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twicebarrel

Where to go in KS, NE and Southern SD?

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twicebarrel
10 hours ago, Kevin Jackson said:

I'd guess what he is getting at is that folks let you hunt but when guys start coming in with money leasing everything up it puts a bunch of folks who can't afford to shell out a bunch of money for a lease out of hunting. Seeing it more and more up here. All the hunting shows have taken a bunch of country and leased it or an outfitter leases it and shuts everyone out except folks that can spend the money. It sucks when you go to a spot you've hunted for years to hear that they are sorry but they've leased the hunting out. It's starting to get that way a lot of places anymore. I'm one of those guys that doesn't have the money to pay to hunt or buy a super nice side by side shotgun. I just love training dogs and hunting. Heck some of those shotguns I drool over are worth more than everything I own lol. Used to be hunting was about family and friends and everybody would let you hunt their places up here. Now it's getting to be about who has the most money to outbid the other guys and lock everyone else out. Not saying that's what you are doing at all but I know all too well what he means. 

I understand now and appreciate your explanation. I am NOT looking for a lease but I am also not looking for a handout - that is all I am trying to communicate.

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twicebarrel
1 hour ago, Kansas Big Dog said:

This can still be accomplished in many states. The problem with KS is the demand for hunting wild birds on WIHA is out stripping the supply. So, now there are starting to be more and more lodges, controlled shooting areas that charge to hunt the "wild" birds they release. Most of the lodges will not let you hunt with out buying birds, I mean for access to wild birds. So, if you want to pay to play, I also would suggest SD. My suggestion, is if you want to hunt wild birds, I would start hunting for wild quail in Missouri and or Nebraska. If you hunt after deer season, you would probably be able to knock on doors and get permission.

Great suggestion! Appreciate it! I have only hunted turkeys in MO.

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twicebarrel
53 minutes ago, Jakeismydog2 said:

 

 

Do both states have "pay to hunt" operations? Yes. But the amount of them in SD is exponentially more. Personally I find the way the 2 different states pheasant hunting to have evolved differently very fascinating. These are obviously generalizations and educated guesses of mine:

South Dakota - At some point in the states pheasant hunting history guys started coming in to hunt pheasants who were not locals. This probably happened more in SD because they did a better job advertising their birds than other states. (see - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0O2LCnCRyM ) Since these hunters were not familiar with the land and were not friends of any farmers they had to seek out land to hunt. Inevitably at some point the hunters gracious for getting to hunt the land took the landlords out to dinner. Then later they gave them a $10 bill, then a little more. Now scratching out a living as a farmer in SD back in the 50 and 60's was no easy task. So a little extra income was useful. So more and more farmers started to ask for a little cash in return for using their land. In my opinion a very reasonable expectation. But here is where I think the major difference occurred. The SD farmer realized that the more birds he had on his land. The more hunters could come use it, the more money he could make. So SD farmers started making farming decisions based not only on crop production, but also on bird production. The Farmers that did this then started to mention it at the coffee shop. ("Bill, did your combine breakdown? Did you forget to cut that last strip of milo?" "Nope. Did it on purpose. Its for the pheasant hunters. I made enough off pheasant hunters last year to buy an extra cow.") So the mentality of habitat management for profit took hold and grew. (which again I want to reiterate I do not think is a bad thing, simply different). Now this is where people tend to let emotions come to the surface. (Again this is my opinion, based on the knowledge I have accumulated so far in my life.) Some farmers realized the could buy pheasants to stock on their land to help build up a better supply. Which worked. So they made more money. Then some started to plant birds throughout the season, Thus insuring more success and more hunters and more money. So all this lead to where SD farmers expect payment for all the effort they put forth to support the bird population. I dont see anything wrong with this system at all (except telling people they are shooting "wild birds" when the bird they shot was born in an incubator.)

 

Kansas - So Kansas obviously did not do as good of job advertising their pheasant hunting when SD did. So the majority of hunters were Local or were a generation removed from the farm so they still had family and friends that owned the land. So there was not much in the way of payment other than a good handshake and a thank you. When someone asked for permission to hunt, most often it was given, unless it interrupted some family hunting. This has changed a little over the years but not much. Many farmers are willing to let you hunt a bit of land for nothing more than a quick conversation about the weather and where you are from. This led Kansas farmers to look to continually optimize their practices for crop production not for bird production. Then in the 90's the State decided they wanted the tourism dollars that were going to SD. So they came up with WIHA. The state paying the farmers a small amount to open it up for public hunting. This was a massive success when it first started. I hunted pretty much nothing but WIHA back then. However money is a powerful motivator. It did not take hunters long to say, "the state is paying this guy $x to lease his land for anybody and everybody to walk around on. I would pay him the same amount and he wouldnt have to waorry about any idiots coming on here and lighting it on fire" So quickly Farmers in Kansas learned they could lease their land to one guy for more than the state would pay and have less headaches. This took a huge toll on WIHA. Now to be fair most of the guys paying money to lease this land were not bird hunters, they were deer hunters. The impact though has started to creep into the bird world, and many good bird hunting spots got swallowed up by deer hunters never to be bird hunted. 

