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South Dakota DIY #8925154 09/27/23 10:19 PM
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Anyone ever go to South Dakota for ducks and pheasant?

I have this trip on the radar for late October of 24 and figured I'd start doing more research now. I know non residents have to apply for a license, which I've heard it's pretty much 100% draw rate but you have to put in and draw in June.

I've got On X so will do plenty of satellite scouting before heading up there. From the looks of it there is plenty of water and public land.

Planning on heading to the north east corner of the state.

Anyone have any pointers or recommendations?

TIA


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Re: South Dakota DIY [Re: 2flyfish4] #8925937 09/29/23 10:46 AM
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Waterfowl hunting should be great that time of year. I’m not sure how many pheasant preserves are up there but where I have hunted before around Kimball the preserves will have all the wild birds killed off by late October. Leaving just dumb pin birds sitting in the ditches you can shoot.

Last edited by john paul; 09/29/23 10:51 AM.

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Re: South Dakota DIY [Re: 2flyfish4] #8926028 09/29/23 01:23 PM
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I had a couple buddies go up there a couple years ago. They said the farmers are quite nice and about 90% of them gave permission to hunt. Just a lot of driving around to find the right field. Assuming you're going for ducks/geese right?


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Re: South Dakota DIY [Re: 2flyfish4] #8926124 09/29/23 03:47 PM
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Check the SD Public Hunting Atlas. It's really well done and there are a ton of public places to hunt.

I've been doing public with some private up there the last few years and we've had good luck for pheasant on public land. Usually we're focused on that, but at some point I want to duck hunt while there, too. Tons of potholes to hunt.


Re: South Dakota DIY [Re: 2flyfish4] #8926178 09/29/23 05:23 PM
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Upland bird hunting in SD does not require a drawing for non resident hunters. At least according to my 2022 handbook.



Re: South Dakota DIY [Re: 2flyfish4] #8926447 09/30/23 01:27 AM
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Yes non res waterfowl requires draw. Just be flexible and time the weather right next year.

Re: South Dakota DIY [Re: 2flyfish4] #8935476 10/14/23 04:24 PM
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Did this hunt two years ago. Stayed in the Webster area. The duck hunting was great. Tons of public land and private land opened to hunters. Plan to spend lots of time driving- there are birds almost everywhere but with a lot of water and ag fields around finding the big "x" requires the leg work. If I had any advice it would be to pick a style or two of duck hunting that you want to try and stick to that (ex: small pot hole, divers on lakes, field hunting, etc). I was trying to give myself flexibility and packed decoys and gear for every kind of hunting- ended up in SD with an obscene amount of stuff and only used about 20% of it. We found that for the most part we could get by with spreads less than 2 dozen unless it was a big field feed or something.

The pheasant hunting was pretty pressured and spotty on the public stuff we tried. We were able to get into birds but they were either flushing the second we entered the county or not at all. We were not huge upland guys but felt that if we were to try harder on this more success would come from knocking on some doors rather than hunting the public that we did.

Good luck!

Re: South Dakota DIY [Re: john paul] #8935898 10/15/23 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by john paul
Waterfowl hunting should be great that time of year. I’m not sure how many pheasant preserves are up there but where I have hunted before around Kimball the preserves will have all the wild birds killed off by late October. Leaving just dumb pin birds sitting in the ditches you can shoot.


No way in he'll I'm going to SD to chance pen birds.


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Re: South Dakota DIY [Re: aggiehunter15] #8935901 10/15/23 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by aggiehunter15
Did this hunt two years ago. Stayed in the Webster area. The duck hunting was great. Tons of public land and private land opened to hunters. Plan to spend lots of time driving- there are birds almost everywhere but with a lot of water and ag fields around finding the big "x" requires the leg work. If I had any advice it would be to pick a style or two of duck hunting that you want to try and stick to that (ex: small pot hole, divers on lakes, field hunting, etc). I was trying to give myself flexibility and packed decoys and gear for every kind of hunting- ended up in SD with an obscene amount of stuff and only used about 20% of it. We found that for the most part we could get by with spreads less than 2 dozen unless it was a big field feed or something.

The pheasant hunting was pretty pressured and spotty on the public stuff we tried. We were able to get into birds but they were either flushing the second we entered the county or not at all. We were not huge upland guys but felt that if we were to try harder on this more success would come from knocking on some doors rather than hunting the public that we did.

Good luck!


