Results after boots on the ground

sjohn

Active member
Just returned yesterday. What a trip! Spent 6 days in the best place on earth. We stayed in Trip but put over 800 miles on the truck in 6 days of hunting. First three days hunting public spots and minimum maintenance roads. Last three days hunted private spots we acquired during the first three days. First public spot we hit we pulled two roosters off and then walked a minimum maintenance road between the public piece we just hunted and the next piece of public and my 6 month old lab busted a covey of quail. Knocked one down on initial covey rise and then connected on a single. They were the first bobbies I ever saw in SD.

Hunting public was fun but it was evident they had been well hammered with plenty of tracks in the parking lots, bird carcasses (not happy about) laying in parking lot, and fresh empty shells. We scouted a few public areas at sunset and watched plenty of birds funnel back into some public areas. Never made it back to hunt them but it was great watching birds returning to public land at the end of the day. They weren't all hens either. Plenty of roosters were returning too.

The last three days we hunted private farms. What a difference. We had grass slews and cattail slews in the middle of corn fields. Not sure if they had been hunted already in the year or not but it didn't seem like it. Talk about the bird numbers, they were unreal. Unfortunately, we didn't recover all the birds as the cattail slews were so thick and matted down it was damn near impossible to find the birds. My 6 month old dog found most but not all. She held a solid point a few times and we had to dig down into the canes to recover several of the birds that absolutely burried themselves under a foot or more of matted canes.

Last three days were a little cold! We ended the trip with a Friday afternoon hunt right as it started to sleet. It was 27 when we started with winds sustained at about 30 with gust 40-50mph. When we got back to the truck it was 21 and the sleet had changed to snow. It was now blizzard conditions. But we got'er done. First flush of three roosters and a hen. three roosters hit the ground and three roosters hit the game vests. We continued and missed another single and then right before we were about to turn around a nice group of about 8-12 birds erupted just out of range. I was in the creek ditch and could hardly move with the thick canes and my buddy was just a little to slow and didn't get any shots. But all and all it was a great hunt and a great end to a fabulous week.

The two of us went home with 29 birds. We left number 30 in the field as it had been wounded at some point and the entire breast was green and one wing was swollen pretty good. Not sure how it was still alive and flying. Like the rest of you, I am counting the days until my return next year.

Have a safe and enjoyable holiday season. Best, john
 

Flushedup

Active member
Nice report! you always seem to get out there a week before us. Cant wait for Saturday, for our 5 days in pheasantville, USA
 

gimruis

Well-known member
The last three days we hunted private farms. What a difference.
Private farms as in game farms? I would expect that to be the opposite end of the spectrum from highly pressured public land with wild roosters too. And nothing less.
 

sjohn

Active member
Carptom1and BrownDogsCan2. You nailed it on the screen shot. I have a few videos of friday afternoon hunting but could not get them to load on this site. I think we started about 1:30 or 2 and ended around 3-3:30. It was brutal but worth every second.

Gimruis. Private farms as in go knock on the door and ask for permission because the cover and conditions look good. No game farms or stocked birds on my watch. We drove a total of 3,400 miles on this trip. If I wanted to shoot pen birds, I would spend $100 bucks and drive only 45 miles.

Flushedup. As good as a time we had, I am glad it is over and the trip is nothing but memories now. I crocked two last night and this evening I will turn them into soup. Best of luck to you this week. I know they were calling for more cold. Dress appropriately, try not to sweat and here is my advise. "If you want to hunt the afternoon, shoot early and poorly!" That was kind of a joke we had all week. More related to waterfowl hunting but we found it to be appropriate for the week.
 

jonnyB

Well-known member
Just returned yesterday. What a trip! Spent 6 days in the best place on earth. We stayed in Trip but put over 800 miles on the truck in 6 days of hunting. First three days hunting public spots and minimum maintenance roads. Last three days hunted private spots we acquired during the first three days. First public spot we hit we pulled two roosters off and then walked a minimum maintenance road between the public piece we just hunted and the next piece of public and my 6 month old lab busted a covey of quail. Knocked one down on initial covey rise and then connected on a single. They were the first bobbies I ever saw in SD.

Hunting public was fun but it was evident they had been well hammered with plenty of tracks in the parking lots, bird carcasses (not happy about) laying in parking lot, and fresh empty shells. We scouted a few public areas at sunset and watched plenty of birds funnel back into some public areas. Never made it back to hunt them but it was great watching birds returning to public land at the end of the day. They weren't all hens either. Plenty of roosters were returning too.

The last three days we hunted private farms. What a difference. We had grass slews and cattail slews in the middle of corn fields. Not sure if they had been hunted already in the year or not but it didn't seem like it. Talk about the bird numbers, they were unreal. Unfortunately, we didn't recover all the birds as the cattail slews were so thick and matted down it was damn near impossible to find the birds. My 6 month old dog found most but not all. She held a solid point a few times and we had to dig down into the canes to recover several of the birds that absolutely burried themselves under a foot or more of matted canes.

Last three days were a little cold! We ended the trip with a Friday afternoon hunt right as it started to sleet. It was 27 when we started with winds sustained at about 30 with gust 40-50mph. When we got back to the truck it was 21 and the sleet had changed to snow. It was now blizzard conditions. But we got'er done. First flush of three roosters and a hen. three roosters hit the ground and three roosters hit the game vests. We continued and missed another single and then right before we were about to turn around a nice group of about 8-12 birds erupted just out of range. I was in the creek ditch and could hardly move with the thick canes and my buddy was just a little to slow and didn't get any shots. But all and all it was a great hunt and a great end to a fabulous week.

The two of us went home with 29 birds. We left number 30 in the field as it had been wounded at some point and the entire breast was green and one wing was swollen pretty good. Not sure how it was still alive and flying. Like the rest of you, I am counting the days until my return next year.

Have a safe and enjoyable holiday season. Best, john
Were you near Winner?
 

NDPheasant

Well-known member
#Carpe Diem. It sounds like you definitely took advantage of each scenario thrown at you. Way to do it right! Glad to hear you have a ton of memories to go with it.
 

Gatzby

Active member
I was near Iroquois last Friday through Monday. Friday was a crazy day, walked out of the hotel and it was gorgeous, by early afternoon it was close to the worst conditions I've hunted! I doubt there was over an inch of snow but the wind was crazy. We ended up with a pretty good bunch of birds, tired dogs, and tired legs. Great adventure like always
 

Golden Hour

Well-known member
I was near Iroquois last Friday through Monday. Friday was a crazy day, walked out of the hotel and it was gorgeous, by early afternoon it was close to the worst conditions I've hunted! I doubt there was over an inch of snow but the wind was crazy. We ended up with a pretty good bunch of birds, tired dogs, and tired legs. Great adventure like always
Friday was one of the nastiest winds I've encountered in a while.
 

Woollybob

Active member
Friday was one of the nastiest winds I've encountered in a while.
Yes - it was. Could not lift your head or your hat would fly off. And when it started snowing it was like ice daggers in your face. But, it made for some great hunting. We stuck to public ground - plenty of birds seen and harvested, even with difficult shooting conditions.
 

Gatzby

Active member
In case you forgot how cold it was here is a screenshot of you at about 2 pm on Friday…
You took this picture while it was still nice out :)
 
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