REAL South Dakota 2021 review.

BRITTMAN

Well-known member
Cost of propane is pretty high. Propane is the predominat fuel used to dry grain. If the moisture level of the corn is too high, it will sit in the field to dry.

I think some corn came off quickly because it was ready and corn prices per bushel are pretty high right now (despite coming of the peak last spring).
 

benelli-banger

Well-known member
Some farmers took it early as it was under 15 and they learned the hard way in ‘12 that it was vulnerable to blowing over due to the dry conditions…happened again somewhat this year
 

benelli-banger

Well-known member
Friday was the first tough day so far this season, day 13 here in SD…hunted small spots that weren’t near decent sized fields of grass/nesting cover…3 of us got 5, one guy lost a bird as well, and we had about 5 clean misses, too…windy early, I missed two of those…got calm mid afternoon…beautiful morning here today…
 

GWP

New member
On my home from SD after 4 days of hunting. I hunted 70% private and 30% public in the north central part of the state (one of the worst drought areas you could find this year). I had an opportunity to shoot a limit everyday and did two days. The bird numbers are definitely down but we’re surprisingly better than expected. There were quite a few cattail sloughs that had either been burned, disked under or baled for hay. A lot of ditches mowed and crp baled. Although there was plenty of cover removed we were still able to find birds. With the exception of one field we saw the best bird numbers on public land. We have a spot we call the crossroads where two section roads meet and have cattail sloughs on all 4 corners. 3 of us killed 7 roosters in that spot in under an hour. It is adjacent to some walk in areas that were half mowed for hay and we killed two roosters (and missed a few) there. Weather was perfect all week and the company was great. Not sure why but we hunted all these same properties and killed more birds this year than last year. We did kill a few young roosters but most birds were older. I even killed a young rooster that I am not too sure would have made it through winter. I have attached a few pictures. First picture is the young rooster and the other two are from the days I killed a limit. Not sure how but I didn’t get any pictures of the dogs and birds.
 

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benelli-banger

Well-known member
Wrapped up this hunt yesterday; good trip, birds are in or near large blocks of cover…roosting, loafing, food, water…seems that if all are present, so are the birds. Smaller, isolated chunks didn’t hold birds. #’s are down, but did hunt a piece that held 80, 100, maybe more? Dogs are holding up ok, back on Wednesday….weather looks good, it was pretty warm the last few days…outside this am at 4 with the dogs, downright balmy! First day and last day only walked about 4.5 miles, hunting was good! Middle two days were about 8.5 per day, which is preferable to me…great feeling at night, comfortably numb, with the help of Jacob Leinenkugel…🥳
 
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Stickbow

Member
Just returned from Spink and Sanborn counties. I hunted all public ground with no ditch hunting. Many of my spots from past years were mowed or grazed as many have said. I had to do some searching to find birds on new ground. Water seemed to be key in finding birds.
Just me and my two setters were able to shoot 14 birds in 5 days. Don’t be fooled, I put on over 200 driving miles some days and average 5 walking miles a day. Hunting is tough, only one day I limited before 1 pm.
Most people I talked to at the hotel were struggling. Corn was coming out at a good clip when I left so that should help. I’ll be back next Friday for another 5 days after the dogs rest up.
 

BrdHntr

Active member
Wife and I also just returned home, cutting our annual trip short - our lab sprained her right leg and needed stitches on a cut from barb wire
3 days - 15 birds; Observations;
- quite a bit of corn still standing & combines were really rolling - so barring major rain delays - harvest should be complete in next few weeks; we did pass a few bean fields that you had to really look close to realize it was a standing crop - we saw 3-4 like this; otherwise all beans were out
- definitely less birds than last year; I saw most reports were more roosters than hens; our flushes were roughly 50/50 -
- very dry and we lost two birds - very hard for a dog to track road runners with no moisture
- This has to be the most hunters we have seen in the past several years. We did talk with two other groups, they had success, and as Stickbow reported, everyone, including us, had to spend time to locate birds first - Spots last year that were good did not have birds, partially due to haying, lack of water, etc.
- it was depressing to see all the haying - the loss of habitat was incredible; last year was the most habitat we have seen since the last emergency haying, and much of the old good spots were coming back nice; they are gone again. I share the same long term health of the pheasant population due to this, as was posted previously. As we drive around and see hundreds and hundreds of rotting round bales, you can't help but wonder why better controls are put in place to save at least some habitat. Many of our friends are farmers, so no disrespect meant by this observation.
- All in all we had a great trip. Birds can be had if you work for them and temper expectations. We had some really great visits with the fine folks in SD, as well as other out of state hunters. -
- Since we had to take our dog to the vet Yesterday morning, and she was under anesthesia, we had a couple hours to burn. We took a drive around downtown Huron and came across a memorial for all the service men and women from Beadle County, from WWI forward. It was stunning, an amazing tribute to those who sacrificed their lives - I still can't believe all the names from WWII; especially when you consider the population of Beadle county. 20 plus years of hunting this area, and never knowing this existed. This is a not to miss, humbling experience, that made this trip so special. Located in Huron by City Hall.
Pop - our lab - is on the mend. we will be out there again in late December, can't wait! Best of luck to all!!
 

