REAL South Dakota 2021 review.

benelli-banger

Well-known member
Many ways to shoot pheasants…do what suits you…have some fun, share it with a good dog or three, a buddy or two; others have different approaches, that’s cool….👍
 

jackrabbit

Active member
I enjoy the long physical/mental aspect of it. This year I've added a Garmin watch with GPS and have enjoyed looking at the (worthless) stats and maps at the end of each hunt.

Here's my last fields walked, I usually walk 2 fields a day when hunting around "home" for about 5ish miles in 3ish hours (when in SD, double that - about 10ish miles for 6ish hours):
49 minutes, 1.62 miles, avg pace 29:50 min/mile, avg speed 2.0 mph
1 hour 50 minutes, 3.83 miles, 28:47 min/mile, avg speed 2.1 mph
43 minutes, 1.61 miles, avg pace 27:07 min/mile, avg speed 2.2 mph
58 minutes, 2.45 miles, avg page 23:51 min/mile, avg speed 2.5 mph
1 hour 54 minutes, 3.64 miles, avg pace 31:24 min/mile, avg speed 1.9 mph
1 hour 14 minutes, 2.56 miles, avg pace 29:00 min/mile, avg speed 2.1 mph
1 hour 21 minutes, 3.04 miles, avg pace 26:48 min/mile, avg speed 2.2 mph

What I can take from this is I probably need to slow down. But I am also making an effort to hunt new to me public land each time out this year rather than same few productive spots over and over. Which often times I find myself hunting faster to get enough time to cover all the property and see what's way back there.
 
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.
I’m jealous and miss living in South Dakota. I was a teacher and it was nice to go for a short walk after school.
 

carptom1

Well-known member
You’re lazy Ithought everybody walked that far
He’s obviously never hunted in Kansas. Especially out west where everything is a full section. When I was young hunting in a big group, I walked every field. We would start at sun up and do four or five by lunch. Then do the same after. Not counting deadheads that sounds like 10 miles or so everyday. Party hunting in my teen years it was us youngsters to fill out the limits.
 

reddog

Well-known member
I hunted for 90 minutes on Friday. 5 hens. 1 rooster. Then I went fishing. 20 minutes and a limit. Saturdays limit took 15 minutes.. :)
 

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BrownDogsCan2

Well-known member
He’s obviously never hunted in Kansas. Especially out west where everything is a full section. When I was young hunting in a big group, I walked every field. We would start at sun up and do four or five by lunch. Then do the same after. Not counting deadheads that sounds like 10 miles or so everyday. Party hunting in my teen years it was us youngsters to fill out the limits.
We still do one or two of those a year, I do a lot of blocking. You can really stack up the miles hunting corners
 

dakotasj

Active 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…🥳
Just got home. Only hunted 4 days - weather forecast ran this Southern boy out of SD and we lost half of one day to rain.

My Fitbit says day one - 8.3 miles, day 2 - 11.3, day 3 - 9.1 and day 4 - 7.2.

I agree with BB would much rather be hunting at the end of the day rather than a short day. Pretty sure my dogs would agree too.

We did find good bird numbers on smaller tracts - quarter sections - but it seemed to depend more on what surrounded it. Most of the ground we hunted we have been hunting 20 years or more so its familiar.

More than half of our roosters were older, mature birds.

We did get one rooster with a 26 1/4-inch tail feather that was leading the local longest tail contest for a few days until a 28 inch one checked in. Case of shells was first prize.

Numbers may have been down slightly but we were consistently seeing birds.

I thought number of hunters was down based on what I saw at my motel and restaurants.

Looking forward to December hunt.

Picture was first day. Kate(left) is Snowy's mom.

Second picture Reece (Snowy's brother), Rocky and Snowy the day it rained.
 

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benelli-banger

Well-known member
Just got home. Only hunted 4 days - weather forecast ran this Southern boy out of SD and we lost half of one day to rain.

My Fitbit says day one - 8.3 miles, day 2 - 11.3, day 3 - 9.1 and day 4 - 7.2.

I agree with BB would much rather be hunting at the end of the day rather than a short day. Pretty sure my dogs would agree too.

We did find good bird numbers on smaller tracts - quarter sections - but it seemed to depend more on what surrounded it. Most of the ground we hunted we have been hunting 20 years or more so its familiar.

More than half of our roosters were older, mature birds.

We did get one rooster with a 26 1/4-inch tail feather that was leading the local longest tail contest for a few days until a 28 inch one checked in. Case of shells was first prize.

Numbers may have been down slightly but we were consistently seeing birds.

I thought number of hunters was down based on what I saw at my motel and restaurants.

Looking forward to December hunt.

Picture was first day. Kate(left) is Snowy's mom.

Second picture Reece (Snowy's brother), Rocky and Snowy the day it rained.
Congrats, nice summary!
 

Tbear

UPH Master
Just got back from 4 days of hunting. We had some good days and a few bad ones. If you want to shoot limits don’t miss. No big 20-40 bird flushed. Numbers are way down. Don’t plan on your favorite spot being what it was. The amount of ground and habit lost to it being hayed is only going to compound next year numbers for the worse.
 

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Dakotazeb

Well-known member
Are all these areas that have either been hayed or grazed off going to come back enough that they will provide adequate nesting next year. I doubt they will have grown back enough for early nesting.
 
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