad, they did get a short cutting, but I think that's about all they may get this year. Doesn't look good unless we start getting rain. Not much of that in the forecast either.

The USDA has opened CRP to grazing, just a matter of time until it's open for haying.

Who knows what the season will be like, but it seems that a lot of cover will be gone.

Please pray for rain for us!

Best,

Greg
 

esetter

New member
Looks like its gonna be one of those years where you push cattails all day long around water. I hate that fuzzy stuff that comes off of it and chokes you!!
 

BRITTMAN

Active member
If substantial rain does not come soon, the cattail sloughs will be dry or there will be large mudflats between cattails and water.

A large number of cattail sloughs will be cut or just as likely burned. It actually has benefits in regenerating the sloughs, but dramatically reduces small cover available for birds to hide and hunters to hunt.

Some dry falls in North Dakota have the stark visual reality of dead-grass yellow land and smokey gray skies.

Those with some CRP acres will definitely see the benefit this year with some grass to sell and a small financial safety net of CRP payments.
 

BRITTMAN

Active member
Burning sloughs ... more like 50 years or more.

Real dry years the sky will be filled with smoke from all the burning sloughs. Little tougher to burn them when they are wet.

Many sloughs were actually farmed 1982-1992. When the rains returned low spots flooded and the cattails returned.

Sloughs and ponds that survived the drought over the same time period became sustainable fisheries.

Long time ago now we hunted a Federal WPA that had a large slough bottom that was planted and farmed. The entire WPA is now underwater and the lake that formed supports fish.
 
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