Last Hunt of the 23-24 Season


Active member
Met my dad out in East Central SD this past friday. Our host was awesome she let us hunt their shelterbelts along with some other cover they had along a river. She even called another land owner which had a good pocket of birds. Friday we saved the private stuff for later, so we tried a WIA towards the roost hunt and picked off 2 birds in smaller cattail patches.
Saturday we hit a WMA right away as we saw some birds flying around, dad had a chance at one. Then we went to the private stuff and they were jumpy, flushed 40 or so birds out of a 3-4 acre chunk of willows that were jumpy. We were able to walk another chunk in which they landed in and picked off our birds.
Sunday we tried the same chunk and there was significantly less birds, picked off a couple, then my dad took off for home. Sunday afternoon I knocked on a door and got permission to hunt a nice property. Birds were all in the willows again, just a couple singles here and there, enough to get my 3. Alot of tracks near the corn, but the big flock must have been elsewhere. I scouted out a new spot for Monday morning's hunt before I had to head back home and got a permission on another chunk of land which looked really good. After walking it in the morning I cut someone's elses track probably from the day before, which explained no birds being flushed, so I only assumed they pushed them out the day before. OH well, great times, and the landowners were really nice and generous with the permission. Probably a different story October-December and or with a group of more than 2 guys.

With the soft snow or any fresh snow really, you can really learn alot on how birds evade you. Such as walking through a willow patch and the dog getting birdy but nothing busting out, only to later learn the dog picks up a scent again outside of the cover and catching a fresh track running through the snow into the grass only where the dog tracked it down another 100+yards away and flushing it up,, sneaky buggers...

I was happy that my 13 year old lab was able to make a couple solo retrieves, as usually the pup is running up to him to pester him/the bird