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Re: Planning First Trip to SD [Re: Dess] #15781938 02/13/21
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Dess pm inbound


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Re: Planning First Trip to SD [Re: Dess] #15785642 02/14/21
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Re: Planning First Trip to SD [Re: Dess] #15786774 02/14/21
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Hiring a guide with a dog is a righteous idea, as a dog for sure is nice to have especially for cripples and I too enjoy watching them work. People can't guide on state managed land in SD (I am unsure about federally managed land there), so if you were to go that route it would likely be on private land. Some B&Bs actually rent dogs out to hunters, so there is another option for you. They're not necessary though and I think even a detriment sometimes with late season birds used to running from them. Once I am in a different living situation I for sure want to get another retriever but I have adapted to effectively hunting birds without them. When the crops are cut the birds are forced onto linear features such as fence lines, canal banks and borrow ditches, or the sections that have been conveyed to the state and left for habitat. I usually have no issue getting a limit when I do it the way I want to but it can take quite a bit of walking.

I have been known to glass for them to get an idea of where one is at before walking after it. For the bigger state sections where they're not in concentrated and in predictable spots, tracking them after a fresh snow is a way I have limited out many, many times over the years. Here again, a dog can actually be a detriment as the birds are used to running from them, but sometimes hold tight(er) for a person who is tracking them.

As for planted vs wild birds, I believe the state does plant some and I am sure they get mixed in with wild birds. I have accidentally shot a few of those in Idaho. They're usually easy to spot though as many can barely fly unless they were carryovers. Even if you were to get into some of those planters they're not a put and take kind of hunt.



Re: Planning First Trip to SD [Re: T_Inman] #15786981 02/14/21
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Originally Posted by T_Inman
Originally Posted by BKinSD
I have no idea why people would come here dogless, and walk the road ditches for pheasants.


If a guy is currently dogless, then he doesn't have a dog to hunt with. After the corn and sorghum fields are cut, birds are much more concentrated where cover remains, which is often along the roads. That, and I like to do it that way.
That's why.


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Re: Planning First Trip to SD [Re: Dess] #15787177 02/14/21
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It would be my contention that people who come here and walk ditches without a dog would probably have more fun if they stayed home and hunted preserve birds. Come and walk the ditches all you want, you're not competing with me and I'm happy for you. But you probably shouldn't fool others into thinking that you've had some great South Dakota wild bird experience because you did so.


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Re: Planning First Trip to SD [Re: Dess] #15787314 02/14/21
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Agree to disagree, I guess. The OP is looking for options, which he is getting. If the OP wants the biggest chance for success and not to put nearly as much effort into things, then he's got some great guide and B&B references in this thread to work with.

I have enjoyed myself the few times I have hunted your great state (DIY, both with and without dogs) and did it on my terms. I have yet to not shoot a bunch of pheasants there and felt that I had great experiences.



Re: Planning First Trip to SD [Re: Dess] #15787355 02/14/21
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And I'm honestly happy for you. Welcome anytime, as everyone else would be.

So many times these threads evolve into "Who can hunt pheasants/deer/elk/ducks the cheapest?" and I'm pretty sure that isn't what the OP is looking for.


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Re: Planning First Trip to SD [Re: BKinSD] #15790960 02/15/21
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Man, you evidently haven`t hunted South Dakota.

Re: Planning First Trip to SD [Re: Dess] #15791638 02/15/21
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Me? No, never hunted SD in my life. Just making all this up out of sheer boredom. cool


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Re: Planning First Trip to SD [Re: Dess] #15793295 02/15/21
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Dess dude has dumped us I sent him a pm to send him a current WIA Atlas and he isn t looking at his pm's either. Mb


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Re: Planning First Trip to SD [Re: Dess] #15803645 02/18/21
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[Linked Image from imagizer.imageshack.com]

I hunt SD every year and I'm in the "3-legged Greyhound" group. The bird in the photo is a case in point. The dog was over hunting with my son and I walked down a shelter belt. The dog then came along behind me and slammed into a point 20 yards back. I had walked just a few feet from them and neither the rooster nor the hen he was with moved a feather. Without the dog I would have never known they were there.

