REAL South Dakota 2021 review.

Stop right here if you went to a paid gun lodge.

Birds are down, way down. Don’t waste your time on public land, yes there are birds, a few.

All your normal ditches are cut, short enough to putt a golf ball on, they were hayed for the drought, as they should have been as SD is an agriculture state.

To the Todds that come on this forum and say how wonderful the hunt was with “birds a plenty” let me tell you, that Todd paid $500+ per day to kill pen raised pheasants, he literally bought the “upland” gear online based on a recommendation from his buddy “Kyle”. He probably drives a Yukon, wears a Rolex and talks about how many white claws he drinks on the weekend.

The biggest joke which “Todd” doesn’t tell you in he stands in a line of guys, no more than 7’ apart and each bird gets hit by 3-4 shots. Oh another thinghe didn’t tell you was he was shooting chuckars and counting them as roosters, then posting his perfectly staged photo on his Instagram account.

Pheasant Hunting in South Dakota is absolutely amazing, sportsman support a ton of tiny communities and keep places running from year to year. I’d NEVER discourage you to come to SD, just to have realistic expectations.

peace! See you in Mitchell at Cabelas.
 

Attachments

  • 8FFCFA4F-3504-428A-BC86-7D2AC8CD27F4.jpeg
    8FFCFA4F-3504-428A-BC86-7D2AC8CD27F4.jpeg
    1.2 MB · Views: 52

kuk kuk

Member
Stop right here if you went to a paid gun lodge.

Birds are down, way down. Don’t waste your time on public land, yes there are birds, a few.

All your normal ditches are cut, short enough to putt a golf ball on, they were hayed for the drought, as they should have been as SD is an agriculture state.

To the Todds that come on this forum and say how wonderful the hunt was with “birds a plenty” let me tell you, that Todd paid $500+ per day to kill pen raised pheasants, he literally bought the “upland” gear online based on a recommendation from his buddy “Kyle”. He probably drives a Yukon, wears a Rolex and talks about how many white claws he drinks on the weekend.

The biggest joke which “Todd” doesn’t tell you in he stands in a line of guys, no more than 7’ apart and each bird gets hit by 3-4 shots. Oh another thinghe didn’t tell you was he was shooting chuckars and counting them as roosters, then posting his perfectly staged photo on his Instagram account.

Pheasant Hunting in South Dakota is absolutely amazing, sportsman support a ton of tiny communities and keep places running from year to year. I’d NEVER discourage you to come to SD, just to have realistic expectations.

peace! See you in Mitchell at Cabelas.
You got some point you are making?
 

Lointer man

Active member
Stop right here if you went to a paid gun lodge.

Birds are down, way down. Don’t waste your time on public land, yes there are birds, a few.

All your normal ditches are cut, short enough to putt a golf ball on, they were hayed for the drought, as they should have been as SD is an agriculture state.

To the Todds that come on this forum and say how wonderful the hunt was with “birds a plenty” let me tell you, that Todd paid $500+ per day to kill pen raised pheasants, he literally bought the “upland” gear online based on a recommendation from his buddy “Kyle”. He probably drives a Yukon, wears a Rolex and talks about how many white claws he drinks on the weekend.

The biggest joke which “Todd” doesn’t tell you in he stands in a line of guys, no more than 7’ apart and each bird gets hit by 3-4 shots. Oh another thinghe didn’t tell you was he was shooting chuckars and counting them as roosters, then posting his perfectly staged photo on his Instagram account.

Pheasant Hunting in South Dakota is absolutely amazing, sportsman support a ton of tiny communities and keep places running from year to year. I’d NEVER discourage you to come to SD, just to have realistic expectations.

peace! See you in Mitchell at Cabelas.
I have always appreciated George Carlin
 

A5 Sweet 16

Well-known member
Stop right here if you went to a paid gun lodge.

Birds are down, way down. Don’t waste your time on public land, yes there are birds, a few.

