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Well, had planned to stay in state this year for the first in quite a few years. Then as luck would happen, I was exchanging emails with a friend just after our pheasant opener. I asked him how he did and he responded that he hadn't been out. He had been working hard to get the new camper for his pickup bed set up for a trip to Mitchell, SD. BTW, my buddy that was planning to drive out with me just cancelled, want to go? I leave Saturday morning. A couple calls, and shifting the departure date to Sunday morning and we were on our way. Stayed in the Mitchell campground and met Tim's uncle, Nels, and his wife who were staying in thier trailer. We spent most of the week hunting around Mitchell, and produced limits of 9 birds every day hunting mainly Wildlife Production Areas and road right of ways. Had a couple of private property holes to hunt as well. On one day, we ran 2 hrs to some private property that was leased by one of the sister clubs to my hunting club. We were the first people to hunt it and it was awesome. Had our limit of pheasant in about 2 hrs of hunting, and should have been done in less than half an hour. Even chased some sharptails around a bit.

Closed the week with 44 birds in the bag (lost two) for 3 guys and 4 dogs.

Anyone who hasn't been out west, needs to do it just once. More wild birds in the first day than you will see in a lifetime in MI.

We did our own cooking and stayed in a campground. Total cost was around $700/person, inlcuding license for 5 full days of hunting.
 

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We did our own cooking and stayed in a campground. Total cost was around $700/person, inlcuding license for 5 full days of hunting.

This is the kind of info we need in every Post about an out of State trip. It really helps when you know what you are going to be looking at. THANKS Great Post. FRANK

Bonz 54

It's like Christmas, with Guns...
 

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an awesome trip Todd
Never been but need to sometime. I hear S. Dakota is more commercial & N. Dakota is better ? Any truths to this guys ?

Wally
 

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Jealousy table for one.....

My dad brought me a tape from a buddies hunt in SD and it was unbelievable.
The first shot was of them in the car driving to the farm and there were these
freaking huge roosters sitting on the fences as they drove by....ugh!!
 

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My son an I were in Mitchell the first and second week of November. We really hunted hard for our limits. Our firends in Mitchell said they had a temendous year (early season). I, personally, think the birds were down from last year. We still brought back about 30 birds (all over points). My son thought there were way more hens this year than last, but I'm not sure. I am always excited to see 30 or 40 birds leave from a ditch or watching hundreds of birds fly from the corn to fallow fields each night. Where did you camp? We always stay in Plankington.
 

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Wow, great hunt! I just have one "point" of curiousity: I've heard that parts of S. Dakota have so many birds that the prodigious amount of scent renders pointing breeds nearly worthless, hence the popularity of flushing and waterfowl breeds out there (unfortunately, I've never had the good fortune to find myself in this situation :sad: ...)

Any truth to this?
 

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next year we are planing on taking a trip out west someplace to hunt quail

I think OK any one have any thoughts on that

scott
 

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Todd - thanks for sharing. That reminded me of my past trip. I went to SD in the fall of 2000 and had a great time. It's like a trip to Mecca for the upland game hunter. I don't know though, it's hard to beat Michigan pheasant hunting. Nothing beats pounding stale land all day and not seeing a single rooster.:lol:
 

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drwink said:
an awesome trip Todd
Never been but need to sometime. I hear S. Dakota is more commercial & N. Dakota is better ? Any truths to this guys ?

Wally
I have heard the same thing Wally, I have been to ND but never SD. North Dakota was a great place. No doubt we had to work hard for our birds and we did not limit everyday but we never had trouble finding land to hunt either. If you want more information PM me.
Ric
 

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Wally,

ND has 1/10th the amount of birds than South Dakota....There are advantages to both. PM me if you want info.

Jr. can vouch for this but, we drove down into SD one afternoon just to look at it, two miles south of the ND border and we saw 1500 birds in 3 miles, birds on the highway's, birds in the ditches. So much more cover than anywhere in ND!

More variety in ND though.

Fred
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Never been to N. Dakota, but S. Dakota is a lot more commercial. Most farmers want their take for hunting their land. However S. Dakota has their access roads that are basically 60 or so feet around almost every square mile of land that is public hunting. Lots of it is fallow with a small 2 track through it. You definitely need to put in your time most days, but we never had a day where we didn't see 150-200 birds.

5pats, we stayed right in the Mitchel city campground. We were the only hunters there arrived 10/30. We hunted toward Plankington most days. There is a Wildlife Production area between Plankington and Mitchel with a golf course on the south end. That was or focal point. The two guys I hunted with said the numbers were lower than they had ever seen. We hit bigger concentrations of birds as we moved north, rumor was they got more moisture up that way.

We didn't have any problem with our dogs being worthless due to the large numbers of birds, but we had 4 seasoned dogs that had been in that position before. I have seen a pointing dog turn into a true flusher in no time straight. Also, we took turns being blockers, even with the pointing dogs, you get a lot of runners/wild flushers. The vast majority of our birds, were taken over points, though.

I can vividly remember our last morning, pulling up to a hay field with a small cattail swamp (dry) along one edge. Turned my setter loose, and had 5 rock solid points on hens in less than 10 minutes.

