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UGUIDE

South Dakota Pheasant Report

15 posts in this topic

I've been out doing some CRP maintenance at my place SW of Mitchell about 45 miles and I AM SEEING THE BIRDS!. No lie. I say this knowing the SD Road Counts are coming up and should support this. 2005 was a 40-year high but I project that this hatch will exceed that based on reports from other UGUIDE camps around the state (North Dakota is looking good too). I suspect that Minnesota may have a record year as well. I've probably seen over 100 broods in last 3 days with largest being 13 chicks. Chicks are all sizes too. The weeds seem to be moving everywhere you look.

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Sounds to me like one will need to make a run to SD for some great bird hunting this fall. Thanks for the heads up.

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I have to agree with the report. Looks like a banner year for pheasants! Lots of chicks in all sizes! SB

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I can't wait until the road counts for SD and ND come out to add some credence to the optimism. should no more by end of Aug. grin.gif

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Guys remember UGUIDE is promoting the business so do your research.

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Quote:

Guys remember UGUIDE is promoting the business so do your research.


True. But he posts very honest and good info on this forum as well as others. There are also fishing guides posting how well the fishing is on their lakes. Just have to take the info for what it is.

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Quote:

Guys remember UGUIDE is promoting the business so do your research.


For some, this IS the research. I'll go out on a limb and say that it would surprise me if the SD roadside counts do not top the 2005 40 year pheasant population high. What that equates to is bird-per-person average. In South Dakota a bad year is 1-bird-per-person average. In a good year it is 2 and a really good year is 2+ birds per person per day average. Last year was a 1-2 bird per person year.

I also suspect reports will indicate good reports from Minnesota and North Dakota. My buddy who owns the Gackle Duck Camps, offices out of Lakeville MN and reported a brood of 16 chicks near his office (few weeks old)

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It doesn't take a genius to figure out that the bird numbers will be high this year. Thanks UGUIDE for providing some information before the August roadside counts come out.

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I've hunted Iowa and western Mn the last few seasons. Is there adequate public land in SD? It seems to get so much media attention and have so many private reserves I assumed good public hunting was tough to find? I can tell you western MN can be a challenge. Everyone hops from one WMA to another. They get pounded. The first one of the day seems to be the best. At least in Iowa you can hunt ditches which to me can get a little boring along with dangerous for dog because of barb wire but at least you can hunt almost anywhere. Input??

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There is a lot of walk in and other public hunting land in South Dakota. Most people don't know how to find it or aren't willing to take out the hunting atlas and figure out where these areas are. Certain areas of the state have more public hunting and walk in areas than others. I've been hunting South Dakota for about 5 years now and almost exclusively on public land and have rarely had a problem with running into other hunters. Granted I typically do not hunt the first 2 weekend of the season. My rule of thumb is if someone else is hunting a section I find another place to hunt.

The birds seem to be more educated on public land after the first couple of weeks which makes it a little bit challenging, which is fine with me.

Get a hunting atlas and do some research and you'll find birds.

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Is aberdeen a good place to go? Meaning, is there a good amount of birds and public land for a family of hunters?

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In a couple of weeks the South Dakota game and fish website will publish a map that indicates what the projected bird population in terms of birds per square mile. This map is also overlayed with information on how many hunters per square mile there are. I know the Aberdeen area typically has a high amount of hunters. What you should do is take this map and compare it to the public hunting atlas and determine areas to hunt based on where you think there are good bird numbers, public land to hunt on, and how many hunters there are in the area.

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Of course I would get maps if I went. What Im asking is your gut feeling about hunting the state. Does it seem like there is plenty of room to hunt? Do you ever feel crowded and have a hard time finding virgin cover during the day? Not close to major towns of course. I ask because hunting pressure appears to be climbing everywhere. Even the grouse woods is pressured like I have never seen. Last year in remote Iowa we had a hard time finding public fields that were not already being hunted and of course Western Mn is even harder to hunt since you cannot use ditches. They say the sport is declining but I say BS. I see more competition every year.

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my advice is to wait until the first month of the season is over. the colder the better. scout out walk-in areas with heavy cover near harvested crops. the less expanses of grass the better. this way the birds will be concentrated and not all over a square mile. if your in the right spot, be ready for an explosion of birds. theres nothing more fun than watching 200 birds get up out of a tiny willow patch!

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Here is the latest report I just saw this today:

The annual summer brood survey by the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish & Parks indicates the largest pheasant population in four decades.

The agency reports a 15 percent increase in the number of pheasant broods this year and larger brood sizes – an average of 6.7 chicks per nest.

The GF&P said good habitat and favorable weather during the hatch in June resulted in the highest pheasant count since 1963.

Its survey indicates 7.8 birds per mile, up from 6.36 birds per mile last year and well above the 10-year average of 4.7 birds per mile

Man its great to live in SD. I dont know if I can wait much longer.

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