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LovenLifeGuy

Where to go in SD for pheasants?

22 posts in this topic

My brother and a few our friends are trying to set up a trip to south dakota over thanksgiving weekend for some pheasants. None of us have ever been to SD or know where to go. We want to make it as cheap as possible. We were planning on staying at a hotel and hunting public land (Looks like they have a ton of it to hunt). How far into the state should we go? Is it too late to set up a trip under a month away? Anyone have any suggestions on where to stay? We are willing to drive aways into the state to get away from crowds. Any help would be great or if someone could refer me to a place with some info. We will have 5 guys and three dogs. Thanks again

LovenLifeGuy

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There are birds everywhere in south dakota east of the river. If i were you i would take a look at the hunting atlas and see how much public land there is by aberdeen. Last year i hunted up by ipswitch just west of aberdeen and the amount of birds we saw was unbelievable. Like i said there are birds everywhere so wherever you choose you should get into a good number of birds.

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Did you hunt public land? Do land owners let hunters into private fields? Thanks for the info!

Thanks

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As a local to Aberdeen I will tell you that it is very difficult to get onto private land to hunt pheasants without a fee. With the number of birds around, it seems like everyone either hunts, has family that hunts, has friends that hunt, or realizes that there is some major potential to make the bank by charging people to hunt.

I second the suggestion to take a look at the public hunting atlas. This can be found online at the SD GFP websight. There are plenty of birds around, and with 3 dogs you should have a good chance at getting them up.

Post pics and let us know how you do!

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Thanks for the info David

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I just got back from the Aberdeen area last night. Myself and a buddy were out there since Wednesday. We just hunted the Public Walk-in areas and did pretty well. We could have filled out everyday but managed to miss a few easy shots. wink.gif Towards the end of the day when we were tired we hunted some of the ditchs along border lines. But because of the drought, the farmers had mowed most every ditch for hay and didn't hold many birds. Nonetheless, we managed to get three on day one, filled out (6) on day two, three again on day three, and four on day 4. We saw a lot of birds and did really well were we found corn near by, which was hard to find. We stayed at the White House Inn in town and they allowed dogs in the rooms. The place was filled with dogs and hunters. Get a map and scout the Walk in areas and you will have a blast. I'll post some pics. tomorrow.

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I am also an Aberdeen native and would highly suggest that area. The White House Inn is a decent place to stay as well.

There's loads of pheasants in the area and with that many dogs, you'll be able to flush several birds that previous hunters have walked by.

Grab an atlas and you'll be set. You could spend days in the area and not walk the single public hunting field twice.

Corn is on its way out, which will push birds off farmland and into CRP, tree belts, and marshy areas. Tis good news for those limited to public hunting areas.

One other tidbit would be this... If your short on birds, might I suggest that you road hunt for the 45 minutes prior to sundown. Birds will get active and start moving towards gravel roads right before dusk. You also might try walking unmowed ditches adjacent to crop fields.

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Here's a couple pics from our hunt in Aberdeen. smile.gif

Img09dog.jpg

Img06dog-1.jpg

Img03dog.jpg

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Very nice pics, JN.

You can see from the bottom picture that your in prime ringneck country.

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Good topic. I just decided to head to SD for the weekend (taking Friday off). I'm not sure where I'm going yet or where I'm staying. Kind of a nice problem to have wink.gif

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nice pics, and a great thread for me because I just decided to join my girlfriend's brother, dad, and a couple of their buddies on a trip from Nov. 15-19. We are hunting just west of Aberdeen and staying in a hotel in Webster apparently.

For 6 guys we will have 5 dogs so we aren't short in that department. I understand there is some health certificate I need for the dog? Could some please explain this to me and what I need to do to obtain it (the vet?). Also, any other bit of information you could provide would be great as well--I have never been pheasant hunting in SD but do my fair share once duck/goose season wraps up here in MN.

The SD Fish/Game department site will help me scout out some spots while at work. Any can't-miss restaurant or bar recommendations out there for the Webster / Aberdeen area?