Had a real reality check this past weekend. Pheasant hunted for the first time since coming back. Flushed 3 hens and 2 roosters in 3 hrs on good private land CRP on Saturday. On Sunday, spent 2 hrs working a normally great piece of state land, and came up with a big zero. I still have 5 days left on my license, maybe calls for a trip out there over the Christmas break. :evilsmile
 

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FindTheBird said:
Wow, great hunt! I just have one "point" of curiousity: I've heard that parts of S. Dakota have so many birds that the prodigious amount of scent renders pointing breeds nearly worthless, hence the popularity of flushing and waterfowl breeds out there (unfortunately, I've never had the good fortune to find myself in this situation :sad: ...)

Any truth to this?
Not to start a debate but, we hunted one day(last year) with a couple of guy that had brittanies......they did not move/point one bird that day...but did see LOTs of false points! Having hunted out there...IMO, flushers are much more productive/effective on getting the birds up......depending on the situation!!!

Dave
 

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Went to Wessington SD (1hr north of mitchel) 10/27 - 10/31 8 guys, all family (father/son groups) excellent time. Not sure my dad/uncle/father inlaw enjoyed the 16+ hr ride out there, but once we were there we had a great time. We only had 2 dogs, English Setter, Brittney needed to do a lot of blocking. I learned how far my Setter could work a bird before it would set.... seemed like "miles". We did ok on bird numbers... could have done a lot better had we adhered to common sense "hunting rules"...i.e. being quite while staging. We bumped a lot of birds prior to entering the fields. We had a ton of opportunity everyday to limit out... birds were everywhere. I'd go back in a second! We hunted w/ an outfitter, Kossy Hunting, 135.00 day, great lodge, property, cleaning facilities, kennels. 3days of hunting 4 nights lodging, meals, gas, license I think I spent 650.... and we ate like kings (took our own food/wine). As I always say, we made "stories" that will be retold for many years to come at family events, hunting camps, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
dyemen said:
Not to start a debate but, we hunted one day(last year) with a couple of guy that had brittanies......they did not move/point one bird that day...but did see LOTs of false points! Having hunted out there...IMO, flushers are much more productive/effective on getting the birds up......depending on the situation!!!

Dave
Only time I've ever seen that situation is with an inexperienced dog that only has seen poor conditioned preserve birds. Any pointing dog that has a decent amount of experience finding and pinning wild birds here in MI, will have a cake walk in S. Dakota. Key number one is they need to know how to deal with running birds. All 4 of our dogs pinned numerous birds/day. Like I said, most of our birds were pointed. We even hunted an 800 acre cut wheat field the one day. Had our limit of pheasant, but saw some sharptails fly in and went after them. My setter pointed numerous pheasants in that stuff, and he was ranging out better than 200 yds.

Having the best flusher in the world wouldn't have increased our take. Now, better shooting, that's a whole nuther matter.

BTW, this discussion got me to thinking that I still have 5 days left on my license, and I have the week after Christmas off. Even have the wife halfway convinced!
 

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IT is all a cover game, I know when we were in ND, I wish I had a Pointer for some big CRP spots, and hunting wheat - but then the fence rows, slews, and ditches were custom built for a retriever, along with Shelter belts ext...Also for wild pheasants a dog that can retrieve game is a must!
 

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Alot of it depends on how much the birds have been educated.
We hunt with a mix bag of flushers and pointers and both types do well.
We definitely seen more birds this year, but we where across the river from SD in Iowa.
We hunted the second week in Nov. and ended up with 67 birds for the week,it sure pays to have relatives where there is good hunting ;).
I'll be headed back between the holidays,lust can't get enough of it!


 

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Great stories and information. Going out there in a couple years, can't wait! Brian.
 

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Spent a long weekend this year hunting in South Dakota. We had connections on a farmer's CRP land. Never had a problem shooting our limit. We did not have dogs with us, but it would have been nice to have a good lab to help track down the birds after we shot them. We spent a lot of time kicking through waist deep grass. Watched a lot of birds fold up in mid air, take a two bounce landing, and then flip over and run away! Tough birds.
 

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My dad and a couple of friends and I hunted in the Kimball S.D. area over thanksgiving weekend. It was our first time out there...and all I can say is I WANT TO GO BACK!!!!!!!!! Limited out all 4 days we hunted....had one of the best hunting experiences of my life. The drive out there sucks....but its worth it.

DD
 

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Brdhntr,

I agree the bird numbers south of Plankington were down compared to the last couple of years. We hunted toward White Lake this year and had some good action. Seemed like more corn was off toward the north.

As for flusher/pointer, we have done both. I like to watch my dogs go on point and another come in for a back. My son and I hunted a lot of ditches and had many points on tight holding roosters. I will agree that when your dogs go on point, are quaking like an aspen and 30 or 40 birds flush, the once broke dog can come unglued. I started to train my dogs for multiple bird flushes and things have been much better (bird in the grass and another in a launcher a few yards away).

By the way, my buddy is in Nebraska deer and pheasant hunting (no dogs). Four guys limited on birds two days in a row. Maybe we will go somewhere else next year. Maybe back to Canada for sharpies.
 
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