First, thanks, bbbF, for supporting SD pheasant hunting. It is, as you say, absolutely amazing.

So you're saying bird numbers are down, & we should therefore avoid public land? But if I want to shoot a pheasant, why would I avoid much of the very best habitat? Just because of hunting pressure? Strange. I've shot public land pheasants all season long for my whole life, & I've seen several years worse than this one. But OK, I can avoid it this year if you think that's best.

And regardless of how a person feels about it, most private land simply isn't accessible to most people. So some choose the pay-to-play option, whether or not it's a preserve crawling with pen-reared birds or another operation that may or may not supplement its wild population.

But it seems you're really down on preserves & people who use them, so we should cross those off our list. Other private land isn't available, ditches are mowed, & public land should be avoided. Please tell us...where should we hunt in this "absolutely amazing" pheasant state? TIA for your valuable input.
 
Last edited:
A pheasant can hide in some pretty short habitat if you have been hunting for a lot of years you should have come across that in your time they are magicians
 

BRITTMAN

Well-known member
Mr Fancy and his pressed hunting clothed friends rarely look at forums and almost never post. Most are SPORTS and not bird dog enthusiasts or hunters. These guys post more often on facebook ... I rarely if ever see them because that is my wife's internet not mine.

I know of just a few people on here (active members) that only utilize private outfitted hunts. That is fine. Hopefully they clicked the link on the main page when they were looking at where to go so this site could generate a wee bit of cash.
 

Lee192233

Active member
If I'd have listened to negative posts about how South Dakota isn't what it used to be, the bird numbers are down...blah, blah, blah, I never would have come to SD in 2017 and had the best pheasant hunting of my life. All public in the eastern 1/3 of the state. It puts my home state of WI to shame. I'm coming out there in 3 weeks. Can't wait!
 

0918style

New member
Well I guess with the landowners cutting the ditches this year we won’t have to have the yearly debate on the regulations on hunting ditches lol.
 

hyresmack

Active member
The REAL report is the average phez hunter is worse then 50 or even 20 years ago. Its not that we're dummer its because the country is farther away from rural/agricultural. Lifestyles constantly changing so your connection to the land, wildlife & hunting is less means less experience & knowledge about hunting. That's a big part of all the crying about can't find any birds.
 

Munster927

Well-known member
I would disagree with that. I think the average pheasant hunter has so much more knowledge than 20 years ago (definitely more than 50 years ago). Think of the resources the average person has available. Forums, maps, surveys uploaded online, the internet in general.

Sure, a landowner that hunts their land that sees pheasants hanging out at the same fence row every day is going to do better hunting those birds come the season than I will if I show up to a public spot that gets hammered all year long. But I wouldn't say we are dumber (I gota say, I had to laugh that you spelled dumber wrong) than someone who has the good fortune to hunt the land they know and live on.
 

jackrabbit

Active member
I would disagree with that. I think the average pheasant hunter has so much more knowledge than 20 years ago (definitely more than 50 years ago). Think of the resources the average person has available. Forums, maps, surveys uploaded online, the internet in general.

Sure, a landowner that hunts their land that sees pheasants hanging out at the same fence row every day is going to do better hunting those birds come the season than I will if I show up to a public spot that gets hammered all year long. But I wouldn't say we are dumber (I gota say, I had to laugh that you spelled dumber wrong) than someone who has the good fortune to hunt the land they know and live on.
I'll agree with each of you. Yes, we are dumber as in there's more people less connected to the land than there was 50 or 20 years ago.

But we are certainly more advanced as hunters. For instance, I live 4-7 hours away from my various hunting places in SD and I am not going to drive there in the offseason to connect with the land. But I am going to do internet scouting ahead of time, use aerial photos, maps, GPS imagery, etc. to scout potential public lands that look they have or the areas nearby have what I think is needed to hold birds. I don't go as far as mapping out localized hailstorms, rainfall, etc. throughout the year like some people do, but there's also a reason why those people are successful. Then I am at least heading to SD with a game plan of what public places to check out and what places to pass by. Combine that with some notes from each year and eventually you can get a good plan in place.
 

