Opinions on January 2021 SD scouting hunt

G-Texan

New member
The plan is to head up to Aberdeen, SD in January next year to scout and find a few birds. I will scope out the weather to find the best week. Will I be able to get around without getting stuck? I will be traveling alone in dodge diesel 4x4 with a light weight camper, aka heavy. The plan is to hunt SD next fall. I hunted pheasants in Nebraska several years ago but I am looking for better bird numbers on public land. I am aware the birds in January will be very wise. I welcome experienced advice.
 

Kre

New member
I sometimes have problems w/ roads in December, so beware. It's funny...sometimes the snow blows off the roads and sometimes it drifts over the roads. But, it's just snow, so shovels are a good idea. Tire chains can also be helpful.
 

jackrabbit

Active member
In case you are not aware, the SD season did get extended this year till January 31, I believe. So your scouting trip could also be hunting.
 

twodogs

New member
That is true the season does run until January 31st. Man I think it is really tuff on birds chasing them out of the cover what's left they are in survival mode that time of year if you know what I mean.
 

Wiley Rooster

New member
I think if you get nice days in January is doesn't matter if you are chasing them around. If its cold snowy and the birds are out all day feeding this would mean they are in survival mode and then a guy should use common sense and leave them alone. It does not hurt to hunt that late as long as your using common sense reading how the birds are fairing. What does everyone else think?
 

Good Boy!

Member
I don't.
I think it's much simpler, if you're worried about the birds, stop hunting on the old date (you won't be able to control others, don't try, follow your conscious)
If you want to hunt until January 31, then hunt like you normally would.
The numbers of hunters who finish that month won't affect the birds as much as natural conditions.
 
I'll touch on a few things here.

For the OP, I think it is a good idea. Take weather and bad roads into consideration, but I also find that spots that hold birds later in the year are likely to have them all the time. I know some smaller parcels that I hunt early in the season aren't worth the effort later in the year as they just don't provide the thermal habitat. If it were me, I'd hunt some spots and discover where they are roosting in the late season.

I opposed the season extension for the same reasons mentioned here. However, if pheasant hunting is legal, I have a hard time seeing Sage and I sitting at home on a weekend afternoon. With that said, I anticipate hunting cautiously as I do believe that the added stress of being pushed from cover in tough January weather has the potential to be detrimental to hens, which are already smaller and weaker than roosters. At the same time, it isn't unheard of to get some warm, 20 degree days that time of year, plus, there are plenty of other factors that could go into stressing the birds. All that to say, if the high is 20 on Sunday and isn't going to be brutally cold for a few days, I'll try it out. If it's 5 degrees, windy and snowing with a lengthy cold snap in sight, I'll probably give them a pass.
 
I for one am looking forward to the late season. Where we hunt the farmer is already asking me to come out for a January hunt. He has way too many roosters and as we know they out compete the hens for the best food and cover come winter time. Now with that said he has a ton of great cover, miles of shelter belts, food plots, cattail sloughs and CRP (he loves deer hunting). Bring on late season.
 

Nugent

Active member
That is true the season does run until January 31st. Man I think it is really tuff on birds chasing them out of the cover what's left they are in survival mode that time of year if you know what I mean.
Yeah, that's really late!
 

haymaker

Well-known member
...oh, and the term " survival mode" to any pheasant...starts when that egg cracks open...
A very true statement. However when it is 25 degrees below zero with a 35 MPH wind and a couple of feet of snow covering food sources it takes on a little significance.
 

Nugent

Active member
A very true statement. However when it is 25 degrees below zero with a 35 MPH wind and a couple of feet of snow covering food sources it takes on a little significance.
I agree.They need a break, and a chance to survive the winter.I hope they can find some thick, tall cover, to keep warm.
 

Dakotazeb

Well-known member
I've lived in SD for over 40 years. There are times when I had to call it a season by the middle of December. Too much snow and cold. Many roads were impassible and snow was so deep in the fields and cattails that they were impossible to walk. January can be worse, especially as the temp goes. I've seen times when the temp never got above zero for weeks at a time. If you enjoy hunting in sub zero temps, 20-30 mph winds and snow up to your a$$, go for it. Not my idea of an enjoyable hunt and I don't need to shoot a pheasant that bad. But, who knows, there have been some Januarys that were unseasonably warm with very little snow. If you come in January be prepared for most anything regarding weather. Personally I wish they had not extended the season. The 3rd Saturday in October through the 1st Sunday in January is plenty of time to get out and hunt, resident or non-resident. I'll be thinking about you boys out there in January as I'm basking in the sun in Arizona. :)
 
I for one am looking forward to the late season. Where we hunt the farmer is already asking me to come out for a January hunt. He has way too many roosters and as we know they out compete the hens for the best food and cover come winter time. Now with that said he has a ton of great cover, miles of shelter belts, food plots, cattail sloughs and CRP (he loves deer hunting). Bring on late season.
If that farmer needs another guy to knock down the numbers on his bird oasis, sign me up haha
 
Top