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South Dakota Pheasant hunt

kelley12

New member
Joined
Oct 12, 2016
Messages
27
I am a little newer to bird hunting and I want to get my dog out this year. I have hunted around Sioux Falls and did ok for not having a dog a few years ago. I am looking to come back this fall with my dog and I noticed a good amount of public access land in the northern part of the state, north east of Aberdeen. I was wondering if that has a good bird population compared to the south. I am not from South Dakota so i am not sure if the birds are everywhere or mostly certain areas.
Thank you
 

ZBB

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 30, 2016
Messages
373
Location
Colorado
There is a harvest map in the SD game and fish app. It’s from 2019, on my phone at least. Sorry I can’t be more help, I’m from SD and have never hunted pheasants. I was typing while boomer was, I’m almost certain he’ll know more about the birds than I do, I’d still give the harvest map a once over.
 

TheBenHoyle

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 5, 2016
Messages
607
Location
Illinois
My family has land about 30 miles west of Aberdeen (Ipswich/Roscoe) and my uncle runs a pheasant camp. He would probably tell you that this year is going to be difficult due to the lack of rain, but on average I think that area is fairly productive in terms of pheasants.
 

dcreiss

Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2016
Messages
98
Location
SD
I would pay attention to drought conditions this year as severe drought impacts pheasant hatch success in a huge way. I live north of Pierre and have only seen one hatch of hen with chicks to date. Our drought conditions are very severe and I hope the farther east areas are faring better, we are looking pretty bleak here. There was good survival of adult birds through the winter but extremely poor recruitment this summer.
 

Wild Bill

Active member
Joined
Dec 9, 2015
Messages
284
Location
SD
The NE corner of the state has a good number of birds with great amounts of public access. Yes, we're in a difficult drought, however if there is an area that will be less effected by the drought it is the NE corner as it has so much water to offer compared to central SD that does not have near as much. I would focus on the NE corner of the state later in the season - late November to end of season. Walk cattail sloughs and you'll find birds with relative ease. That time of year there won't be as much competition either.
 

gilbe

New member
Joined
Aug 2, 2018
Messages
14
Lots of birds all over the eastern half of the state. I had good success during Thanksgiving and Christmas this past year.

Even saw a cow moose walking through a cut corn field!
 

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OntarioHunter

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 11, 2020
Messages
2,099
It is my understanding that the early bug population is critical for chicks' survival. It's what they eat. Wet springs seem to take out more chicks than dry years. Been my experience anyway. Severe storms mid summer can also be devastating, especially if accompanied by hail.

Just down to Minneapolis yesterday for another appt at VA hospital and everything looked much greener than the last time I was there about three weeks ago. Our lakes and rivers here are almost flood stage. Bizarre!

What brand of dog are you working? I have Fr Britt and pointing black Lab, both from Napolean, ND just north of SD border in centre of the state. The breeder says hunting has totally gone in the crapper the last three years due to a lot of CRP being put back into rotation. WMAs are overrun. That's jst one man's perspective for what it's worth. I've never hunted the country myself.
 

jheil

New member
Joined
Jul 29, 2021
Messages
13
My wife and I have been hunting SD pheasants for 6 years now. We love it so much, that's where I proposed to her. We stay in Chamberlain and hunt in a 25 mile bubble of there. Bird numbers seem to be really good, even during poor years. Best of luck!
 

dcreiss

Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2016
Messages
98
Location
SD
Daughter and son-in-law live in Eureka. VERY dry, less birds than normal, but still got birds.
Extreme drought there, the farther north towards ND you get the worse the drought gets. I would expect to see very few new young birds from current year hatches, likely this season will rely upon older birds on hunts. The drought is rely tough south of Pierre as well.
 

LukeDuke

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 7, 2015
Messages
438
Location
Minnesota
My wife and I have been hunting SD pheasants for 6 years now. We love it so much, that's where I proposed to her. We stay in Chamberlain and hunt in a 25 mile bubble of there. Bird numbers seem to be really good, even during poor years. Best of luck!
Grew up in the 25 mile bubble. Limited out darn near every time we would go out after school. The game has certainly changed over the yrs, but still a great place to get out and enjoy the outdoors.
 

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