A5 Sweet 16

Well-known member
I'll agree with each of you. Yes, we are dumber as in there's more people less connected to the land than there was 50 or 20 years ago.

But we are certainly more advanced as hunters. For instance, I live 4-7 hours away from my various hunting places in SD and I am not going to drive there in the offseason to connect with the land. But I am going to do internet scouting ahead of time, use aerial photos, maps, GPS imagery, etc. to scout potential public lands that look they have or the areas nearby have what I think is needed to hold birds. I don't go as far as mapping out localized hailstorms, rainfall, etc. throughout the year like some people do, but there's also a reason why those people are successful. Then I am at least heading to SD with a game plan of what public places to check out and what places to pass by. Combine that with some notes from each year and eventually you can get a good plan in place.
Spelling notwithstanding, I agree with both too. I won't say I use today's technology a ton as an aid to my hunting. I'm bordering on "old dog" & luckily, I live where I don't feel I need it. But there's no doubt, some of it's pretty cool & could be beneficial to an extent to almost anyone.

But I'd be surprised if anyone argued that there's a substitute for "boots on the ground" experience. And more than just landowners knowing where the birds hang out (for example). I got to thinking about it & did some digging. 40 years ago, Sioux Falls made up about 12% of SD's population. Now it's about 21%. We're more "urban" in SD alone (to use the term loosely). And in SD 40 years ago, non-residents made up roughly 30% of pheasant hunters. It's averaged 55% over the last 20 years. I think it's safe to say the average hunter lives further from pheasant territory than he used to. He's not as able as people once were to drive through pheasant country (which has obviously changed too). See what's going on; where they are; what they're doing; how things look right in front of you.

But maybe the biggest thing is the ability to hunt regularly, in areas where there are actually decent numbers of wild birds. A person who really doesn't have a choice but to buy one or two 10-day licenses each year, even though he may hunt 20 days a season, is really only able to get, say, four 5-day snapshots of a 4-month season. It's becoming more & more prevalent for a person to be in that situation, & I think it has to make a difference in success rates.
 

lubers

Active member
Hmm just got back from South Dakota yesterday not sure what your talking about we went out Saturday around 12:30 hunted for about two hours with our group shot 28 birds. Went out Sunday with just three of us and we got our limit after two hours. The land we hunted on only lets family and friends on and I've been lucky enough to come along with a friend of the family the last two years. ( I think only because of my dogs :unsure:)
 

Attachments

  • Birds.jpg
    Birds.jpg
    3.2 MB · Views: 7

A5 Sweet 16

Well-known member
Hmm just got back from South Dakota yesterday not sure what your talking about we went out Saturday around 12:30 hunted for about two hours with our group shot 28 birds. Went out Sunday with just three of us and we got our limit after two hours. The land we hunted on only lets family and friends on and I've been lucky enough to come along with a friend of the family the last two years. ( I think only because of my dogs :unsure:)
Nice work. And if the hunting's that great, I'm sure it doesn't bother you that your friends value your dogs more. I think we ALL value good pheasant dogs more than people. ;)
 
Good or bad bird numbers we always make our annual trips to South Dakota. The trip is all about the bird experience, sunsets and most importantly the dog work. I spend all summer at home in Wisconsin training pups for not only grouse at home but for the experience of chasing SD roosters. Boots on the ground and miles walked equal opportunity. Pheasant numbers aren't like they were 10 years ago due to many factors but it still an experience you will never forget. I myself have been coming out for 25+ years and still can't get enough of South Dakota. When I was young it was all about the number of birds in the bag. Now its all about exposure for my dogs that's what puts a smile on my face even if I have to walk mile after mile to get them that opportunity. We are heading out tomorrow 5 am for a week of boots on the ground. Good or bad we will give it everything we got just for the opportunity to hear the cackle and see a rooster. Good luck to everyone and be safe.
 
Top