Wish I knew it then

Swagdaddy

Member
I'll be heading out next week on my first trip to South Dakota to hunt on public land. For you regulars who have hunted this paradise for pheasant hunters over the years, what is the one thing you know now that you wish you knew your first time out?
 

Matt D

Active member
Walk all cover to the very end. Not 3’ from the end but to the very end of it. Birds will sit and hope you step out prior to getting to the last little bit. Good luck on your trip!
 

dakotasj

Active member
All above good advice.
Depends on size of your group but I like the smaller public areas that are most isolated with crops near by. They don't seem to get as much pounding.
Look for the state corner signs as you drive. Not all public areas are on the SD map or app.
OK that's 2.
 

jackrabbit

Active member
1. Walk to the corners and wait a few minutes.
2. Figure out their escape route. They want to run or hide first, and fly last.
3. Look for the "cover within the cover." I used to hunt smaller pieces and avoid big mile by mile sections. Now I'm learning that those big pieces have some nice pockets of cover or different grass within the endless prairie.
4. Be QUIET! Do not slam your doors, beep your car horn when hitting the lock button, let the dog bark, etc.
5. Don't talk while hunting or walking.
6. Use the wind to your advantage.
7. FOLLOW YOUR DOG. Enter the piece of land with a game plan, but if the dog takes you a different way, follow it and go from there.
8. If it has the proper cover somewhere in the general viscinity, then it's got birds. Grass, Cattails, Tree lines, Shelter Belts, Food Source, Water.
9. If you get into a spot and it simply doesn't "look or feel right" to you or the dog, then don't waste your time. Find a new spot.
10. Hunting public land, find areas that have a decent amount of public within a few miles, 5 mile, 20 mile (whatever distance you're comfortable traveling) radius. That way if someone else is there you can quickly move on to the next spot.
11. Use that sunrise to 10am time to scout.
12. Make notes on your map.
13. It's hunting, some days you'll get an easy limit. Some days you'll walk 10+miles in the thickest cover and barely limit. Some days everything will flush wild and you'll never fire your gun. Take it all for what it's worth and enjoy the wide open area, the lack of the people, the sunsets, the different scenery you don't get back home, the tailgate lunches, the combines rolling and dust in the air (might be too late in the year for that this year).
 

3goldens

Member
To expand on cover within cover, in the afternoon in creeks/slews look for areas where the edge is lower leading to field edge. The birds like the path of least resistance to walk up and feed. Birds will usually be within 20 feet of cover or 10 feet into cover.
 

Stickbow

Member
He took over my bed when I went to gas up and never relinquished it. He earned that spot as far as I was concerned.
 

Swagdaddy

Member
Thanks guys for all the tips and advice.
If any of you get out to Las Vegas, I'll return the favor by telling you which slot machines are due to pay off.

BTW- I really don't know which machines are due to payoff, but wish I did!
 

Miforester

Well-known member
Thanks guys for all the tips and advice.
If any of you get out to Las Vegas, I'll return the favor by telling you which slot machines are due to pay off.

BTW- I really don't know which machines are due to payoff, but wish I did!
I rather have MLB swag..........;)
 
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