Today's Opener

gjw

Member
Hi all, well today's pheasant opener was the worst I've seen in years (at least for my son and I)! We had a mix of rain and snow these last 3 days that has made most of the roads a quagmire of mud and slop. We weren't able to get to most of our spots due to the terrible road conditions. Even the main unpaved roads were hard to get around on. The places we were able to get to didn't pan out at all. We saw a total of ZERO birds.

We're supposed to get more rain/snow for the next 4 days or so. It will be a mess if we do. Guess we'l just have to wait for it to dry out so we can get to our old haunts. Hope we'll get some then.

I'm sure others did much better than us and hope they will chime in on how they did.

Till later!

Greg
 

jonnyB

Active member
Greg - sorry to hear the opener was a bust. Hunting in the mud and attempting to motor around isn't fun!

A friend of mine is headquartered in Dickinson - not sure where he was hunting, haven't heard from him as yet. What general area were you hunting?

Thanks
 

gjw

Member
Thanks for the kind thought. We hunted around where we live, 14 miles south of Mandan.

Best,

Greg
 

PTM

Member
Greg, the roads do suck but if there is a positive, should be a lot of birds that survive the initial onslaught, we saw poor numbers to start and other places had good chick production. Once they clip the corn we should be ok. Good to shoot some roosters again. Saw two rigs ditch shooting birds at my aunts which is clearly posted. I wish some one would explain the rule differences between North and South Dakota to these Wisconsin guys.��
 

esetter

New member
Those roads up there get like axle grease when they are muddy!! Hopefully dries up before we get there on 11/1. Talked to a friend in Stutsman county this week. He said that the bean harvest had just started good and that this snow would delay them another wee-10 days. He hasn't seen many birds around , I'm not going with too high of hopes.
 

DonC

Member
Greg, the roads do suck but if there is a positive, should be a lot of birds that survive the initial onslaught, we saw poor numbers to start and other places had good chick production. Once they clip the corn we should be ok. Good to shoot some roosters again. Saw two rigs ditch shooting birds at my aunts which is clearly posted. I wish some one would explain the rule differences between North and South Dakota to these Wisconsin guys.��
PTM can u give us non res the short version on ditches and section lines ? Thanks in advance
 

DonC

Member
Just talked to bunch of friends, locals, that live in the state. They said it was worst they have seen in years. Bunch of 8 or 9 zero birds. Not what I was hoping for :-(.....But long ways to go yet hope for better wx. Harvest hardly started yet. Better conditions I hope. :)
 

hunter94

Active member
Just talked to bunch of friends, locals, that live in the state. They said it was worst they have seen in years. Bunch of 8 or 9 zero birds. Not what I was hoping for :-(.....But long ways to go yet hope for better wx. Harvest hardly started yet. Better conditions I hope. :)
the habitat in ND is almost gone. the only reason there are a few birds left in SD is because of the pay-to-hunt-ops and their CRP.
they(SD)stand to lose 330,000 acres of current CRP ground over the next 2 years as well......pay-to-hunt pen raised birds is slowly taking over. CREP was initiated to offset that deficit, but it will never come close......farm bill not allowing for enough re enrollment.......sucks.
 

jonnyB

Active member
Here's a report from a friend - hunting new New England, ND; 20 hunters and only 4 dogs. High and difficult walking CRP.

Have had some shooting, not too muddy but snowing this afternoon. Not sure about the bird count, but they aren't skunked.
 

gjw

Member
PTM can u give us non res the short version on ditches and section lines ? Thanks in advance
Hi, if the adjacent land is posted, you can not hunt the ditches on that side. For instance, if one side of the road is posted, can't hunt, if the other side is not posted, your okay to hunt. Same for section lines.

Hope this is clear!