Goosemaster

Well-known member
Wrapped up this hunt yesterday; good trip, birds are in or near large blocks of cover…roosting, loafing, food, water…seems that if all are present, so are the birds. Smaller, isolated chunks didn’t hold birds. #’s are down, but did hunt a piece that held 80, 100, maybe more? Dogs are holding up ok, back on Wednesday….weather looks good, it was pretty warm the last few days…outside this am at 4 with the dogs, downright balmy! First day and last day only walked about 4.5 miles, hunting was good! Middle two days were about 8.5 per day, which is preferable to me…great feeling at night, comfortably numb, with the help of Jacob Leinenkugel…🥳
8 miles a day! Jesus!
 

carptom1

Well-known member
If presented with the option of a quick limit vs. 10 miles of walking for a bird or two, I’d take the latter every time….done the quick limit many times…not why I’m there! When extremely hot or cold, fine…but if conditions are decent, I want to be following my dogs and experiencing the prairie…
I prefer something in the middle. Like 5-6 miles with 3or 4 chances. Done the death marches in Kansas. 7 am to 5 pm with very little break when I was younger.
 

benelli-banger

Well-known member
I prefer something in the middle. Like 5-6 miles with 3or 4 chances. Done the death marches in Kansas. 7 am to 5 pm with very little break when I was younger.
I must say I appreciate the 10 am start time…would be good to have MT/ND hours if you want to get out for an hour or two before work, church, etc, but some guys have to be out there just because they can! Yes, long darn day!!!!
 

A5 Sweet 16

Well-known member
I'm going to talk about actual hunting miles. Ace & I put on some miles that don't really count as hunting - we're just getting from the truck to where we want to start; from one area to another; stuff like that. Those are typically fast, easy miles & vary quite a bit from hunt to hunt.

Yesterday Ace & I hunted for 1.5 hours. I covered 2.1 miles, for an average pace of 1.4 mph. That's a pretty normal pace for us. Sometimes 2 mph in light cover. I hunt slowly, while he tears the place apart (I don't work hard). A long day for me is 4-5 miles, with 3-3.5 being more typical. (Long days are commonly when I hunt w/ a friend & we're trying to find a few more birds than usual.) Depending on habitat type, I figure Ace covers 4-7 times the distance I do. So maybe 17-18 miles on the average hunt. This may come off a little assholey, but when Ace & I are alone together, if we can't put 2 or 3 roosters in the vest in 3.5/19 miles, I've probably done something wrong.

While it would be fun to take a week or 2 weeks multiple times during the season & just hunt, that's just not my situation. I'm pretty lucky to be able to make these relatively short hunts basically twice a week, all season long.
 
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BrownDogsCan2

Well-known member
I’d say 8 is probably typical for me, 5or6 is ideal and will do 12 or 12plus a few times a year. Ks. numbers and a 4 bird limit which I rarely make after the first 3 weekends of the year
 
I'm sorry, but I don't believe that.5 miles is a LONG WALK!!!
Last year my dad and I hunted a spot that was around 600 acres. We walked close to 6 miles for a limit of birds on that one parcel of land. Started at 10 and done by 1:00. Even if we didn't shoot a limit, there was still 4-5 hours of daylight left.....might as well hunt while you are there.
 
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