Is South Dakota just hype?

benelli-banger

Well-known member
That’s a pretty good day for sure. I used to bring along a few guys from KC that didn’t hunt much and didn’t have dogs. They would often have me shoot their birds so they could get back to the bar and drink. Eight or so in a day is the most I got to. When I was 15 in Western Kansas we hunted with 16-18 guys. Mostly my dad’s older friends. It was 79 and I was on fire with that Ithaca 20 gauge feather weight. We had a couple good dogs and I always seemed to be in the right spot and they were thick that year. In two and a half days I shot 23 or 25. Seemed like I couldn’t miss. We would end up with 150 + opening weekend. I used to sell the tail feathers to a neighbor lady that did floral arrangements for a buck apiece
Most shots for me aren’t that tough when you’ve got 3+ shells…and a gun that you trust implicitly…confidence is such an asset it’s unreal…most of the time I know the bird’s goin down…have had slumps, not too many…I don’t shoot any clays for the most part…start on sharpies/huns in a month…good warm up…hunt about 20 days in MT/ND first, the last several of which include ND pheasants…then SD starts…🥳🍺👍🤘☀️👏
 
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Hutcho

Active member
I think SW ND was an equal, maybe superior, Mecca for 20-30 years…kind of a banana belt weather-wise, which helped a lot…,
Honestly that sounds more appealing to me. Sounds like there's good numbers and lots of species to enjoy. Nothing against pheasant, but I wanna hunt them all lol!
 

Hutcho

Active member
There are areas in SD as well
(NW) that are terrific for sharpies and pheasants right now…some huns, too…Lemmon comes to mind…
Very cool! Me and some buddies did Nebraska a couple years ago for sharpies, that was a rough one! But learned a lot! Huns are for sure on the list. Looks like SD is gonna be a for sure thing soon....
 

Hunthemup

Member
If you’re in a general area that you’ve had poor luck in for a day or two, and you’re trudging around in a 2500 acre public spot and not contacting birds but there’s nice cover 1/2 mile away, etc, I’d get the hell out and move 20-50 miles and find birds and hunt small parcels…give the dogs a rest. I don’t care what time of day it is, but I see birds when I’m in decent or good or great areas…from the truck. Fisherman with all the electronic gear don’t drop a line til they find the depth, structure, and other data that they need to feel confident. I do the same thing by scouting…normally…sure, some areas may not produce, all part of the process.
Here my deal and Im sure not alone with the experience. When I was younger and full of nervous energy, all and every bird field looked good and I worked it. Then no birds. Needless to say toward the end of the day, I was bushed and the dogs were, well not hunting or searching any more than I. Now after all the years of experience, trial and errors, particularly when is just me or with another hunting buddy, we hit what appears to better bird field primarily, corners covers etc. While always not producing lots of birds, I harvest my share. Number of birds in the bag is not what I am after but the enjoyment of been out and watching good dog work. Scouting and lots of miles is what benelli-banger is referring to.
A day or two or three is what produce my results. South Dakota with all the pressures and declined in habitat, seasonal bird population etc may be no different than other good bird state areas as previous pointed out by others here. This is my effects of some 50 years chasing the upland
 

hunter94

Well-known member
i like to walk in where others do not and some marginal cover can produce as it is over looked by many.
birds tend to go where they aren't pressured.
 

HS Strut

Member
I will walk in right behind another group if the cover looks good. I've watched people walking a ditch and see 5 roosters come out and cross the road right where a guy with a dog was 5 minutes ago. Couple years ago I volunteered to block for our group. I took my lab with me and sat her next to me. 5 guys with 4 dogs walked to me and put up zero birds. We walked back out the same way they pushed and my dog put about 5 birds up in 70 yards.
As has been said already, birds are on the move all day as long as the weather permits.
 

hunter94

Well-known member
I will walk in right behind another group if the cover looks good. I've watched people walking a ditch and see 5 roosters come out and cross the road right where a guy with a dog was 5 minutes ago. Couple years ago I volunteered to block for our group. I took my lab with me and sat her next to me. 5 guys with 4 dogs walked to me and put up zero birds. We walked back out the same way they pushed and my dog put about 5 birds up in 70 yards.
As has been said already, birds are on the move all day as long as the weather permits.
that is so true, i have watched birds move after a vehicle goes by. birds only time to be lazy is after feeding, then with full bellies they like to sit down.
 

4shot

Active member
A good spot is a good spot! I hadn’t hunted in over 20 years then went to SD for the first time. That trip put the drug back in me. All wild birds, lots of birds lots of shots. Back in it started making a lot of connections. Now have good spots in Iowa, SD, and Nebraska. In my situation is SD better than the other states? Maybe…Where I hunt in SD, if you gotta good dog, are alert, and not afraid to shoot, your gonna shoot 3-10 birds a day. I call that shooting. Some of my Iowa spots are the same. When I hunt NE, I call that hunting! May only see one bird get one bird all day. I like the adventure of new spots and meeting new people. I would pass up good numbers for adventure and new spots all day. If confident of good spots totally worth the hype.
 

Citori16

Member
A good spot is a good spot! I hadn’t hunted in over 20 years then went to SD for the first time. That trip put the drug back in me. All wild birds, lots of birds lots of shots. Back in it started making a lot of connections. Now have good spots in Iowa, SD, and Nebraska. In my situation is SD better than the other states? Maybe…Where I hunt in SD, if you gotta good dog, are alert, and not afraid to shoot, your gonna shoot 3-10 birds a day. I call that shooting. Some of my Iowa spots are the same. When I hunt NE, I call that hunting! May only see one bird get one bird all day. I like the adventure of new spots and meeting new people. I would pass up good numbers for adventure and new spots all day. If confident of good spots totally worth the hype.
10 birds a day?
 

benelli-banger

Well-known member
Group sizes are now unlimited, used to be 20; so one guy could have shot 60 in a day in theory when that group size limit existed AND there were jillion’s of birds. My high was 15, many days North of 10…best was 8 in about 10-12 minutes blocking a sliver of cattails that jutted into picked corn.. 👍
 

Hutcho

Active member
Group sizes are now unlimited, used to be 20; so one guy could have shot 60 in a day in theory when that group size limit existed AND there were jillion’s of birds. My high was 15, many days North of 10…best was 8 in about 10-12 minutes blocking a sliver of cattails that jutted into picked corn.. 👍
That makes more sense now. I saw all the posts about people getting WWAAAYYYY more than the limit and just turned a blind eye lol!
 

carptom1

Well-known member
Group sizes are now unlimited, used to be 20; so one guy could have shot 60 in a day in theory when that group size limit existed AND there were jillion’s of birds. My high was 15, many days North of 10…best was 8 in about 10-12 minutes blocking a sliver of cattails that jutted into picked corn.. 👍
But have you ever got 3 with an O/U with a reload in about 2 minutes on a staggered flush? If I wouldn’t have missed the first one I would have had 4.
 

4shot

Active member
I tell tell you what’s not worth the hype in SD! DRIFTING SNOW!! I’ve walked 30 min across a cut corn field where the snow is even with the cut stalks only to find our honey hole was all drifted in and no birds. It’s great that they made the season longer but I’m not going up there if there’s lots of snow and terrible cold. If weather is bad we can’t get to 75% of our spots. Those few spots can be really good but not worth blowing your 5 day license on 1 1/2 of hunting. Had a friend and my dog fall in a drift and had to be dug out by others. Spending 10 minutes going from the road to the fence busting snow SUCKS! I weigh to much and can’t walk on crusted snow. Make a grown man cry. Better stop I’m starting to get mad…..lol
 
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