 

Again I am not saying either system is better or worse. I simply like that there are 2 systems and I find it very interesting how they have both evolved.

 

Thanks man! Appreciate the explanation! My bird hunting days, especially now that a 3-day trip becomes 7 days due to the drive, are precious and few. I am just trying to make them count so that I don't have to rely on preserves to get my dog into birds.

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Thinblueline
15 minutes ago, twicebarrel said:

Thanks for the tip! You grouse guys are hardcore! I tried it in the hills of ME and it was TOUGH. Might try it again but I would definitely need help figuring it out. I'm at home on the prairies and grasslands and even the cattails but the stuff you hunt is @#*!!  :)

Eh, while Wisconsin has some hills here and there, I suspect we are pretty flat by Maine's standards. There really are few places I'd rather be than northern Wisconsin, northern Minnesota, or the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in October, all of which are very similar. I love the scenery, the slight feel of wilderness (I say slight because I've done a lot of extended canoe trips in Canada which is true wilderness), the bird hunting, the fall fishing, etc...

 

If you came up to northern Wisconsin, which I assume would be the shortest (not short) drive for you of the three locales I mentioned, and you came around the second and third weeks of October, you'd also hit the prime time part of the woodcock season, to go along with the grouse, which will really increase your wild bird contacts. You would never have to step foot on private ground, nor will you ever have to up here. All across the northern third of Wisconsin, there are literally hundreds of thousands (that's right, hundreds of thousands) of acres in state and county forests and wildlife areas.

 

Also, since you wouldn't be paying for hunting access, you could take a morning or two off and hire a fishing guide to get you on muskies if those ever interested you, or some of the great October fishing for walleyes, jumbo crappies, or yellow perch. I've never hired a fishing guide, but there are so many lakes up there, I have often thought about it, and there are a couple guys I've locked in on if I ever do decide to get a guide. If you're an experienced fisherman and have your own boat, you really wouldn't even need a guide. A trip up to northern Wisconsin in mid-October is a really fantastic idea for a cast and blast trip.

 

Even if you don't fish, I promise you, you could easily hunt a different cover each morning and afternoon of your trip, and every subsequent trip you take if you wanted to, but it wouldn't take too long to start identifying a few spots you'll always come back to. On the other hand, you are correct, sometimes it's nice to take a wide open shot at a bird that you can see for the duration of it's flight, out on the prairies, rather than trying to crack off at birds you routinely just catch glimpses of through the tangles.

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mccuha

Like I stated earlier. Deer hunters have leased a lot of land that was once public here in sc.  I saw a article back in the 80’s and what has and is happening was what they said would happen.  I really hate to see this.  Not everyone knows people in various states to hunt there land or have the funds to be able to pay to play.  For me. When you spend $1000-1500 per trip to hunt out of state. That’s a big deal and that’s on public land.  I could work a lot less and have at times better hunting but I would have to cut back on the no. Of trips I could take. Like others have said. Finding places to hunt and being successful enough to please you is where the fun is. Like I’ve said the biggest draw to hunting out west is the draw of all the open spaces available for everyone to enjoy

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KDGJ

A great thread.  I hunt some private ground in KS.  I started hunting it in 1994 and it has changed a lot.  Between CRP leases expiring and changing farming practices, and the dreaded drought, the bird numbers are lower.  However, I always keep up the contacts.  When I was stationed in VA, I made one or two trips every year.  The people always look forward to seeing the crazy bird Hunter show up.  I hunt a lot of the WIHAs also.  They are usually interesting and you never know how good they are, but allow me to hunt all year long.  

 

If I was driving from FL, I'd wait for the bird forecasts to come out later this year.  Also, SD and NE seasons start earlier than KS.  This gives you a chance to hunt pheasants in Oct.

 

Ken

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Kevin Jackson

I spent a week this year banging around Kansas just exploring and hunting and hunted it a couple other times on the way through. I never found huge numbers of birds but always found birds. It was a blast! It’s a long ways from home and I could be in way more birds in familiar territory but to me the unknown is what draws me. It didn’t cost me anything except time, fuel, and license fees and I met some dang nice folks along the way. 

