South Dakota Opener on Walk In

PeteTheBeat

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Jul 8, 2018
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Hey everyone, we plan on taking a few guys to South Dakota for the opener and I was curious how early we need to get out there on opening morning to get the spot we plan on hunting? We typically hunt the opener in Nebraska but I was curious how many more people to expect in the Mitchell area on opening weekend. Is it easy to find more spots to hunt after the initial rush that morning or does moving fields and finding a new one to hunt become a problem?
 

Wild Bill

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Dec 9, 2015
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How many people will be out hunting public on opener you ask?
Answer:
Billions GIFs | Tenor
 

Wild Bill

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In all reality, probably a bunch. Mitchell is a very popular area. I wouldn't expect it to be any easier later in the day. You probably won't find anything that hasn't already been walked right away in the morning, unless it's private.
 

PeteTheBeat

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Good luck with that. That area a lot of people. I would move out from there 30 miles or so.
We planned on being a decent chunk away from immediate Mitchell but are stationed there for lodging. Any insight into how early before the opener we need to be out there to get a decent field to hunt? 5 am? 6 am?
 

Rzrbck918

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Ive never hunted Mitchell proper but I can tell you I would be where I plan to start by about 5 am. Thats a couple hours before daylight and should give you a good chance of walking it first. As far as finding a place to hunt after your initial walk, Id look for draws with brand new trucks with Texas plates. There will be plenty of birds left.
 

SD_Prairie_Goat

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I'd avoid Mitchell if at all possible. That area gets hit very hard for opener. I think Cabela's doesn't help that either.

If you insist, being at your spot 30 mins before shooting is usually plenty. so 11:30
 

cedahm

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I can tell you I would be where I plan to start by about 5 am.
I haven’t hunted the SD opener (or in October at all) in a long time but you guys really park at the starting field for 5 hours before start time?

Tongue in cheek a little bit - but curious nonetheless.
 

Rzrbck918

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I haven’t hunted the SD opener (or in October at all) in a long time but you guys really park at the starting field for 5 hours before start time?

Tongue in cheek a little bit - but curious nonetheless
You're right. I forgot about start time being 10. I was thinking two-two and one half hours early on opener.
 

cedahm

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You're right. I forgot about start time being 10. I was thinking two-two and one half hours early on opener.
It honestly wouldn’t surprise me to see some dudes staking out a hot public Field @ 05:00 - thus the ask.

It for SURE happens here in CO on the opener with a dawn start. My buddy used to hit one particular field every opening day and last season they got there an hour before dawn to find guys sleeping in their trucks since 3.

Pheasant openers are just firmly in my ‘nope’ ledger any more.
 

warmer

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I grew up right across the road from a USFWS Waterfowl production Area and the earliest I ever saw someone show up was 15 minutes before opening time. The pheasant hunting sucked then and still does, but it sure gets piss pounded opening weekend. It's interesting to watch guys pull up, hunt and leave, only to have another guy pull in a minute later and do the same thing. You would think the cigarette smoke would still be lingering.
 

Rzrbck918

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It honestly wouldn’t surprise me to see some dudes staking out a hot public Field @ 05:00 - thus the ask.

It for SURE happens here in CO on the opener with a dawn start. My buddy used to hit one particular field every opening day and last season they got there an hour before dawn to find guys sleeping in their trucks since 3.

Pheasant openers are just firmly in my ‘nope’ ledger any more.
I have slept in the truck a time or two at the boat ramp before opening day of second split duck season when the weather was perfect but duck hunting is another animal all together.
 

Trailsend

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Jan 3, 2021
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I’ve never shown up 5 hours early. Sometimes an hour. But that is usually because I have been out duck hunting and I’m in the area. I also don’t hunt close to Mitchell, Chamberlain, Winner, Aberdeen, or some of the other hot spots.
 

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