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Sharptail Guide Recommendation #16272952 07/22/21
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dkevinbarnes Offline OP
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I'm looking to plan a trip to Montana for an upland hunt this year. Our preference would be a sharptail hunt with a chance to kick up some huns and/or pheasant. The Orvis endorsed lodges are not really in the budget so we'd prefer to stay in motel and hire a guide with dogs to handle the hunt. Does anyone have any recommendations? We would also consider the Dakotas, but Montana is our first choice. Thanks

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Re: Sharptail Guide Recommendation [Re: dkevinbarnes] #16273011 07/22/21
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Keep a backup plan. Eastern MT is in a bad drought. Not only might that impact access to land and even whether there will be a season, but in my experience a really dry spring and summer mean far fewer birds of the year...the young, tender ones that are good to eat.

Re: Sharptail Guide Recommendation [Re: dkevinbarnes] #16273553 07/22/21
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dkevinbarnes Offline OP
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Thanks for the advice 303. Are you saying that it's so bad that state may actually cancel hunting season? Do you have any other suggestions?

Re: Sharptail Guide Recommendation [Re: 300_savage] #16273568 07/22/21
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Originally Posted by 300_savage
Keep a backup plan. Eastern MT is in a bad drought. Not only might that impact access to land and even whether there will be a season, but in my experience a really dry spring and summer mean far fewer birds of the year...the young, tender ones that are good to eat.

Bad drought is an understatement! 2021 will probably be a very poor UGB year in eastern MT and western ND due to the unbelievably dry conditions. I fully expect a large number of BMAs in MT to be closed thru most of Sept due to the extreme wildfire conditions. If I were planning a sharptail hunt this year I would look around Pierre, SD. It hasn't been so dry down there, and there should be decent numbers of sharptails and chickens on the National Grasslands. Another plus will be the greater number of UGB guiding operations in SD. Good luck!


Pursuit may be, it seems to me, perfect without possession.
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Re: Sharptail Guide Recommendation [Re: dkevinbarnes] #16276462 07/23/21
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Reba Online Content
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Talked to a person in Montana this week. They are telling all their regular customers to stay home, because of the lack of water.


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Re: Sharptail Guide Recommendation [Re: dkevinbarnes] #16276945 07/23/21
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dkevin, yes, it's that bad. In the past, hunting seasons have been closed when it's this dry. I'm in Dawson County and we've been in red flag fire restrictions for weeks. Temps have been in the 90s and low 100s for a week, and will be the same for the foreseeable future, with no rain in the forecast.

Re: Sharptail Guide Recommendation [Re: 300_savage] #16277329 07/23/21
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Originally Posted by 300_savage
In the past, hunting seasons have been closed when it's this dry.

Were there years other than '88?

Re: Sharptail Guide Recommendation [Re: dkevinbarnes] #16277862 07/23/21
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300_savage Offline
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That may be the last time

Re: Sharptail Guide Recommendation [Re: dkevinbarnes] #16277866 07/23/21
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That may be the last time. But it's as bad as 1988.

Last edited by 300_savage; 07/23/21.
Re: Sharptail Guide Recommendation [Re: Reba] #16277929 07/24/21
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Originally Posted by Reba
Talked to a person in Montana this week. They are telling all their regular customers to stay home, because of the lack of water.



ait is really terrible this year in E Montana and west SD and ND


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Re: Sharptail Guide Recommendation [Re: MT_DD_FAN] #16284933 07/26/21
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Originally Posted by MT_DD_FAN
Originally Posted by 300_savage
Keep a backup plan. Eastern MT is in a bad drought. Not only might that impact access to land and even whether there will be a season, but in my experience a really dry spring and summer mean far fewer birds of the year...the young, tender ones that are good to eat.

Bad drought is an understatement! 2021 will probably be a very poor UGB year in eastern MT and western ND due to the unbelievably dry conditions. I fully expect a large number of BMAs in MT to be closed thru most of Sept due to the extreme wildfire conditions. If I were planning a sharptail hunt this year I would look around Pierre, SD. It hasn't been so dry down there, and there should be decent numbers of sharptails and chickens on the National Grasslands. Another plus will be the greater number of UGB guiding operations in SD. Good luck!

