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John Kelley

South Dakota bird count is up from last year!

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In case any of my NY friends like to make pheasant hunting trips out west, the birds are going to be pretty thick out here this year.  Nothing official has come out yet, from the Game, Fish and Parks people, but my sources tell me they are seeing way more birds than last year.  My sources are ranchers, farmers, and resort owners in the bird hunting areas.  Thought I would pass along this information. :)  :yes: :yes:  

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Game, Fish and Parks just put out their official bird count @ 42% higher pheasant population than last year, statewide!!  This is going to be a good year for pheasant hunting!! :yes:  :yes:  :yes:

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Nice, Wife and I are going to make the trip this year with a 1.5 yr old lab and an 8 year old lab. She has a guy she works with out there that hunts and says he can set us up on some good state land. He is by Parkston. Sounds like we should do ok.

 

Even a bad year for you out there is 10X's better than a good year in NY.

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Nice, Wife and I are going to make the trip this year with a 1.5 yr old lab and an 8 year old lab. She has a guy she works with out there that hunts and says he can set us up on some good state land. He is by Parkston. Sounds like we should do ok.

 

Even a bad year for you out there is 10X's better than a good year in NY.

Yeah, and from what I have seen over the years, labs do about the best out here on the prairie, over most other species, because they don't stop until the bird is airborne.  Pointers tend to lock up on the scent of birds that have run, and these birds are runners, out here.  Parkston area is fine, but don't be afraid to work your way west of there, as well.  Remember, you can legally get out and shoot birds flying over the roadways out here as well.  Keep an eye out along the ditches for roosters, too.  Yeah, you ought to have no trouble getting your limits.  I like the area around Pierre, myself, because it does not get as much pressure, and you can see flocks of hundreds of birds around there.  Plus, the closer to the river you get, the higher chance of getting some bonus sharptails and prairie chickens, as well.  You can bag 3 of the grouse per day, as well.  Good luck! :)

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Cool thanks for the info, the guy in market in said to go west also for sharpies

Sent from my XT907 using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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Maybe not a good question but why does South Dakota have good populations of birds and we don't ? maybe predator control ?

That and the fact that there are thousands and thousands and thousands of acres of cropland and CRP land, and not very many people in South Dakota.  Most fields in the middle portion of the state are a full section, that's 640 acres, or 1 square mile.  Below is a picture of a normal cut corn field.  When you get on a section line between fields of the same crop, it looks like a sea of crops!!  :yes:

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Edited by John Kelley

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Good pun on the " crops "  J. K.  ! In our area we see predation by coyotes a major factor for any game on the ground and will continue to hunt them !

Oh yeah, coyotes, foxes, coons, possums and skunks all get blasted quite regularly out here.  You can even shoot coyotes and other vermin without having to get out of the vehicle.  Kind of nice to see a skunk in a ditch and be able to shoot from the relative safety of your truck!!LOL :)  I dare say that many a rancher has also been known to kill hawks on sight.  Especially bird preserve ranchers!

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  I dare say that many a rancher has also been known to kill hawks on sight.  Especially bird preserve ranchers!

I think that's the big difference.  Around here in NY the Hawks and Owls do a huge number on the game bird populations I think.

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Went out hunting around the Aberdeen, SD area yesterday with the wife, and ended up getting 5 nice roosters, which was one shy of our 2 person limit, but it was a good time anyways!

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