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SD Pheasants Public Access #14190498 10/09/19
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54Woody Offline OP
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My cousin and I are headed to Montana at the end of the month to hunt deer. He suggested leaving a couple days early and hunting pheasants in SD. I have looked at public access areas and thought Ft Pierre Grasslands might be one option. Wondered if the NW corner of the state which has BLM and lots of Walk In areas is good for birds.
Any input/experience would be appreciated.

300 BP

Re: SD Pheasants Public Access [Re: 54Woody] #14190610 10/09/19
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IMO, since you have the MT NR deer license already (and it includes a NR upland bird license) you might as well just skip the NW corner of SD and hunt pheasants along the Lower Yellowstone River in MT, say between Forsyth and Sidney. There are a decent number of walk-in areas (known as Block Management Areas - BMAs in MT) in that part of the state. Good luck - have fun!


Pursuit may be, it seems to me, perfect without possession.
Robert Kelley Weeks (1840-1876)
Re: SD Pheasants Public Access [Re: 54Woody] #14190721 10/09/19
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54Woody Offline OP
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Thanks MT DD Fan. We are coming from Indiana and will be staying and deer hunting around Broadus. Our thought was we would be driving through SD anyway so it wouldn't be a side trip or out of the way. If we tag out early on deer we will consider the Yellowstone River option.

Re: SD Pheasants Public Access [Re: 54Woody] #14191248 10/10/19
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nighthawk Offline
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South Dakota in many ways is two states east river and west river. I don't hunt west river. So if you had a couple days I would think east river say between Redfield and Aberdeen though further south along I90 between Sioux Falls and Mitchell can be equally good though they get hunted harder. Those are the areas promoted for their good success rate. End of the month should be good with harvesting.


"Open the pod bay doors, HAL."
Re: SD Pheasants Public Access [Re: 54Woody] #14191449 10/10/19
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54Woody Offline OP
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Thanks Nighthawk. We plan to spend the first night in Mitchell. When I checked the OnX map I didn't see much public access between SF and Mitchell. A few waterfowl management areas. I'll look between Redfield and Aberdeen too.

Alpha

Re: SD Pheasants Public Access [Re: 54Woody] #14191579 10/10/19
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pointer Offline
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I hunted Ft Pierre over a decade ago. Though we found some pheasants, we didn't find many until we knocked on a few doors. Mostly on the grasslands we found prairie grouse. Took a lot of walking to scratch many of them up, but they are there.

Re: SD Pheasants Public Access [Re: 54Woody] #14191645 10/10/19
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nighthawk Offline
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The best guide to public areas is the atlas put out by Game, Fish & Parks. Walk-In areas are leased and come and go. You can request a printed copy Here. Request this: 2019 Pheasant Hunting Packet (includes Hunting Handbook, Hunting Atlas, Ringneck Outlook)

The atlas is on-line too though I hate the way they did it. Click the "Hunting Areas" tab Here first. Map is Here.


"Open the pod bay doors, HAL."
Re: SD Pheasants Public Access [Re: 54Woody] #14191678 10/10/19
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54Woody Offline OP
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I've looked at the Atlas online. My iPad hates the format and keeps reloading it any time I zoom in on an area. I'll order a copy.
I looked on OnX this morning and saw several walk in areas east of Mitchell. Enough ground to keep us busy.

Re: SD Pheasants Public Access [Re: 54Woody] #14196017 10/11/19
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T_Inman Offline
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Plenty of state areas north of Mitchell, near Artesian too.

Using non toxic shot sucks, but it is required on the state pieces. There's an absurd amount of birds there though.



Re: SD Pheasants Public Access [Re: 54Woody] #14196128 10/11/19
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Oakster Offline
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Road hunting is legal, hunt the ditches between public land. I have not heard much on the bird numbers but the cool wet spring probably has numbers down a little bit. Still be a ton of birds around

Bravo

Re: SD Pheasants Public Access [Re: 54Woody] #14196251 10/12/19
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nighthawk Offline
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Supposed to be down 17% this year because of bad weather. But that varies with the location and cover. We generally check ditches traveling between public areas. Hit one weedy ditch right after the field across the road was harvested. Pushed all the birds into the ditch and it was magic, birds everywhere just like in our fathers stories of the old days.

Favorite trick, checking along the way we like to pick a spot with cover and water next to crop land to come back to. Can be amazing when the pheasants are looking for gravel, water and roosting cover in that magic hour before sunset.

Study the rules on road hunting. A while back landowners wanted to ban road hunting, turned into a big stink. As a sort of compromise they made it complicated.


"Open the pod bay doors, HAL."
Re: SD Pheasants Public Access [Re: 54Woody] #14196488 10/12/19
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54Woody Offline OP
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I ordered the Pheasant Packet. The plan right now is to spend a couple days in Mitchell and hunt the walkin areas NE of there. I'll take a box of steel shot shells in case we hunt one of the state waterfowl management areas. Thanks for all the input guys.

Re: SD Pheasants Public Access [Re: 54Woody] #14197517 10/12/19
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DakotaDeer Offline
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I think that the SD Walk-in Areas are all non-toxic shot, not only the waterfowl areas.

If so, use some #2 steel and it will work just as well as lead.

Re: SD Pheasants Public Access [Re: 54Woody] #14198306 10/12/19
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nighthawk Offline
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No, steel shot is required for upland game only on public lands. But people have been ticketed for having lead shot in their pocket (possession) even if non-toxic in their guns.

Quote
Q: Are Walk-In Areas public land?
A: No, Walk-In Areas are private land leased by GFP for public hunting access.

Q: Can I use lead shot on Walk-In Areas?
A: Yes, lead shot is allowed for small game hunting on Walk-In Areas. Non-toxic shot is still required for waterfowl hunting on Walk-In Areas.

WALK-IN AREA FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


"Open the pod bay doors, HAL."

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