Thanks in advance for the help guys.

~Sartell Angler

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I know nothing about a certificate for my dog. Info would be great!

Thanks

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You just need to tell your vet and ke will be able to take care of it. It is ensure that your dog is up to date on vaccinations. I personally do not know of game wardens checking this but it is the law when you cross the state line.

mw

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I did very well within a 30mile radius of Huron during opening week. Was able to limit every day w/o killing the dogs. Lot of burs due to the dry weather. I'm going back this sunday for a few days. GL

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Any opinions on Hand county? Seems to be a lot of public land and from the SD gfp site it looks like a lot of birds are shot in that county with nearly 13 birds per hunter. Any thoughts?

Thanks, LovenLifeGuy

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If you are staying in Webster, be sure to check out Peribooms cafe! Unbelievable food!

Also, can't complain about the A&W!

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I've hunted pheasant in SD for 15 years. The last couple of them being a non-resident. Yes take a copy of your dogs up to date shots with you and keep them in the glove compartment of the truck. A game warden checked for my dogs shots when he learned I was from out of state. He said it was just routine of out of state dogs. Good enough for me. Also the bird hunting there is the best in the world.

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winner, sd...when i was out there this summer, i could not believe my eyes at all the birds i saw.

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One more piece of advice, carry plenty of water for your dogs, its dry out there!!!

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Quote:

One other tidbit would be this... If your short on birds, might I suggest that you road hunt for the 45 minutes prior to sundown. Birds will get active and start moving towards gravel roads right before dusk. You also might try walking unmowed ditches adjacent to crop fields.


Tyler, don't encourage people to roadhunt! Yes it will produce birds but all it does is makes farmers mad, it puts hunters in a bad light, and creates lots of wounded birds that aren't recovered. Or 'hunters' trespass to recover birds. Where we hunt in SoDak, the land owners son-in-law road hunts, his comment is 'You guys with dogs should come with us, we'd get a lot more birds'. What hes saying is that they shoot and wound a lot of birds with there road hunting. Last time we were out to SoDak we came over a hill just in time to see a guy slither out the window on the pasenger side of a pickup, and while sitting on the window ledge, shoot across the hood at some pheasants? Nice show of hunter ethics! And how many of these road hunters are shooting the birds on the ground?

Yes it produces birds but what a sucky way to hunt!! What fun is it to just step out of a vehicle and start blasting away?

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Blackjack, I can't say most of us haven't shot birds off the road ditches especially when its legal out there, but I agree it sheds a poor image on the nonresident hunter. If your young and have a dog, use it...

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LovenLifeGuy: Also take a look at the Mitchell-Plankington area. The pulic hunting areas get pushed very hard, and the birds are really jumpy after six weeks of being shot at. Have a plan when you are going to hunt the public areas.

Be there early and be quiet, { 30-45 minutes}. Do not slam ANY doors, and do not talk loudly when you exit your car or pickup, better yet, do all your talking in your vehicle. This pertains to the smaller areas, { 80 acres or less}.

At this time of year the birds are generally flocked, so if you see one bird in the morning, there are generally a lot more. The further west you go East River, the larger the public hunting areas are. There are some dandies in the Platte-Geddes area. If indeed you are lucky enough to be able to hunt private land, use good hunter edicate and respect the landowners rules of hunting. I know you will , but it is something I felt obligated to say.

One more thing, should you be lucky and jump a flock, pick a bird out and shoot it, and then try for another. When you jump your first flock it is very easy to just watch them fly away because you have never seen that many birds get up at one time! It is also very easy to flock shoot and out of 50-150 birds you get none. That is what happened to my group the first time we hunted SD pheasants 25 years ago.

Like others have said, carry plenty of water for your dogs and yourselves! Hunting is thirsty work. There are lots and and lots of sand burrs, red burrs and cockel burrs and the sand burrs are the worst. They really play heck on your dogs paws.

GOOD LUCK !

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