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Looking for some pheasant hunting help #14061445 08/19/19
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buckslayer85 Offline OP
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Hi, I have a new German Shorthair that is full of energy. I am from Wisconsin and am looking for some help in finding a good area in Minnesota or the Dakota's to get her on some wild birds. Any advice you have will be greatly appreciated. I would also be willing to pay to gain access to private land if anyone knows anyone willing to grant permission.

Thanks

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Re: Looking for some pheasant hunting help [Re: buckslayer85] #14062234 08/19/19
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woodmaster81 Offline
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See my suggestions on the "Pheasant Hunting Info Needed" thread 2-3 threads down from this one. I think it will do you well for a starting point.

Minnesota can produce birds but it typically a tough hunt as it often involves sloshing through swamps to maybe find birds. There is not a lot of easier walking grass lands in MN so what pheasant hunting there is will typically be tough. I do most of my MN pheasant hunting after Thanksgiving hoping the corn is out and the swamps have frozen. If not, then one can expect to slosh around through icy water and slush all day with limited success. Between the two, I'd pick frozen water over crops being out. If you insist on hunting MN pheasants, expect a lot of mentally and physically tough hunting if going out after the first two weekends. The second through third weekends of Nov will be firearms deer season and one does not want to be out bird hunting then, especially with dogs.

I would go a little further west if chasing pheasants. Populations are generally better and the walking is not necessarily as difficult. I personally would head north and chase grouse and woodcock as numbers of them tend to be better and at least woodcock tend to hold better all of which are good for a young/inexperienced dog. It's my preference with any dog unless targeting prairie grouse where the early season tends to be better and one can hunt them before ruffs in Wisconsin in many cases. Early on, prairie grouse can hold like woodcock which is a boon to an inexperienced dog.

Re: Looking for some pheasant hunting help [Re: woodmaster81] #14062352 08/19/19
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buckslayer85 Offline OP
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Thanks for the advice. I have always had labs before and hunted North Dakota a few times. I am kind of hoping I can stumble onto a good piece of property a little closer to home even if it involves paying a fee to hunt. The dog is doing well and there is just something about chasing those pheasants that I really enjoy!

Thanks

Re: Looking for some pheasant hunting help [Re: buckslayer85] #14062760 08/19/19
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woodmaster81 Offline
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You mention "the Dakotas" as an option in your opening post and that is still your best bet along with Nebraska. South Dakota will probably be the closest in actual driving distance/time but North Dakota and Nebraska will have similar hunting but likely cheaper due to being somewhat less known.

One might "stumble into" decent pheasant hunting in MN but one is playing some long odds now days. The western part of the state is the best with hunting being better the closer to the Dakotas you get. A good rule of thumb is one will average two reasonable opportunities on roosters per day in MN. That is not two birds in the bag, that is seeing two roosters inside 40 yards per day. It is also considering most to all hunting done on public land as farming is pretty intensive with little cover left and what decent cover there is is often leased out to others or reserved for friends and family.

Any place in MN providing Dakota-like hunting will be a game farm and likely an expensive one. You can do much the same closer to home for a lot cheaper. Compared to WI, MN is a pheasant hunting Mecca but compared to places a little further west MN is WI.

Re: Looking for some pheasant hunting help [Re: buckslayer85] #14324402 11/30/19
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Kaiser Norton Offline
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Don't necessarily rule out Iowa. I have a friend from Minneapolis that hunts there, as the drive is shorter than coming out here in ND. My understanding is that he has a buddy there, though, that has helped him to get to know people. That is the big thing, in my opinion - getting to know people. Letting them know that you aren't a flat-out lunatic goes a long way towards gaining access. A lot of the farmers around here post their land for deer hunting, or for their kids that hunt. Or for out of state family members. I find that hunting later in the season - after thanksgiving - is usually more enjoyable as most of the yahoos have given up for the year, leaving only the serious hunters out in the field.

Southern ND got a LOT of rain this summer, late. Still a fair amount of standing corn in places. Low spots typically holding birds were under water, though with freeze-up they may move back into them. Early season was pretty slow due to all the standing crops and water. I'm hoping things will perk up now that there is snow in the air....

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