Thanks, I will likely be running solo and will be happy shooting my 6 ducks in the morning and then chasing pheasant the rest of the day. I have a buddy of a buddy that goes up there every year, they just chase ducks and geese and tells me the same thing in regards to having to do alot of driving to find big feeds. But that's what he is going up there for, he has a big group of guys and it's about finding big feeds so they have big piles.

He doesn't hunt pheasant, but states he sees them all over while looking for ducks and geese.


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Re: South Dakota DIY [Re: 2flyfish4] #8936613 10/16/23 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by 2flyfish4
Originally Posted by john paul
Waterfowl hunting should be great that time of year. I’m not sure how many pheasant preserves are up there but where I have hunted before around Kimball the preserves will have all the wild birds killed off by late October. Leaving just dumb pin birds sitting in the ditches you can shoot.


No way in he'll I'm going to SD to chance pen birds.


I wouldn’t go pheasant hunting in South Dakota then if you don’t want to shoot pen birds


Originally Posted by garrett
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Re: South Dakota DIY [Re: 2flyfish4] #8936622 10/16/23 04:14 PM
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I don't know if the birds I shot were cage raised or not, my setter pointed them my lab flushed them they flew like h*ll and I connected with a 1 oz load of 5s and they dropped. It was a kick in the old rear end.


There is time, and you must take it, to lay your hand on your dog's head as you walk past him lying on the floor or on his settle, time to talk with him, to remember with him, time to please him, time you can't buy back once he's gone" GBE
Re: South Dakota DIY [Re: john paul] #8936700 10/16/23 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by john paul
Originally Posted by 2flyfish4
Originally Posted by john paul
Waterfowl hunting should be great that time of year. I’m not sure how many pheasant preserves are up there but where I have hunted before around Kimball the preserves will have all the wild birds killed off by late October. Leaving just dumb pin birds sitting in the ditches you can shoot.


No way in he'll I'm going to SD to chance pen birds.


I wouldn’t go pheasant hunting in South Dakota then if you don’t want to shoot pen birds


There're tons of wild Pheasants in SD and it's very easy to tell the difference if you have any experience at all.

Re: South Dakota DIY [Re: john paul] #8937558 10/17/23 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by john paul
Originally Posted by 2flyfish4
Originally Posted by john paul
Waterfowl hunting should be great that time of year. I’m not sure how many pheasant preserves are up there but where I have hunted before around Kimball the preserves will have all the wild birds killed off by late October. Leaving just dumb pin birds sitting in the ditches you can shoot.


No way in he'll I'm going to SD to chance pen birds.


I wouldn’t go pheasant hunting in South Dakota then if you don’t want to shoot pen birds


I drive to SD 2x a year to hunt public land pheasant. I guarantee you, the one's we chase, didn't come from a flight pen.

But there sure are a bunch of folks that go up there and shoot stockers on a regular basis.

Re: South Dakota DIY [Re: 2flyfish4] #8937850 10/18/23 02:45 AM
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I'm from the Waubay area of NE SD. There are tons of Waterfowl areas to hunt. However, all the places I know of are on The Lake Traverse Indian Reservation. The Reservation is a patchwork of land. So, you'll have to be careful not to hunt them without a Tribal license. It's pretty expensive for non-Indians and federal tax stamp applies to non-Indians. I think my license only cost $10. Look for land that is marked "walk in area" even if it's on private land you can hunt it without asking. You just have "walk in" no vehicles allowed. Pretty sure no wheels at all. only your feet.

Re: South Dakota DIY [Re: RayB] #8941365 10/22/23 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by RayB
I don't know if the birds I shot were cage raised or not, my setter pointed them my lab flushed them they flew like h*ll and I connected with a 1 oz load of 5s and they dropped. It was a kick in the old rear end.


Why was it a kick in the rear end?


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Re: South Dakota DIY [Re: 2flyfish4] #8941930 10/23/23 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by 2flyfish4
Originally Posted by RayB
I don't know if the birds I shot were cage raised or not, my setter pointed them my lab flushed them they flew like h*ll and I connected with a 1 oz load of 5s and they dropped. It was a kick in the old rear end.


Why was it a kick in the rear end?

Old timers phrase for it was fun, sorry I forget I have socks older than most folks on this board grin


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Re: South Dakota DIY [Re: 2flyfish4] #8944336 10/27/23 01:09 AM
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I hunted pheasants at the E Circle E in Meckling (w/ Wayne Pearson on ESPN2); Al’s Dream in Flandreau; and Wings of Thunder in Kimball (bought one of my Labs there). Best bang for the buck was at Al’s Dream. Good waterfowling around that Sioux River too.

