Rate your 2020 season

gimruis

Active member
On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being the best you've had and 10 being the worst you've had, rate the 2020 pheasant hunting season. You can state why it was great, good, average, or poor too. Also stating the general area you hunt would be good info.

I rate mine a 6. Harvest was lower than in recent years but still saw good numbers of birds. Snow wasn't too bad until the very last attempt which made for relatively easy walking most of the season. I hunt in central Minnesota.
 

lubers

Member
6 here also although I only got skunked three times going out on public land I wasn't able to get out as often as the year before. Doing all local hunting within three miles of my house in eastern Wisconsin. With covid the wife and I had to spend a lot of time with the grandkids home schooling them while the parents were working.
Made a trip out to South Dakota, dog ended up hitting a barb wire fence while doing a retrieve so that trip was cut short but our group shot a lot birds when we were there. Purchased 25 birds at a local game farm and will be taking my grandson out tomorrow morning, putting out 7 birds so hopefully he gets his first bird.
 

Rude One

Member
I would rate it 7. I saw decent numbers early in the season but later I saw more hunters on my trips than birds. A couple of the private spots I hunt where I had seen lots of birds prior to hunting season yielded few birds. Dog work was great, shooting wasn't bad so overall it was a pretty fun year. I went out to SD in late October when it snowed and was cold. It was weird because a lot of spots I would normally hunt were snowed in. The roads weren't frozen but they had 8" of snow on them so it was impossible getting around to some other spots. Where there were birds they were in huge groups. I had multiple places where I kicked up over 100 birds. That was really fun to see. Hopefully we get a decent winter here and a good spring hatch. It's pheasant hunting so its always better than not pheasant hunting.
 

Glock

New member
I would rate it a 7 as well. Seemed like bird population was good this year. The volume of hunters this year was as high as I’ve ever seen it. Nice to see the interest in the sport going up but did make it sometimes challenging on public land.
 

20super90

New member
I'd have to go with a 2 ... if 1 is the best....... we surpassed our personal best this year by over 30 birds, I was able to get my dad back out in the pheasant fields, my wife and kids got out a couple time.... and our south dakota trips went about normal which is a good thing. Well besides bringing covid back with us.... but that scored me another week and a half of hunting back in minnesota. Most of all my 5 year old lab trig was a work horse this year... very few days off and if I recall correctly we only lost 2 or 3 birds..... I'd say bird numbers were about same as last year in sd and mn.... more hunters in both states..... but the weather seemed to align perfectly all year long with vacation days and trips and what not.... here's a couple pics.IMG_20201206_142657_606.jpgIMG_20201026_182106_836.jpgIMG_20201124_121551_134.jpg20201010_092835.jpg20201228_130054.jpg20201113_120806.jpgIMG_20201024_173121_407.jpg20201016_180957.jpg20201016_180957.jpg20201113_120806.jpg
 
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benelli-banger

Well-known member
didn't hunt MN this year, but I did hunt MT, ND, and SD...overall, great season! For me, weather is a big component...great weather this season, still great! One more trip to SD...next week...highs in the 30's and 40's; bird #'s were good across the board--huns, sharpies, and pheasants; dogs were healthy and did well, especially the 1.5 year old...always special to see a young dog really catch on! shooting was good...not great, but not average, either...surprised myself to the good...and bad...mostly to the good; hunted some new (to me) S x S's that I did well with, and some old S x S guns as well...mostly hunt pheasants with my benelli ultra light 12, mostly hunt sharps and huns with 28 or 20...maybe a 16; no aches and pains in this 54 year old fat body...that is a plus! overall, hunted more days than ever...will end around 50 hunting days. Many clients of mine in their '70's are experiencing serious health issues...some even younger...gotta do this stuff NOW!!!!! Feel blessed that I can hunt a lot...I'd give this season a 9 on a scale of 1-10....got covid in early september after returning from my first hunt, which was in MT...messed with September a bit, but oh well...survived it!:giggle:
 

Yellowdawg

New member
We hunted public land MN birds exclusively. Two of us hunted 1-2 times per week the entire season, except for the one weekend we thought it was too warm for our dogs. I'd give it a 7. We never got skunked, but certainly things got more difficult the last month with pressured birds getting wise. The last three weekends we'd get 1-2 birds a day. We saw more birds than we have for at least two years. Lets hope for another continued mild winter and a good hatch (y).
 
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marn

Member
Central MN hunting this fall had a couple very good days on private ground and public ground always seemed to have more hunters than I remember in past seasons. I was always able to find birds, not always able to do my part and connect, but had fun watching the dogs work. 2 trips to SD were great and headed back next week. Roughly 20 days of chasing roosters for the year.
 
