REAL South Dakota 2021 review.

When South Dakota was at it high the majority was prairie not much row crop plenty of weed seed and bugs for the chicks now not much available can’t eat topsoil all winter they don’t really need the cattails to winter in they can winter in snow covered big bluestem and other grass mixes it’s about the food
 

A5 Sweet 16

Well-known member
When South Dakota was at it high the majority was prairie not much row crop plenty of weed seed and bugs for the chicks now not much available can’t eat topsoil all winter they don’t really need the cattails to winter in they can winter in snow covered big bluestem and other grass mixes it’s about the food
Not sure when you'd be talking about there. Since the introduction of pheasants, the vast, vast majority of eastern SD has been cropland.
And I believe that in large part, pheasants do better in SD than in other states BECAUSE of potholes & the cattails associated with them; not to mention the cover surrounding cattails that frequently can't be planted. Some winters pheasants can manage in real thick grass, but most winters they need cattails. Probably not so important in southern IA, southern NE, KS, etc. Even if they can scrape by without cattails, winter sure goes a lot easier WITH cattails. Which leads to better nesting season.
 
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benelli-banger

Well-known member
I can tell you from having hunted SD over 30 days this year, cattails are holding birds, big-time!!! Typical, especially late season.
 
Not sure when you'd be talking about there. Since the introduction of pheasants, the vast, vast majority of eastern SD has been cropland.
And I believe that in large part, pheasants do better in SD than in other states BECAUSE of potholes & the cattails associated with them; not to mention the cover surrounding cattails that frequently can't be planted. Some winters pheasants can manage in real thick grass, but most winters they need cattails. Probably not so important in southern IA, southern NE, KS, etc. Even if they can scrape by without cattails, winter sure goes a lot easier WITH cattails. Which leads to better nesting season.
Yesteryear prairie way out numbered row crop until the big machinery and the chemicals came into play big row crop wasn’t the vast majority and birds did get in the sloughs but big business has changed the pheasant hunting world forever in all the states every state that had habitat had a wild pheasant population their is about five states now that has a huntable population and it’s probably a third of what it once was so basically to turn 50 breeding pairs loose anywhere is not gonna yield the days of yesteryear is all I’m saying this year the cattails are the only place they have
 

GetTothePoint

Active member
Not sure when you'd be talking about there. Since the introduction of pheasants, the vast, vast majority of eastern SD has been cropland.
And I believe that in large part, pheasants do better in SD than in other states BECAUSE of potholes & the cattails associated with them; not to mention the cover surrounding cattails that frequently can't be planted. Some winters pheasants can manage in real thick grass, but most winters they need cattails. Probably not so important in southern IA, southern NE, KS, etc. Even if they can scrape by without cattails, winter sure goes a lot easier WITH cattails. Which leads to better nesting season.
What changes have you guys seen in habitat/farming practices last 20 years? Just curious how it stacks up to habitat changes in Kansas. I've only hunted in SD last two years so not much to go off of
 

McFarmer

Well-known member
Small grains are favorable to pheasant nesting. The decline of oat and wheat production has a big effect on ground nesting birds, from what I’ve seen around here. South Dakota may have different variables.
 

3goldens

Active member
Small grains are favorable to pheasant nesting. The decline of oat and wheat production has a big effect on ground nesting birds, from what I’ve seen around here. South Dakota may have different variables.
I think small grain is absolutely the difference
 

Weimdogman

Active member
In my areas of S.Dak corn and soybeans are most predominant. More money in them then small grains.
Biggest changes are
No fencelines
Tiling draining
Old shelterbelts and farm sites are being cleared to farm
Not every farm has livestock. Birds eat corn out of eliminated waste and rely on cattle to keep the stubble fields open for scavenging
Very efficient combines leave fields almost barren
 

Weimdogman

Active member
So I hunted yesterday with my nonresident friend. Had multiple chances for dogwood and bagged 3. Knocked 2 down that got away. 1 flew off . The other came down in the middle of a bunch of other birds and ran off. Dogs got busy working other birds. Came back to the area but dogs were to wound up and to much scent going every direction.
Hunted 2 pieces of private and 1 public. He commented that in Minn. He is always walking in others footsteps but the great gfp we hit only had bird tracks. He is running 2 younger dogs and said we really had more bird contacts then was ideal. Dogs just get a little wound up when 5, 6,10 pheasants pile out when they are pointing 1.
 

Glock

Active member
When I was young, we always got birds on the edges of crop fields. Those fields edges were always “dirty” with weeds. Now with roundup ready crops, you can look from the gravel road into the crop rows and not see a single weed.
 

McFarmer

Well-known member
Expecting to see farmers encourage weeds is a bit of a forlorn hope.

Most likely they are good for wildlife, but I wouldn’t spend much time wishing for their return.
 

BRITTMAN

Well-known member
ND was barely known to be a pheasant hunting state in the late 70s and early 80s. Many die-hard ND pheasant hunters trekked to Nebraska and South Dakota.

I had 20 bird seasons in ND pre-CRP. Two bird limit ... Most all on WPAs and unposted land ... creeks, sloughs, and shelterbelts. I was in college with a young dog that I never trained that well ... still birds were there.

Most of my birds came from less that prime areas ... even back then. Sometimes we would go to SW ND and hunt a GMA or two ... we did well on long tails ... maybe not limits every day, but fun. Scoria roads suck (off-topic, but true).
 

BRITTMAN

Well-known member
Farming is socialized. There aint much that the government and farmers got going on that don't go hand in hand. Check out EWG website and you can see how much money is given and most of the time its the same dudes that are taking out slews and putting in drain tile and crying about the government when there getting over six figures a year in handouts. Get things back to the free market.

Yep. Every US Ag $ to farmers is documented; crop subsidies, government insurance payments, and conservation payments. You can search by state, county, and individual. I believe there is now at least a 20 year public history on these payments.
 

BRITTMAN

Well-known member

The database tracks $425 billion in farm subsidies from commodity, crop insurance, disaster programs and conservation payments paid between 1995 and 2020​



Per website: In SD ... 72% of farms received some type of subsidy. 28% did not.

Brown county is number #1 in combined subsidies in SD. SD is #8 on the state list.

Sadly conservation subsidies (total $/year and percentage of subsidy payments) have trended downward over time.
 

BRITTMAN

Well-known member
Small grains are favorable to pheasant nesting. The decline of oat and wheat production has a big effect on ground nesting birds, from what I’ve seen around here. South Dakota may have different variables.
Yes true. Winter wheat is an especially good nesting cover.

I believe that the heavy move to beans and corn has resulted in dwindling Hun populations for a variety of reasons.
 
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GetTothePoint

Active member
Yes true. Winter wheat is an especially good nesting cover.

I believe that the heavy move to beans and corn has resulted in dwindling Hun populations for a variety of reasons.
It was different than I always envisioned it. All these years been thinking about getting up there and I thought it would be prairie and milo for miles.
 

Weimdogman

Active member
CRP has been greatlyrics reduced . There are 2 reasons. High price of corn and beans caused a huge inequity between CRP and cropland. I believe this was all by design.
The 2nd reason is there aren't new CRP contracts available.
 
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