Re: South Dakota DIY [Re: 2flyfish4] #8952961 11/10/23 09:35 PM
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Just got back from SD last Sunday. We stayed in Wauby at a real nice airbnb. Our group is 0-2 on the waterfowl draw but saw more concentrations of ducks-geese than I have personally seen in a while, particularly the blanco diablos.

The winter weather they experienced 3-4 weeks ago has them behind on their corn harvest. We hunted public two days and one day private again with a landowner between Mansfield-Abeerdeen whom we hunted with last year.
Birds were hiding in all the standing corn as far as one could see.

I can assure you the birds we were hunting were wild enough even if the State releases some earlier in the summer months. Lots of walking in some large low water ponds full of cat-tails and gave our dogs hell on retrievals if crippled.

13 roosters in 3 days

Saying a small pray each night for our landowner until next year because we have his place booked all three days.

Last edited by BluTwister; 11/10/23 09:38 PM.
Re: South Dakota DIY [Re: BluTwister] #8956724 11/17/23 01:48 AM
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Originally Posted by BluTwister
Just got back from SD last Sunday. We stayed in Wauby at a real nice airbnb. Our group is 0-2 on the waterfowl draw but saw more concentrations of ducks-geese than I have personally seen in a while, particularly the blanco diablos.

The winter weather they experienced 3-4 weeks ago has them behind on their corn harvest. We hunted public two days and one day private again with a landowner between Mansfield-Abeerdeen whom we hunted with last year.
Birds were hiding in all the standing corn as far as one could see.

I can assure you the birds we were hunting were wild enough even if the State releases some earlier in the summer months. Lots of walking in some large low water ponds full of cat-tails and gave our dogs hell on retrievals if crippled.

13 roosters in 3 days

Saying a small pray each night for our landowner until next year because we have his place booked all three days.


Did yall see alot of pheasant? I got a report from a buddy of a buddy up in the same area a few weeks ago report that he saw pheasant all over the place. He just goes up there for waterfowl so not sure if he is just seeing pheasant on private or also on public.

Last edited by 2flyfish4; 11/17/23 01:49 AM.

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Re: South Dakota DIY [Re: Otto] #8956806 11/17/23 05:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Otto
Originally Posted by john paul
Originally Posted by 2flyfish4
Originally Posted by john paul
Waterfowl hunting should be great that time of year. I’m not sure how many pheasant preserves are up there but where I have hunted before around Kimball the preserves will have all the wild birds killed off by late October. Leaving just dumb pin birds sitting in the ditches you can shoot.


No way in he'll I'm going to SD to chance pen birds.


I wouldn’t go pheasant hunting in South Dakota then if you don’t want to shoot pen birds


There're tons of wild Pheasants in SD and it's very easy to tell the difference if you have any experience at all.

Easy to tell. Pen raised birds have notches in their beak that look like nostrils. Wild birds will have smooth beaks.


To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

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Re: South Dakota DIY [Re: dkershen] #8956842 11/17/23 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by dkershen

Easy to tell. Pen raised birds have notches in their beak that look like nostrils. Wild birds will have smooth beaks.

Another way to tell is if you can get close enough to them to see their beaks.. roflmao

I was on a duck lease one season, the rancher also raised and released quail, I could literally walk up to them and take a close up picture. I have zero interest in shooting birds like that, it would be more challenging catching them with my hands.

Re: South Dakota DIY [Re: 2flyfish4] #8958681 11/20/23 07:28 PM
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Saw plenty of birds. It was just tough hunting-getting to them due to the fact most of the birds were held up in the tall unharvested corn. My personal past three years' experience the birds we encounter would rather haul [censored] and run than hold and fly.
Used dogs and the blocker-walker technique

When the corn gets cut they have to seek out new hiding ground which would have been all the surrounding CRP land and easements. Easier to navigate and get better shots on birds.

Re: South Dakota DIY [Re: 2flyfish4] #8958778 11/20/23 09:41 PM
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Have a very good friends whose family owns a huge marina in Pierre. He says best hunting for pheasants is South of there and no way they are all pen raised birds. They do ok near Pierre but his brothers guide South of that area.
If you're hunting DIY I bet you won't find many pen raised birds. Those that must go guided or outfitted, you bet they are putting out birds.

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