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Mar 25th, 2012
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ND trip report #5381744 10/27/14 01:20 PM
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Fishuhalik Offline OP
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Here's my report. Man, hunting was TOUGH, to say the least. It's been insanely warm & very few mallards & no geese had migrated down yet, so it was slim pickins. Just like everyone else has said, scouting is key. We had 3 rigs scouting/pheasant hunting every day. Just myself, drake-taker & aggieduck covered a little over 800 miles in 5 days & didn't scout at all yesterday cuz we're leaving this am. I bet as a group we put over 1500 miles on looking for birds. But it paid off. We weren't able to find any good field hunts & goose numbers were close to non-existant, which was a big bummer. Pheasants were WAY down from last year. We put on a lot of boot miles & never came close to filling all our rooster limits, which is extremely unusual. Here's the day-to-day breakdown.
Tues:
Left the San Antonio area around 3am. Picked up drake-taker & aggieduck & on we went. Drove straight through, alternating drivers every fill up.
Weds:
Arrived in our hunting area right at daybreak. First spot we stopped at, a refuge, was absolutely loaded with divers & gray ducks but very few malls. Started driving. Every once in a while if we found a pair of malls we'd stop & jump em. Also pushed a few good-looking pheasant sloughs with limited success. Ended with 5 malls, a bunch of gray ducks & 4 roosters. Couldn't find a concentration of malls or honkers




Thurs:
Scouting & more scouting. Drove pretty much all day, with a few stops for roosters. We jumped a nice group of Hungarian partridge & aggieduck was able to get his first Hun. Ended ended with 2 ducks, a Hun & 5 roosters
Fri:
A buddy & his bro showed up, as did my dad & his hunting partner Pat. Drove drove & drove some more. Found a few small groups of malls but nothing more than 30-40 birds. Didn't jump shoot any malls Friday. Ended up with only 3 gads that we jumped cuz we were tired of sitting in the car & had to shoot something!! Got around 10 roosters. My bud found a nice concentration of malls using a series of 4-5 potholes, right next to each other. Plan was to set myself, drake-taker & aggieduck on a pond, 2 guys on another, & 2 guys on another pond. My dad also found another pothole with around 1000 malls using it. However, 5 other guys also found it. Thankfully they were decent guys & were willing to let my dad & his partner hunt it too
Sat:
Had a great shoot. Shot around 20 malls, a couple pins, a couple redheads & a dumb shoveler in our area & my dad & his bud shot their limit with a big banded drake. Sadly, 2 of the guys set up on the wrong pond (they're rookies, friends of mine that just joined us for today) & only shot 3 geese, 3 buffs & 2 drake ringers. Ended up with I think 12 roosters too. I've never had malls respond to a call like they did this day. All the birds wanted to be in the south end of our pothole & we were on the north side, around 4-500 yards away. As we all know that usually ends in a real frustrating day. They'd be cupped up, dumping in the far side of the slough, I'd get on the call, give em a few high-balls & they'd make a 90 right for us. A few quacks & a little chuckling & it was feet down, committed. After we shot em they'd fly to my 2 buds, they'd shoot em, then they'd go to the pond my other buds were supposed to be at. After the hunt there was around 1000 birds piled up right where we told em to set. Oops. After that it was more driving & pheasant hunting



Sun:
I wanted to hunt with my dad so we went back to the pond they shot at on Sat. Only had 30-40 malls come in but they decoyed great & we were able to just pick drakes. Shot my first band too, a gorgeous greenhead. Aggieduck, my bud & his bro went back to the pond we shot Sat & jumped em when they went in. Sadly they never returned & they zeroed, only 1 shot fired. A few roosters were shot but not much.



We found the drake pin dead in the lake. The other guys hunting the pond must of lost it, so we grabbed it.





All in all, it was hands-down the toughest nodak trip I've ever had, both for waterfowl & rooster. It had some great highs & pretty rough lows (esp waking up a few mornings after having a little too much fun the night before with buds I haven't seen since I left nodak) but being able to talk all those malls into our dekes & getting my first band definitely made the trip worthwhile. Until next year North Dakota!! I'm already looking forward to it



Last edited by Fishuhalik; 10/27/14 07:50 PM.

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Re: ND trip report [Re: Fishuhalik] #5382226 10/27/14 04:38 PM
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cheers

sounds like a great trip

Re: ND trip report [Re: Fishuhalik] #5382271 10/27/14 04:57 PM
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Sounds like a great trip, ducks, roosters, geese, you did a heck of a job planning your hunt.


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Re: ND trip report [Re: Fishuhalik] #5382323 10/27/14 05:18 PM
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Can't forget the Hun




Re: ND trip report [Re: Fishuhalik] #5382335 10/27/14 05:24 PM
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Re: ND trip report [Re: Fishuhalik] #5382582 10/27/14 07:18 PM
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Nice!! I go on days off on the 4th and will be hunting the 5th-10th of nov, I hope this little cold front pushes some birds down.

Re: ND trip report [Re: Fishuhalik] #5382585 10/27/14 07:19 PM
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Looks like a good time.

Re: ND trip report [Re: Fishuhalik] #5383654 10/28/14 02:54 AM
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Brings back the memories of 50 years ago. Thanks. up


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Re: ND trip report [Re: Fishuhalik] #5384336 10/28/14 02:43 PM
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wish I could have made it Jeff, For being "slow" it looks like a fun hunting trip to me! Glad ya'll made it back safe.

Re: ND trip report [Re: Fishuhalik] #5385701 10/29/14 01:34 AM
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Flying into Bismark next week hunting down at Eureka. They had a helluva early goose season down at Gettysburg...wonder where they went?

Re: ND trip report [Re: Fishuhalik] #5385763 10/29/14 01:56 AM
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We saw a ton of birds east of Bismarck and south into South Dakota. I mean a ton.

How hard is it to get lottery duck in South Dakota? I would like the insider info


Re: ND trip report [Re: Fishuhalik] #5385798 10/29/14 02:08 AM
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Not hard. Long as you're in by the deadline. Tundra swans are supposed to be tougher but my boy and I both got drawn.

Re: ND trip report [Re: Fishuhalik] #5386116 10/29/14 09:55 AM
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Fishuhalik Offline OP
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The large majority of birds we saw while driving through on 94 then coming south on 29 through SoDak were in the eastern part of the state, starting about 75 miles west of the MN border. Pretty much all the birds we saw in SoDak (& it was quite a few) were in the Lake Traverse Reservation.


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Re: ND trip report [Re: Aggieduck] #5386287 10/29/14 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted By: Aggieduck
We saw a ton of birds east of Bismarck and south into South Dakota. I mean a ton.

How hard is it to get lottery duck in South Dakota? I would like the insider info


Its about 66% success rate if you put in for it alone. If you put in as a group, everyone in the group would have to be drawn so success goes way down. You can log on to their website for draw success ratios for each zone.

We put in together as a group last year with assumptions we wouldn't get drawn and were right. However, this year everyone in the group had preference point so it was 100% success rate.

I'll be up there next week chasing ducks and pheasants.


Last edited by TXPride; 10/29/14 01:11 PM.

Re: ND trip report [Re: Fishuhalik] #5386497 10/29/14 02:47 PM
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Tough hunting but well worth it...........

Re: ND trip report [Re: Fishuhalik] #5386526 10/29/14 03:01 PM
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Fishuhalik Offline OP
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Checking the du reports, sounds like a bunch of birds moved into nd on Monday. Obviously, our last day was Sunday. Son of a...


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