We end up hunting some roadsides from time to time but I am never comfortable doing it -- too many things there that can injure the dog, like broken glass. A dog will walk through broken bottles and not think a thing about it, and take itself out of commission for a month.

I would listen to BK -- either find some quality land to hunt, and a friend with a good dog, or stay home, shoot preserve birds and save a lot of money. I've shot a lot of both wild and preserve pheasants. Within a couple of weeks of being freed a preserve bird is wilded up well enough, and flying strong enough, that you cannot tell them from pure wild birds (until you get a close look and know what to look for). 99% of guys will have a much better hunt at one of the lodges that augments with released birds and provides dogs and handlers than they will walking ditches without a dog, or watching an untrained dog put birds up a hundred yards out.

Re: Planning First Trip to SD [Re: Dess] #15804635 02/18/21
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I've lived in SD most of my life. Was born and raised here. We used to be able to fill 3 roosters and 2 hens by walking to the end of our corn north of our grove and back, less than 1 mile total.

Now the farming is different. There's less (if any) weeds in the fields and farmers have taken out fence lines, drained the fields with tiles etc.

For a person to find pheasants now, I would suggest mostly East of the Missouri, though pheasant hunting in the south east corner of the land west of the Missouri is good too. Stay away from Sioux Falls and the larger cities and towns, to the most part, for hunting on farm land.

There's public hunting ground that has a tremendous amount of hunting pressure, to the most part good exercise.

There are quite a few hunting lodges and though I've only hunted a few they seem to have plenty of pheasants.

If you want a five star hotel, there probably are some in Minnesota or Colorado. A four star hotel, maybe, but I don't know of any.

You might start with contacting South Dakota game and fish department and ask.


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Re: Planning First Trip to SD [Re: RimfireArtist] #15810019 02/19/21
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Originally Posted by RimfireArtist
[Linked Image from imagizer.imageshack.com]

I hunt SD every year and I'm in the "3-legged Greyhound" group. The bird in the photo is a case in point. The dog was over hunting with my son and I walked down a shelter belt. The dog then came along behind me and slammed into a point 20 yards back. I had walked just a few feet from them and neither the rooster nor the hen he was with moved a feather. Without the dog I would have never known they were there.

We end up hunting some roadsides from time to time but I am never comfortable doing it -- too many things there that can injure the dog, like broken glass. A dog will walk through broken bottles and not think a thing about it, and take itself out of commission for a month.

I would listen to BK -- either find some quality land to hunt, and a friend with a good dog, or stay home, shoot preserve birds and save a lot of money. I've shot a lot of both wild and preserve pheasants. Within a couple of weeks of being freed a preserve bird is wilded up well enough, and flying strong enough, that you cannot tell them from pure wild birds (until you get a close look and know what to look for). 99% of guys will have a much better hunt at one of the lodges that augments with released birds and provides dogs and handlers than they will walking ditches without a dog, or watching an untrained dog put birds up a hundred yards out.


good points.


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Re: Planning First Trip to SD [Re: Dess] #15810391 02/19/21
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Some "Lodge" pricing....

https://www.thunderstik.com/hunting-packages/

https://www.pheasantcity.com/rates/

https://www.buffalobutte.com/rates/

https://northernplainsoutfitters.com/pheasant-hunts/

https://paulnelsonfarm.com/packages/

If you have a decent Dog and are willing to hunt.....Then hunting the roadside and two tracks from "Bird Dog Bunkhouse" is one of the best South Dakota Pheasant hunting deals..

However, one of the others above should be a fun time....if not, then it will be your fault....


Last edited by battue; 02/19/21.

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Re: Planning First Trip to SD [Re: RimfireArtist] #15812896 02/19/21
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Originally Posted by RimfireArtist
[Linked Image from imagizer.imageshack.com]

I hunt SD every year and I'm in the "3-legged Greyhound" group. The bird in the photo is a case in point. The dog was over hunting with my son and I walked down a shelter belt. The dog then came along behind me and slammed into a point 20 yards back. I had walked just a few feet from them and neither the rooster nor the hen he was with moved a feather. Without the dog I would have never known they were there.

We end up hunting some roadsides from time to time but I am never comfortable doing it -- too many things there that can injure the dog, like broken glass. A dog will walk through broken bottles and not think a thing about it, and take itself out of commission for a month.