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Byron sxs

Ok, my two cents worth. I grew up in NE in the 60s when you could see several hundred birds a day with no problem, and you never had to ask permission, because no one cared. Those days are gone.  I moved to SD in the 80s where you could see several hundred birds a day with no problem, and never had to ask permission, because no one cared. Those days are gone. In SD and NE over the last couple years, the bird populations have crashed. The game and fish folks don't advertise that because their jobs depend on the sale of hunting licenses. Now I spend most of my hunting season driving from state to state to hunt what ever is in season. I have hunted from AK to ME and from MI to LA, 14 species in 11 states, all on public land (no pay to play) just a lot of windshield time and gas money. Some trips I have only harvested a bird or two, and some trips I have taken multiple limits. Now what the hell is my point?????  My point is that its in the HUNT, not in the kill. Go someplace new and let the chips fall where they may.-------Keep smiling.

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studdog

Sounds like KS residents don't want to expand pay for hunt opportunities in their state for obvious reasons.  I don't blame them from their perspective.  However, we've been to SD lots and wanted to try something different. So, our small group are coming to KS for a late season "wild" bird hunt this year.  We like the better weather prospects of a late season hunt in KS over SD.  We know that both SD and KS operators supplement native birds with plantings. We'll see how it goes.  We're not into bird numbers just a quality hunt for us and our dogs.

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Brad Finegan

As for KS, get a WIHA Map Book pick an area and start hunting. If your willing to do the work , you will find the birds. 

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Chukarman
On 4/12/2018 at 7:27 PM, twicebarrel said:

... At the end of the day I would LOVE to be able to exclusively hunt wild birds on public land for free but that is not reality no matter what state you hunt in. ...

 

TG -- That is emphatically NOT correct.  Montana, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho have MILLIONS of acres of public land to hunt on. Land that we are fighting to KEEP public.

 

I recommend that you try Montana - they have a lot of public land and a great private land access program that is run by the State and costs you NOTHING. Spend a little pf the 'access money' on gas and drive a few miles more.

 

Like others here, I hate to see the public locked out because the last guy to hunt shelled out greenbacks to the rancher - who would probably let them hunt for free if approached respectfully.

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twicebarrel
On 4/16/2018 at 12:30 PM, studdog said:

Sounds like KS residents don't want to expand pay for hunt opportunities in their state for obvious reasons.  I don't blame them from their perspective.  However, we've been to SD lots and wanted to try something different. So, our small group are coming to KS for a late season "wild" bird hunt this year.  We like the better weather prospects of a late season hunt in KS over SD.  We know that both SD and KS operators supplement native birds with plantings. We'll see how it goes.  We're not into bird numbers just a quality hunt for us and our dogs.

FYI I did a late season hunt in KS (a week or 2 before Christmas) in south central KS and saw only a single hen over 2 days. Now I know there are MANY WIHAs there and perhaps I could have gotten into birds in the northwest or southwest quadrants but I was surprised at how much the grounds had already been hammered.

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twicebarrel
On 4/17/2018 at 11:53 AM, Chukarman said:

 

TG -- That is emphatically NOT correct.  Montana, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho have MILLIONS of acres of public land to hunt on. Land that we are fighting to KEEP public.

Actually it IS correct that paying for access is a reality in every state - none are exclusively public hunting only - but it is also true that many western states still have many available acres for public access as well so we agree on that. I have been to MT every year for the past 15 years and hunted all over the Blackfoot reservation outside of Browning. Check out my avatar for confirmation. What you may have missed is that the airlines are the true problem for guys like me who want to hunt with their own dogs because they have made flying with the dog so much more difficult now, and I am not just talking about the expense. If you know you know so I won't bother explaining that here. That is why I am trying to find options that I can access from central Florida within a 2-day drive as opposed to the LONG 3-day drive it would take to get back to Montana. Again, even with a 2-day drive, a 3-day trip becomes a 7-day trip so time is the issue and best explains my willingness to pay for access if I have to so that my trips and time in the field aren't complete busts. Its not my preference at all but it is reality.

 

That said I have gotten some very helpful tips from members via PM and am very grateful!

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Griffey

Slap a service dog vest on your dogs and they can ride in the cabin with you.  Shoot, I know at hospitals all they can do is ask what service the dog provides, can't even ask for paper work.

 

Later,

Griff 

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mccuha
4 hours ago, twicebarrel said:

FYI I did a late season hunt in KS (a week or 2 before Christmas) in south central KS and saw only a single hen over 2 days. Now I know there are MANY WIHAs there and perhaps I could have gotten into birds in the northwest or southwest quadrants but I was surprised at how much the grounds had already been hammered.

when the word gets out that's what happens. It'll get worse if more land is leased from the state. I found birds in late Jan. and put a lot of miles on the truck. I hunted a lot of new ground along with already explored ground. A lot of run a gun and just pray for a few birds. I would have liked to limit every day but as long as I got my dogs in birds and found a few that was enough for me. 18hr drive nonstop to get there then 200-400 miles a day riding, looking and hunting. Wouldn't have it any other way.

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