Don't know where you got that info, my bud in Pierre said it is plain bad. Don' t pawn your NR's off on us. Mb


" Cheapest velocity in the world comes from a long barrel and I sure do like them. MB "
Re: Sharptail Guide Recommendation [Re: Magnum_Bob] #16288999 07/27/21
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Originally Posted by Magnum_Bob
Originally Posted by MT_DD_FAN
Originally Posted by 300_savage
Keep a backup plan. Eastern MT is in a bad drought. Not only might that impact access to land and even whether there will be a season, but in my experience a really dry spring and summer mean far fewer birds of the year...the young, tender ones that are good to eat.

Bad drought is an understatement! 2021 will probably be a very poor UGB year in eastern MT and western ND due to the unbelievably dry conditions. I fully expect a large number of BMAs in MT to be closed thru most of Sept due to the extreme wildfire conditions. If I were planning a sharptail hunt this year I would look around Pierre, SD. It hasn't been so dry down there, and there should be decent numbers of sharptails and chickens on the National Grasslands. Another plus will be the greater number of UGB guiding operations in SD. Good luck!

Don't know where you got that info, my bud in Pierre said it is plain bad. Don' t pawn your NR's off on us. Mb

And my good buddy in Pierre (SD bred, born, raised, educated & an avid hunter) told me last week that timely rains are saving the UGB 'crop' this year along with the dryland crops. He's seen a decent amount of phez and chickens so far this summer, and unless it all goes to hell in a hand basket before Oct 1., he expects UGB numbers around Pierre to be just as good as last year. Now that doesn't mean all-time record numbers of UGB in central SD but sure sounds like better than what's expected in eastern MT and western ND. Only time will tell.


Pursuit may be, it seems to me, perfect without possession.
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Re: Sharptail Guide Recommendation [Re: dkevinbarnes] #16292731 07/28/21
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I guess so, see you there. Mb


" Cheapest velocity in the world comes from a long barrel and I sure do like them. MB "
Re: Sharptail Guide Recommendation [Re: dkevinbarnes] #16293660 07/29/21
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No don't come to Pierre. Drought as bad here as anywhere. No grass to speak of, it will be a tough tough year. Its tough in a good year.

Best to go to Montana, Big Sky Country and all that. "Timely rains" my ass.

Last edited by BKinSD; 07/29/21.

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Re: Sharptail Guide Recommendation [Re: BKinSD] #16294611 07/29/21
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Sorry for the quick hijack here but it’s related; BK, what does the drought mean for the pheasant chicks? For example insects such as grasshoppers necessary for the chicks as they go into fall? Or, the lack of grasses?

Re: Sharptail Guide Recommendation [Re: dkevinbarnes] #16294656 07/29/21
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I think there's a few things at play.
The heat is hard on chicks, they can't regulate their body temps very well I'm told.
The water holes are pretty dry, so I wonder how flightless birds are to get something to drink? I don't know when they learn to eat bugs and get their moisture from them, probably pretty early.
The lack of cover would seem to make them pretty vulnerable to avian predators also.
Add it all up and there will be fewer birds this year because of the drought


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Re: Sharptail Guide Recommendation [Re: George_De_Vries_3rd] #16297309 07/30/21
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Originally Posted by George_De_Vries_3rd

Sorry for the quick hijack here but it’s related; BK, what does the drought mean for the pheasant chicks? For example insects such as grasshoppers necessary for the chicks as they go into fall? Or, the lack of grasses?



grasshopper pops are pretty high out in W states it seems


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Re: Sharptail Guide Recommendation [Re: dkevinbarnes] #16297577 07/30/21
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We did get a rain today, I don't know what the effects will be. I think cool season grasses won't respond as we'd hope they would but perhaps they will. Fingers crossed.


"Miss Jean Louise, stand up. Your father's passin.'"
Re: Sharptail Guide Recommendation [Re: dkevinbarnes] #16300112 07/31/21
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BK, most native grasses in the northern great plains won't grow much if they dont get good rain by mid June. Your forage at July 1 is what you have for the year. Later rains will perhaps freshen existing forage up, but won't promote growth. Crested wheat grass, an introduced species, will griw a little in the fall with rain.

Last edited by 300_savage; 07/31/21.
Re: Sharptail Guide Recommendation [Re: BKinSD] #16301268 07/31/21
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Originally Posted by BKinSD
No don't come to Pierre. Drought as bad here as anywhere. No grass to speak of, it will be a tough tough year. Its tough in a good year.

Best to go to Montana, Big Sky Country and all that. "Timely rains" my ass.

Well bk I said that but MT DD fan figures he knows better. Gotta wait another month or so for the Dept Of Tourism fugs tell everyone there is a 40% increase in bird numbers.


" Cheapest velocity in the world comes from a long barrel and I sure do like them. MB "
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