just returned...

I have had boots on the ground in SD now about 28 days so far this season...up until now, it was kind of a season that left me longing for more...more cover to hunt that was dry, more birds, more crops harvested, etc. Have had decent bird #'s, but last trip, about a week and a half ago, was a struggle...that snow from thanksgiving was wet and heavy and knocked a lot of the cover down and pushed birds elsewhere...cattails, mainly. And lots of the sloughs were not frozen solid, it seemed....frustrating. This trip, however, turned for the better...many sloughs were frozen solid or fairly dry, which was a shocker. Temps were warming, birds were out and about, but still bunched up. It started fairly slow, but we finished with a crescendo. My buddy and I ended with 28 birds...one of the best hunts I have had in quite a few years. I almost pulled the plug on the hunt...glad my buddy insisted! Great dog work, great shooting, great farmer friends to socialize with and make good grub for, etc. Can't wait to get back there, not sure if it will happen or not this year, but regardless, can't return fast enough!
 

jonnyB

Active member
Frozen cattails..not the norm in far southern SD. Just returned last night, didn't penetrate the ice, but didn't test it either. Could see running water in several places, so assumed ice wasn't safe.

You are right about the birds being bunched...little cover left for them to spread out. Lots of birds observed on private land that was posted "This land is under surveillance with video's." " No trespassing" Not sure how they accomplished the surveillance - perhaps by drones.

I found the walk-in land had very few birds; where there was cut corn or sorghum and a very dirty ditch, there were birds. Not always, but most of the time.

Struggled with the deep snow but this was offset by the amazing weather - in the mid-40"s every day, no wind and clear sky. Rather unusual for SD! This trip was a blessing as Max encountered no skunks, porcupines or coyotes.

I could be enticed to return in January, weather permitting...!
 
I'm most likely heading out wednesday...I will let you know how things turned out...saw some pics today...kinda nasty....but I don't have to hunt all day...:cheers:
 

dakotasj

Member
Leaving this morning. Hope to be hunting tomorrow afternoon. It was 78 degrees at my house yesterday, just love chasing pheasants.
 

jonnyB

Active member
Safe travels! Would assume some parts of the state are impassable.

Always interested to hear about your hunts...
 

dakotasj

Member
The last trip was an experience. Saw a lot of birds, found most huntable birds in the sloughs. Tuesday and Wednesday saw almost no hunters. A few showed up after New Years Day. Did break through on Thursday that was a surprise - never fun and good that cell phone was in shirt pocket. Drifts as always were leg killers but had to go where the birds had cover. As always late season some birds were really spooky, some - mostly hens - held really tight so had some good solid points and sometimes a rooster to retrieve.

I hope the water will go down enough and spring rain will cooperate for the farmers as there is still a lot of wet areas. Some places I have hunted for 20 years are still a lake.

So the countdown to Fall begins again.

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