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LABS4ME

South Dakota Duck Report

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We just got back from hunting out in SoDak thia past Fri-Sunday and as usual we had a blast.

Got a good verified report of a couple thousand mallards working a field Wed and Thursday and decided that would be a great 1st morning spot. We set up and the ducks were a no show. Many stayed out and fed through the night and were going back to water in the morning. We had some flocks go over a section to the east of us, but at 8:30 without firing a shot we pulled the pin. We scouted for the next 4 hours and came to the realization that there just weren't the concentrations of mallards we were looking for. A few bigger mobs of what we figured were local birds bunched up and whole lot of non-descripts.

We chose a slough to hunt Friday afternoon and proceeded to limit on mostly Gaddys and my buddy tripled up on 3 drake Green Wings with one shot. I threw a Can and ringbill on the pile too. Our other buddies didn't fare as well and we found another slough that held a lot of birds in it and we were saving it for Saturday.

We set up right as the sun was rising on Saturday and proceeded to have a great shoot. We typically target mallards and geese when out there, but decided we were going to take what we were given. We ended up with 8 different species of ducks including a stud Red Head and 6 geese including a little cackler for 5 guys . Three of us shot the geese and after an argument of whether it was 2 or 3 apiece we settled on shooting 2 apiece only to find out it was 3 when we got back to the trucks! Oh well... Still a fun hunt, good dog work and the ducks and geese really responded well to the dekes and calling, the geese especially!... small spreads 15-18 duck dekes were the ticket. I got a kick out of calling the geese in with paddles down and wings cupped without even setting out a goose decoy! All the geese were taken at less than 20 yards and 10' off the water. The few mallards we shot each day were singles that we were able to work. We had no chance at the flocks. The pin tails were even warrier.

PA270343.jpg

We went back Sunday A.M. only to find the wind had shifted from the N/W to the S/E so we changed locations on the pond... a little skim ice around the edges of the pond greeted us also. We got some decent shooting right away and then the wind came hard out of the South at 20-25 mph and really shut down the flights. We ended up a couple birds short yesterday with another goose. After picking up, we really noticed how the ducks were on small bodies of water... in small flocks. We were on a 30 acre slough and it had 1 1/2' whitecaps...

A great duck and goose meal was had in camp on Satuday night along with some good libations and stories. I made a couple of new friends while I was out there who I hope to have the pleasure of hunting with again and I also got to try hunting in a new area of the state. We usually hunt the Sisseton and areas further to the North by Sand Lake, but they are getting run over on weekends with duck hunters.

Things I can note... We saw way less divers than normal for this time of the year! All of them! Just a smattering of Cans and ringbills and only the occassional Bluebill. We did shoof a Buffie too. A fair amount less mallards (VERY skittish) and very little in the way of migration. Seems most of the mallards have a definite pattern and were hanging out in refuges or big bodies of water. A few flocks of snows and the occassional big flock of Canadas or Mallards were the only things resembling a migration. I think the coming 2 weeks bodes well for those going out there.

Good Luck!

Ken

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What a mixed bag!!

Looks like a fun weekend!!

Thanks for the report Ken!

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Nice results on the waterfowl...any pheasants while you were out here?

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Yep! it was fun Chris!

Naw... we never mix pheasants and ducks! We do the pheasant thing starting in December. When we duck hunt we duck hunt! But the pheasants were crowing something fierce every morning at sun-up! Lots (and I mean lots) of orange coats out there right now! I like it it a lot quieter when we pheasant hunt...

Good Luck!

Ken

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great recap of the hunt Ken. Looks like a good time was had by all. Gotta love this time of year when every weekend is an adventure, and the week is spent half working / half daydreaming about what is to come Fri/Sat/Sun

I'm hoping to get back out to SD for some roosters this year...until then I'll be chasing ducks and geese in the home state!

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Quote:

Gotta love this time of year when every weekend is an adventure, and the week is spent half working / half daydreaming about what is to come Fri/Sat/Sun


Half working/half daydreaming??

Don't you mean 100% daydreaming? smile.gif

Dang I have a hard time concentrating come Friday morning. blush.gif Shoot... its already Monday evening and I'm delerious. grin.gif

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