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2021-22 Pheasant thread


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4 tenth of an inch rain here...and 50mph winds now. Being out and about this week there are a lot less crops out than I thought there would be. Saw friends harvesting several weeks ago but they seemed to be the exception not the rule. Maybe more crops are out in the center of the SD where they were drier.

 

Yikes, you can keep that snow out west for a while yet.

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It’s been a fun couple weekends here in Minnesota and I’m really getting a kick out of how much my son is enjoying it. We’ve put a lot of miles on hiking last couple Saturdays. 

I thought some of the MT and ND hunters would have updates before me...but the King can't wait any longer. 😉   South Dakota Resident season. It's hard to believe this is the start

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The real opening weekend was a bit of a bust. I'm optimistic after Sunday but it didn't produce a bunch of birds. 

 

Saturday just didn't work out for hunting. We were going to hit some private but my hunting buddy had time constraints that didn't work out. Sunday we had the whole day so we just waited. Not a big deal since opening day isn't ever the best hunting. 

 

We walked some good looking cover right at 10:00 but it was surrounded by corn. In my part of SE SD most of the corn is still in. From watching the dogs it was clear that the birds were just running into the corn as we approached. Deuce had one nice point on a rooster during that first walk. The bird ran a bit out from the point before it flushed and my buddy dropped it. At least we weren't skunked. I missed what should have been an easy wild flusher after that. 

 

It got too warm after that so we scouted and rested in the shade. After 4:00 we walked a nice piece where we usually see a few but it was void of life. Once again it was bordered by unpicked corn. The farmer said that he thought he'd have it out in about a week 

 

We saved another strip of roosting cover right behind his parent's house for the last hour. It was so warm and bright that the birds weren't in there yet. On the way back we hit a small finger off to the side. Deuce went on a rock solid point, my buddy backed up to give me a clear path for a shot. As the rooster flushed it arched back towards him, I could have shot it at 10 yards but wisely let it swing back over him, he dropped it as it angled away from him. Deuce got a second retrieve. 

 

We got back to the house with about 10 minutes left. There is a 4 or 5 acre square of heavy grass right across the road. We quickly go into there, a hen and long tailed rooster bust out the other side. Then Deuce started tracking a bird that ended up being a hen. She would have been an easy shot had it been a rooster. Right after that a rooster flushed right next to me and flew behind me. He flew right back at the house so with a little mumbled cussing at him I watched as he flew over their grove without a shot. 

That was sundown.

 

I do believe there are plenty of birds around but only about 20% of the corn is out around there. Another couple weeks and things will be better...and hopefully cooler.

No video from this hunt. Didn't mess with it because it was so warm.

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bennelli-banger

Getting our limits…2 of us…bird #’s down a good bit, not many young birds.   Easier getting a limit here than a week or so ago in a nearby state that had buckoo birds, so many it was hard to get near them!   Fun no matter…gotta go, it’s time!🥳

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bennelli-banger

June saw less than an inch of rain…same for May…not many insects for the chicks…some corn still up, half???   

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Good to great reports from MN.  Lots of grass hayed but appears there was a good hatch.  Some of our good grass and new grass we were excited about was hayed but we still found limits of birds in the thick stuff. 

Crops are coming down and although the yields are a little lower they are not having to dry any corn in my areas.  Should be an earlier harvest.  

Decent amount of ducks around but finding water in our spots is tougher.  Where there was water the woodies were piled up.  

 

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Hit the opener in South Dakota still quite a bit of corn up although it was coming down quick. Most places mowed found enough birds in what cover was available. Hank had a great couple days. Shots some birds over his point on public land. He chased down a couple Roosters in standing corn and brought them back to hand. He found 4 raccoons in one dried out creek bed, he has no issues getting hands on with them. At a little more than a year and a half I’m super happy wish he would leave fur alone but it is what it is prey drive translates to bird drive.

Ilsa at eight did really well, solid points. I hate seeing that white face and white eye brows She had a great retrieve through a wet cattail slew and came back with my bird. Shot my model 21 16 gauge mostly and my Benelli ultra lite 

 

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bennelli-banger

Hunting has been decent but it’s been pretty warm; starting to shoot more young birds, but clearly they’re not abundant…oh, my dogs pointed a rooster today on a dirty fence line between two standing cornfields…one of the most beautiful flush presentations ever!!!  No shell in the chamber…🤭…flushed another 5 minutes later, very sporty flight path in the corn…eased the pain of my earlier goof!

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Rogue Hunter

Got first pheasant hunt in yesterday...1 1/2hr, until it got hot. Good beginning for the dog and me, stretching the legs, walking through the tall grass. Saw three roosters and two hens. I was so focused on watching the dog working the first bird that I forgot to shoot. Second bird flushed on the opposite side of willow brush, about two hundred yards out. On the third rooster, the lovely Lucy got on the opposite side of a five tree wind break. I had just pushed through the trees and into the open, and a rooster flushed ten yards away, on my strong side, flew straight away...perfect setup, just point the gun and shoot...yup, didn't tough it! Glade that first miss is out of the way.

 

Central Minn is about 60-65% of corn harvested, beans 90%, and they were really going after the beets yesterday, getting as much out of the fields before tomorrows' all day rain.

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It was too warm Tuesday afternoon so I went fishing. Still got just as many pheasants as fish...that would be 0. 

 

This morning we were supposed to get a couple tenths of rain. They were only about an inch and a half off. No more corn is coming out around here any time soon. Glad this didn't hit farther west.

At least its cooling off.

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On 10/19/2021 at 12:31 PM, robp said:

Hit the opener in South Dakota still quite a bit of corn up although it was coming down quick. Most places mowed found enough birds in what cover was available. Hank had a great couple days. Shots some birds over his point on public land. He chased down a couple Roosters in standing corn and brought them back to hand. He found 4 raccoons in one dried out creek bed, he has no issues getting hands on with them. At a little more than a year and a half I’m super happy wish he would leave fur alone but it is what it is prey drive translates to bird drive.

Ilsa at eight did really well, solid points. I hate seeing that white face and white eye brows She had a great retrieve through a wet cattail slew and came back with my bird. Shot my model 21 16 gauge mostly and my Benelli ultra lite 

 

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Great report, my Draht loves fuzzy things too.  I've hunted the Mitchell area for roughly 30 years, hopefully going again December.

 

Just got my Benelli Ultralight last year, really like it although I could use another shell in the short magazine!

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Was in northern SD from last Thursday through Monday. Grouse numbers were as good as last year but never saw pheasants so bad. My worst opening weekend ever. Walked 1.5 miles of slough up and back. Last year would have seen at least 50 birds. Flushed one rooster and two hens. Walked up the hill and shot 3 grouse in 45 min. Saw around 65 grouse per day and 5-10 pheasants. Can't imagine what weather hurt the pheasants but not sharp tails. 

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 Chaos is still sore, so I bought an early muzzleloader buck tag, extra doe and a fall turkey. I'll let her rest for a few days and see if I can find some bigger pieces of meat. 

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bennelli-banger

May/June each had under an inch of rain this year in most of SD, and heat…tough on the birds, thank god grouse did ok.

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bennelli-banger

Moved about 40 miles, hunting public, great hunting…

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2 hours ago, bennelli-banger said:

Moved about 40 miles, hunting public, great hunting…

That's what I've been telling people. With as spotty as the rains were within an hour you might be able to drive to a productive area.

Glad you are getting on some.

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