Opening Weekend Results?

I was looking for the same info. For what it's worth I had a call from my local contact who was on the ground hunting the opener on private ground. The report is there are birds more than he has seen the last few years. That's a great sign! A lot of late hatch roosters minus their head color. Also was told the harvest hasn't stated yet. Could be a great late season this year after the crops come out. Good luck to everyone and be safe!
 
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sdviking

Member
Agree with haymaker, we shot just under 2 birds per hunter mostly due to poor shooting. Only had one dog and it was dry so it was tough to find down birds. Cover was rather thick which was great! We saw plenty of birds. Hunting will get much better as harvest moves forward. SDviking
 

hunter94

Active member
Agree with haymaker, we shot just under 2 birds per hunter mostly due to poor shooting. Only had one dog and it was dry so it was tough to find down birds. Cover was rather thick which was great! We saw plenty of birds. Hunting will get much better as harvest moves forward. SDviking

2 per hunter was what i was guessing, for the most part......tons of rains set harvest back, hopefully it stays dry and warm so the beans, flowers and corn get cut......after Thanksgiving should be a better time for a decent "head count". TY.
 

A5 Sweet 16

Well-known member
Same here. Got 2 each day. Hunted a little longer than I usually do most opening weekends. About 2 hours Saturday & 3 yesterday. The breeze totally disappeared for about the last hour plus of each day, making stealth during the "golden hour" difficult. Toward the buzzer each day got into better numbers of hens hunting beside standing corn. After shooting hours closed, heard roosters all over the place, "cuck"ing, still in the corn. Not bad, but tougher hunting than usual just because of the weather, probably 50% standing beans & 99% standing corn. Beautiful weekend to be out though. And the birds are there.
 

Woollybob

Member
Same here. Nearly everyone in the group filled out opening day, but it slowed down after that with the hot weather. Averaged about 2 per person each day.

A lot more crops out around Aberdeen than further to the West. Also, there are a LOT of beans planted - much more beans than corn.
 

Birddog23

Member
We hunted Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Saturday was the best day to hunt with temps in the low 50's. Sunday and Monday were way too warm. It seemed to have an affect on the bird numbers.
Saturday we got 15 birds, should of had 20. Sunday we had trouble finding birds, took a longer break, too warm....... This is by far the wettest I've ever seen it back there. My dog did not retrieve a dry bird the whole weekend.
Monday was also too warm and did not see the birds, only got 3. Tons of corn in where we hunt, to wet to get into fields.
It will be much better when all the corn comes out and temps drop.
It sure did seem like the temperature had an awful lot to do with how many birds we saw.
 

PeteRevvv

Member
Yup, birds are back in small numbers in areas that they had disappeared from last year. In all of central east river last year we only found two pockets of birds in numbers around Huron and Gettysburg. They are still in small pockets but there are many more of those. Found some birds near Redfield/Tulare, Chelsea/Cresbard, Ashton/Frankfort. 3-4 guys with 1-2 dogs over 4 days got 25 birds. Not enough numbers to consistently see birds out of the cover so Mon/Tue where hard hunting after the rest were educated over the weekend. The rest just disappeared into crops and never came back out. Maybe after a cool down period they will be back out but for now it looks like a long wait for crops to get out and/or snow to see success.
 

A5 Sweet 16

Well-known member
Yup, birds are back in small numbers in areas that they had disappeared from last year. In all of central east river last year we only found two pockets of birds in numbers around Huron and Gettysburg. They are still in small pockets but there are many more of those. Found some birds near Redfield/Tulare, Chelsea/Cresbard, Ashton/Frankfort. 3-4 guys with 1-2 dogs over 4 days got 25 birds. Not enough numbers to consistently see birds out of the cover so Mon/Tue where hard hunting after the rest were educated over the weekend. The rest just disappeared into crops and never came back out. Maybe after a cool down period they will be back out but for now it looks like a long wait for crops to get out and/or snow to see success.

I guess my take would be that if you shot that many birds w/ 1.5 dogs (ave.), that's fairly successful considering what the conditions have been, number of birds shot being more a function of # of dogs & birds & not necessarily # of guys. 4.2 birds/day/dog. Not bad. For 2 dogs over 4 days to get 48 roosters (6 birds/dog/day; 4 guys' limits), you'd have to be in areas with really good numbers w/ birds that are relatively easy to hunt. But yes, I think the birds are there (most places) & success will come easier later on.
 
