The Gettysburg Address

PeteRevvv

Active member
... where you should be updating your pheasants mailing address, is Hwy 83 south of Gettysburg. Because they all moved there in case you where wondering where they went. Great bird numbers there, concentrated in the crop areas that are centered in the pasture land. All the corn and milo is still in but the beans were all off. Sunflowers were predominant harvesting coming off the last two days. Filled out 3 hunters with one dog the last two days walking ditches and road hunting the last hour, including Mon which was 50-60 mph winds. They just sat in the ditches and never heard us coming. Hunting felt like the good years where there are birds around every corner.

Saw 40-50 birds per day with a mix of feathered out young and 2-3 year old birds so they had a strong hatch. Locals where out road hunting in force Tue and we heard reports of no other locals out in many areas so they know there are good birds there. We hunted Mobridge and Hoven last year and they had good bird numbers as well then. We heard they were good again in this area which is just north of Gettysburg but we didn't get up there this week.

We covered a lot of ground Sat/Sun in our hunting parties with these results:

15 mi wide line from Frankfort to Artesian- went back and for on opening day and hit birds in ditches about 20mi apart each time. Watched a number of shelterbelts and walk-ins being run with some decent bird numbers coming out of them. I would say scattered low number of birds with good pockets in ideal cover.

(generally square sections with these towns at the corners)-
Conde/Doland/Clark/Bradley- just a few pockets of birds with good numbers in cover on private land spots that were available but otherwise not much seen. Never a really big producer lately but did get some rain at hatch time so the few broods here did produce new birds.

Redfield/Zell/Tulare- Low number of birds, all day hunt in the ditches with just two birds for two hunters.

Cresbard/Chelsea/Athol/Miranda- Used to be huge numbers here last year, not any more. Didn't see anything for a half a day, headed west to Gettysburg and never looked back.

In all these areas, all the beans are gone but corn/milo/sunflowers were still standing with some corn and flowers starting to come off.
 

jonnyB

Well-known member
... where you should be updating your pheasants mailing address, is Hwy 83 south of Gettysburg. Because they all moved there in case you where wondering where they went. Great bird numbers there, concentrated in the crop areas that are centered in the pasture land. All the corn and milo is still in but the beans were all off. Sunflowers were predominant harvesting coming off the last two days. Filled out 3 hunters with one dog the last two days walking ditches and road hunting the last hour, including Mon which was 50-60 mph winds. They just sat in the ditches and never heard us coming. Hunting felt like the good years where there are birds around every corner.

Saw 40-50 birds per day with a mix of feathered out young and 2-3 year old birds so they had a strong hatch. Locals where out road hunting in force Tue and we heard reports of no other locals out in many areas so they know there are good birds there. We hunted Mobridge and Hoven last year and they had good bird numbers as well then. We heard they were good again in this area which is just north of Gettysburg but we didn't get up there this week.

We covered a lot of ground Sat/Sun in our hunting parties with these results:

15 mi wide line from Frankfort to Artesian- went back and for on opening day and hit birds in ditches about 20mi apart each time. Watched a number of shelterbelts and walk-ins being run with some decent bird numbers coming out of them. I would say scattered low number of birds with good pockets in ideal cover.

(generally square sections with these towns at the corners)-
Conde/Doland/Clark/Bradley- just a few pockets of birds with good numbers in cover on private land spots that were available but otherwise not much seen. Never a really big producer lately but did get some rain at hatch time so the few broods here did produce new birds.

Redfield/Zell/Tulare- Low number of birds, all day hunt in the ditches with just two birds for two hunters.

Cresbard/Chelsea/Athol/Miranda- Used to be huge numbers here last year, not any more. Didn't see anything for a half a day, headed west to Gettysburg and never looked back.

In all these areas, all the beans are gone but corn/milo/sunflowers were still standing with some corn and flowers starting to come off.

This is probably the most comprehensive hunting report ever posted on this site - at least what I have read. Interesting finding birds in the ditch when they have all that corn to use...

Thanks for sharing! Several years ago I hunted Onida (hwy 83) and we did well. All public.
 
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Hockeybob

Active member
This is probably the most comprehensive hunting report ever posted on this site - at least what I have read. Interesting finding birds in the ditch when they have all that corn to use...

Thanks for sharing! Several years ago I hunted Onida (hwy 83) and we did well. All public.

Thank You Pete Revvv!!!
This is very helpful to us out of state hunters who may run into low bird numbers in our usual haunts.
 

benelli-banger

Well-known member
This is probably the most comprehensive hunting report ever posted on this site - at least what I have read. Interesting finding birds in the ditch when they have all that corn to use...

Thanks for sharing! Several years ago I hunted Onida (hwy 83) and we did well. All public.

Ditches next to standing corn are terrific spots...transition cover....
 

PeteRevvv

Active member
I think Appel Oil station of Redfield and Bermacs in Faulkton should be corporate sponsors of this post and return the favor for all the diesel it took to attain this info. This was results of 4 groups splitting up to hunt these sections and insights of 4 different farm families that know the ground well.

We did try a couple spots with big cover but they were just not productive for two people and a dog. I know how pheasants operate and they just run around you. In up bird years there are so many that you end up bumping a few dumb ones but I really think it is more accident and dumb birds than hunter and dog skill.

IMHO, picking a good ditch is a master pheasant hunter skill. You need weed cover they like and the leeward side out of the wind. You need to approach them from downwind so the dog can scent them and they can't hear you coming. Pay attention to access to water in dry years, preference for milo/corn/flowers early in the day when they are coming from feeding to loaf, preference for CRP, wheat stubble and sloughs as they are heading to cover later in the day. Dog work and discipline is essential to keep them inside the fence line and close to you. Blockers have to do their job to find a good cutoff point and probably get 50% of the birds as they get pushed to them.

In the low bird number areas, we were getting 1-2 birds per good ditch but it took 30-45 minutes to get from ditch to ditch.
 
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