Best,

Greg
 

benelli-banger

Active member
I was sharptail hunting in ND the past several days...have been running into pheasants on all 3 of my trips to ND sharpy hunting...killed 2 on saturday, the 3 guys I am with killed 7 yesterday and got 6 today...I didn't hunt today. I was trying to kill grouse, and just bumped into the pheasants, but they were a bonus! some incredible dog work, will leave it at that. Will remember that forever...kind of a miracle that either of those roosters ended up in my vest! I killed 2 grouse with one shot on friday...never had that happen before. Did more grouse hunting this year than ever...14 days worth...averaged 3 grouse a day, exactly...and about 10 miles of walking per day. Love that sharpy hunting! My favorite, I think...
 

PTM

Member
Posted

PTM can u give us non res the short version on ditches and section lines ? Thanks in advance
In ND if the adjacent land is posted you can’t hunt the ditch. I support youngsters out chasing birds and maybe even shooting a ditch bird or two posted or not. These guys were using a Rommel style blitzkrieg attack on my Aunts posted land. It looked somewhat unsafe and tacky. I think they are primarily water Fowler’s who limited out and got bored.
 

esetter

New member
the habitat in ND is almost gone. the only reason there are a few birds left in SD is because of the pay-to-hunt-ops and their CRP.
they(SD)stand to lose 330,000 acres of current CRP ground over the next 2 years as well......pay-to-hunt pen raised birds is slowly taking over. CREP was initiated to offset that deficit, but it will never come close......farm bill not allowing for enough re enrollment.......sucks.
Im obviously not a resident and am only there 10 or so days per year so I see the CRP loss on a year to year basis. The area I hunt ,( Stutsman and Kidder counties primarily) have experienced extreme habitat loss. Not just CRP but sloughs being burnt off and tree lines dozed out. The bird numbers have rapidly declined with this. Im not sure if it will ever get back to near what it was in the early 2000's , likely not. The crazy thing is , I'm seeing more non resident hunters than ever. I think it must be due to the decline in SD. I know its an economic decision for the landowners. Id likely do the same thing to make it. I know its been discussed many times but Id gladly pay a PLOTS stamp fee or something if it could go in the farmers pockets for some habitat improvements. Still the best place to hunt of the 11 states I have bird hunted in. I don't just mean bird numbers. The total experience and freedom there is unmatched.
 

PTM

Member
All these stories about declining numbers and habitat loss are true. Even more reason to get out and hunt it might be even worse next year. You can still come to ND not pay to hunt and for those willing to work and walk you’ll have an expierence that is memorable. I think I see more water Fowler’s coming here these days. Shooting huge numbers of Geese and Ducks, how many years does a guys Dog have to hunt. If your thinking of coming here or SD, or MT I say do it now. Do it as often as you can. We can save for our retirement but we can’t save time, the future is uncertain. Bird counts be damned, I’ll be out here until they haul me away or shut the season down.
 

gjw

Member
All these stories about declining numbers and habitat loss are true. Even more reason to get out and hunt it might be even worse next year. You can still come to ND not pay to hunt and for those willing to work and walk you’ll have an expierence that is memorable. I think I see more water Fowler’s coming here these days. Shooting huge numbers of Geese and Ducks, how many years does a guys Dog have to hunt. If your thinking of coming here or SD, or MT I say do it now. Do it as often as you can. We can save for our retirement but we can’t save time, the future is uncertain. Bird counts be damned, I’ll be out here until they haul me away or shut the season down.
+1, very well said!

Best,

Greg
 

pgidley

New member
This will be our sixth year coming out to ND, and I've observed loss of some great habitat in the little area that we haunt. Last year was definitely sad to see the low numbers. We're lucky to be invited back to a property with some great cover year after year, but we have to work hard even there. I don't think I could stay away though - even if we talk about maybe going somewhere else, a year without bringing the dog to ND just wouldn't feel right. I'll keep going back at least until she's gone, and I'll probably bury her out there somewhere when she is.

Our ruffed grouse numbers here in Northern Ontario are down this year as well, not for lack of habitat but just weather and the normal ups and downs. Just means more walking for us and longer days in the field for the dog.
 
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