My season started out well, later in the season things started to decline. Overall I would give it an 8. Early in the year went to MT where I shot my first hun, shot my first prairie chicken in SD a couple weeks later. Things for me started to diminish when I stayed in MN and hunted public land. It felt like no matter where I went I was fighting crowds for open spots. Had a few unsafe situations arise due to new inexperienced hunters. It is great to see so many people out, but at the same time it was very frustrating. On to next season! Just picked up a new pup on Saturday so it should be a fun one regardless.
 

BRITTMAN

Well-known member
It is great to see so many people out ... Totally Disagree. Too many that lose all manners and ethics just because it is public land.

MN DNR often equates hunting success by licenses sold and seems to care little (although they do survey) about quality of the hunts, etc...
 

BRITTMAN

Well-known member
With that scoring system in place I would rate it a 5 - 6 (so I guess for me it is inconsequential which number is high and which number is low). Middle ... not great, not bad.

Untimely late October and early November snow was my main reason for scoring low. I love to hunt behind Brittanys in the grass. It forced me (at times) to go outside my normal areas. Some of those other areas really did have a lot of hunters out.

Still dogs worked great until end of season and we shot plenty of birds to eat, share and store (freeze).
 
My theory is that maybe if more people participate in the sport, more people will care about land and wildlife conservation. Which will hopefully lead to the issue getting more attention than it currently does.
 

gimruis

Active member
It is great to see so many people out ... Totally Disagree. Too many that lose all manners and ethics just because it is public land.

MN DNR often equates hunting success by licenses sold and seems to care little (although they do survey) about quality of the hunts, etc...
Excellent point. I’ve always tried to enjoy the outdoor activities I regularly participate in to avoid other people, not run into more of them. There was more people fishing, boating, camping, and hunting this season because of the COVID crowd. Now there’s a lot more on the ice trying to ice fish. I am hoping most of these part timers go back to their lives sooner rather than later too.
 

MAcDonTom1

New member
On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being the best you've had and 10 being the worst you've had, rate the 2020 pheasant hunting season. You can state why it was great, good, average, or poor too. Also stating the general area you hunt would be good info.

I rate mine a 6. Harvest was lower than in recent years but still saw good numbers of birds. Snow wasn't too bad until the very last attempt which made for relatively easy walking most of the season. I hunt in central Minnesota.
I have to say South Dakota was a 9 or 10 for me this year after being 4-6 for the past 5-6 years. Conditions were great for allowing farmers to get the crops out and we had more birds than we've ever seen. Renewed my love of pheasant hunting, working with dogs, and getting to hunt with my buddies.
 

Flushedup

Member
Agree ^^^ SD was a real treat this year, there was little debate. Minnesota on the other hand, was.... Fine. like gimruis, I found the extra hunters really decreased the quality of hunting here in MN. Giving SD a 9, and MN a 4. Maybe I didnt give it enough of a chance but the handful of times I hunted the home state were, meh
 

gimruis

Active member
Fine. like gimruis, I found the extra hunters really decreased the quality of hunting here in MN
One has to also account in the time and cost factor too. Living in central MN, I can buy a resident small game and pheasant stamp for under 35 bucks, and be at good hunting land in an hour from my residence. I can make a bunch of afternoon trips during the course of the season going this route and pick and choose certain days when conditions are better. As opposed to getting raped for a non-resident license, driving hours to get there, paying for lodging, meals, and then having to deal with potentially worse conditions because I can't simply just "go another day" instead. Plus as a resident I can hunt for as many of the days during the season as I want to whereas in SD they cap you and then you have to fork over another how much for a license.

SD - generally better hunting at a much higher cost and time devotion
MN - generally mediocre hunting at a much more minimal cost and time devotion
 

Bob Peters

Active member
SD - generally better hunting at a much higher cost and time devotion
MN - generally mediocre hunting at a much more minimal cost and time devotion

I see your point 100% and think it's great you've got a nice milk run of spots close to home where you can be more choosey with when you go based on weather conditions. I'm trying to get a few private spots lined up myself within an hour or so drive away. I just got back from SD and really had a great time. For a four day hunt it cost me just under $500 and I've also got another 5 days I can use next season on my existing license. I really liked going out there just to see a different corner of the world. Lots of great scenery, saw a snowy owl for the first time, lot of critters running around. I'd never been rooster hunting out there so I had to at least try it. And on top of it, the MN season is closed, and chasing super nervous late-season birds in South Dakota beats ice fishing any day of the week.
 

LABS HUNT

New member
Does anyone know anything about Ringneck Range in Taunton, MN? I tried to click on their website but it appears to be down.

Has anyone hunted there? what kind of costs?

Thanks
 
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