I would listen to BK -- either find some quality land to hunt, and a friend with a good dog, or stay home, shoot preserve birds and save a lot of money. I've shot a lot of both wild and preserve pheasants. Within a couple of weeks of being freed a preserve bird is wilded up well enough, and flying strong enough, that you cannot tell them from pure wild birds (until you get a close look and know what to look for). 99% of guys will have a much better hunt at one of the lodges that augments with released birds and provides dogs and handlers than they will walking ditches without a dog, or watching an untrained dog put birds up a hundred yards out.


You do make some points, but as I said earlier sometimes a dog is a detriment as late season birds often run from them, where they may hold tight else wise. In your example the dog most certainly helped and actually made the difference, but I don't think it is always that way. I often back track bird tracks in the snow to see where they had been hiding and based on that (with and without dogs) I am 100% confident that X percent have learned to run from dogs specifically, especially in the late season. They run from people too no doubt but I am convinced it is not always better to have a dog along, as much as I LOVE watching them work and retrieve. Now finding a cripple is a completely different situation.

Broken glass in the borrow ditches (and of course the obvious hazard: vehicles, but not if you hunt the drifted in roadsides) and such is a valid point too. I must say though that I have ever seen a dog get hurt from roadside trash, glass included. I have seen dogs get cut up badly from barb wire, running into hidden stumps (one was killed in a state section that was 100% cover and nowhere near a crop or road), leaping over logs and landing on a porcupine (my springer when I was a kid---that was an expensive vet bill) and several getting caught in coyote traps, but I believe you run an equal risk of those hazards whether you hunt near a road or not.

The bottom line for me is, the birds are generally more concentrated in fence lines, canal banks and roadside cover (I am not talking about main highways or even bigger county roads, I am talking the small section line roads) after the crops are cut. Even if you do hunt the big fields with standing crops, that cover is often way the hell over my 6'1" head. There's lots of ways to be successful if you think outside the box and adapt to whatever the conditions are that are thrown at you.



Re: Planning First Trip to SD [Re: Dess] #15813551 02/20/21
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Dogs can surely mess up a hunt, anytime from opening day through sundown on the closer. They have tremendous value in putting birds in the bag. If you're hunting without dogs, you're shooting more birds than a limit, if you're filling your bag.

I think fences are a bigger risk than broken glass, no one litters much around here, mostly because there aren't many of us to do it.

I guess here's something for you to consider: If you think the birds are concentrated in fence lines, canal banks (whatever those are) and roadside cover, you might want to see what they're concentrated like in stock dams, sloughs and weed patches out in the middle of private ground.


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Re: Planning First Trip to SD [Re: Dess] #15813735 02/20/21
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Had the chance to watch some guys walk thru one of the sloughs....If one would have been at the end, the Brits would have thought it a well done driven shoot....

However by chance, just prior, there was a close two track that I hunted... on the way out around a 100 started to get up on private ground to the left and crossed in front, on the way back enough had worked their way back to the two track to give up two....

Last edited by battue; 02/20/21.

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Re: Planning First Trip to SD [Re: BKinSD] #15814127 02/20/21
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Originally Posted by BKinSD
Dogs can surely mess up a hunt, anytime from opening day through sundown on the closer. They have tremendous value in putting birds in the bag. If you're hunting without dogs, you're shooting more birds than a limit, if you're filling your bag.

I think fences are a bigger risk than broken glass, no one litters much around here, mostly because there aren't many of us to do it.

I guess here's something for you to consider: If you think the birds are concentrated in fence lines, canal banks (whatever those are) and roadside cover, you might want to see what they're concentrated like in stock dams, sloughs and weed patches out in the middle of private ground.


Thats why I bring a good pair of rubber boots when I hunt the Dakotas. I look for unpressured sloughs, cattails, WPA's


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Re: Planning First Trip to SD [Re: Dess] #15814463 02/20/21
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If you think being in the ditch is fun...try being the guy in the slough. Spend some money on yourself and be that guy. Why wouldn't you?


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Re: Planning First Trip to SD [Re: ribka] #15815155 02/20/21
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I think that barbed wire fences are a major hazard too. Dog tries to sneak under the fence to retrieve because it sees/senses a bird or making a retrieve and gets cut.


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