Prairie states all have offer walk-in public access. Also, many of these states have a lot of public land--national grasslands, blm land, national forest, state school land, that is accessible. This is especially true of eastern Montana. Most of the out-of-state guys hunting the prairie states are not guides, trainers or field trailers. They are just folks who drove up there and scouted around or went with someone who had already been. In addition to this, a lot or landowners will allow access if you ask politely. (This is not the case for pheasants but is for Huns and prairie grouse.) All of the hunting in these states is on foot. You need to do your homework -- check with state biologists, game wardens and fish and game departments about bird populations. Many of the Indian reservations also have upland populations and sell licenses.
Also, motel accommodations may have to be made in advance in hot spots like Pierre, SD and the oil patch in North Dakota. Opening week of prairie grouse season in Pierre is a zoo--attracting hunters from all of the country to the grasslands south of town. Birds there are well educated--pro trainers begin using the grasslands in July and all birds have PHds in bird dog. Pierre and the Nebraska sand hills are some to the few areas holding a huntable population of both sharptails and prairie chicken. North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming can have good populations of huns and sharptails. Sage grouse can also be found and hunted in Montana and Wyoming.
In Eastern Montana it is pretty easy to pack up and move if there are no birds where you first travel to. There is a a lot of land up there and most of the locals ignore upland and hunt big game.
Season in Montana usually opens on the 1st. The Dakotas mid September, Nebraska Sept 1
Kansas in November. Last season bird populations were way down over much of the western prairie due to drought. We really struggle to find birds in eastern Montana. However, in up cycle years we've, pointed as many as a dozen coveys of sharpies after we shot limits and were walking back to the truck.
Edited by Mundo (02/09/18 08:58 AM)