Bird numbers were up and so was the crops, 4 hunters put down 25 birds but tues and wed were very poor weather conditions and shooting was poor, we did get 50 ducks over this time. We were unable to get on our private grounds which were still in crops so the 25 on public grounds was ok. We had great dog work and my pointer did fabulous and my labs and the other dogs did well. It was the poorest looking crops that I have ever seen and our farmer is worried about his herd and he may have to sell animals as they may not harvest crops until December and then he claims he will only get 80-90 bushels of corn per acre instead of the 200 normally. Water was great for the ducks and our ponds were almost full and had good cover around them. Was a better season than last year and will be better later this year. It does not look good for the farmers, one of the grain elevators has closed and it looks like others will follow suit. Seriously have to think about coming back later in the year, if it wasn't a 24 hr drive I would do it in a heart beat
 

wingedit

New member
Odd behavior from the birds recently. A lot of birds getting up out of the cattails with 4-6 inches of water. Birds are also sitting really tight in the wet areas. One things for sure, the 12pm start and standing corn makes it difficult to get birds before sunset.
 

Matt D

Member
Bird numbers were up and so was the crops, 4 hunters put down 25 birds but tues and wed were very poor weather conditions and shooting was poor, we did get 50 ducks over this time. We were unable to get on our private grounds which were still in crops so the 25 on public grounds was ok. We had great dog work and my pointer did fabulous and my labs and the other dogs did well. It was the poorest looking crops that I have ever seen and our farmer is worried about his herd and he may have to sell animals as they may not harvest crops until December and then he claims he will only get 80-90 bushels of corn per acre instead of the 200 normally. Water was great for the ducks and our ponds were almost full and had good cover around them. Was a better season than last year and will be better later this year. It does not look good for the farmers, one of the grain elevators has closed and it looks like others will follow suit. Seriously have to think about coming back later in the year, if it wasn't a 24 hr drive I would do it in a heart beat

What part of the state did you hunt? Thanks
 
2-3-2-1-2 was my bird count each day. It was hot windy and dry. Crops still heavy, maybe 10% off. Most all corn still in and just a fraction of the beans out. Sloughs had water, and so did the ditches. Bring a spare pair of boots and be prepared to walk, walk walk. My fit bit had me over 6 miles per day with a high of ten on Sunday. One dog and 5 days of hunting in the heat bout ruined both of us. See you in December!!!!! If you hunt public lands near Chamberlain and find a Garmin Astro missing the back cover....I bet it's mine, holler to claim your reward money.
 

Hobie1026

Member
My opener...

View attachment 8609

Limited out in about 20 minutes. Fastest hunt I’ve ever had. This was the hotly contested bismuth hunt for residents only. I flushed the first bird at about 10 yards. A rooster flushed with a hen and I nailed the rooster.

The other two came about 15 minutes later as I was hustling out of the field due to the wave of blaze orange that was approaching. I was walking up a slough towards the truck when my dog flushed a group of four roosters. I dropped two and that was it for my opener.

That’s better than I did ALL of last season. SD has been good to me and my dogs. :D
 

Nugent

Member
Isn't that the way it is?Sometimes you walk miles, and don't shoot.Sometimes you walk for 5 minutes, and limit out, you just never know. Has a lot to do with weather, hunting preasure, wind, farming.I know of a huge cornfield out here that has to have a lot of birds, but getting permission will be difficult.
 

BrdHntr

New member
Isn't that the way it is?Sometimes you walk miles, and don't shoot.Sometimes you walk for 5 minutes, and limit out, you just never know. Has a lot to do with weather, hunting preasure, wind, farming.I know of a huge cornfield out here that has to have a lot of birds, but getting permission will be difficult.

A sleave of TopFlights & a 12 pk of PBR should cover it GM. Good luck!
 

Nugent

Member
Lol, I might try the nick Faldo routine on this one, if I can figure out who owns it, then catching him at home.Montana isn't like South Dakota, in that most farms don't charge money to hunt.It is getting more difficult to get on private land, and I'm not sure why.
 
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