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Thread: South Dakota Upland Trip

  1. #1
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    South Dakota Upland Trip

    The only way to describe South Dakota upland hunting is incredible.

    My son and I flew out Thursday morning, and arrived in Sioux Falls by noon and met two of our hunting buddies that had driven out earlier in the week with the dogs. Grabbed our dog “Luna” after a quick bite to eat and out to the fields we went. We hunted state land that afternoon and managed two nice birds (can only shoot roosters) before the end of legal shooting.

    The plan for Fri, Sat, Sun was to hunt private farm land. Up at 6am and headed to the farm where they harvest corn for the production of ethanol.
    Friday the farmer gave us the full tour of his property in the wind driven snow, and 23 degree outside temp. before sending us on our way with full use of his 4600 acres.

    The first stop was a hedge row along the cut corn fields where Luna flushed over 30 birds and managed to dust two nice roosters. If anyone has hunted the prairies of SD you know how quick and tough these birds are. They fly quicker than the ducks we hunt here in Mass, and they can take a pounding from a 12 gauge round.

    For the next couple days we continued to work the slough’s, cat tails, and grass fields that surrounded the corn fields pounding away on the birds. The farmer made arrangements to leave two rows of standing corn for us to hunt before our trip was done. We decided to leave that to hunt until the last day (Sunday) as they were still cutting the corn surrounding the standing rows. These guys cut corn all night long, so just before sunset we glassed the fields and saw hundreds of bird being pushed up and away as two combines continued cutting corn into the evening.

    Sunday was just gorgeous hunting conditions. 31 degrees, sunny, and light winds. These birds do not like to fly in the corn, and our rule was no shooting birds on the ground for the safety of the dogs. We set up two blockers at the end of the corn row and two others with the dogs pushed the mile long row of corn to the blockers. About 40 yards before the blockers all hell broke loose and at least 50 bids that had made the mile run away from the dogs flushed. It was complete mayhem with shots at big roosters and birds dropping from the sky. We worked the second patch of standing corn as some of the birds that flushed landed in this second patch. We set up in the same fashion and about 100 yards from the blockers I hear my son say “Holy $hit” as a monster 8 ptr came crashing through the corn full speed, and vanished across the corn field. Birds then flushed and once again it was game on with multiple shots taken smoking our share of roosters.

    Overall it was an incredible experience. Flocks of hundreds of geese (Canadian, Snow) migrating across the skies. Flocks of 100-300 mallards migrating, or loafing in the waterways. And jumping some of the biggest bucks I have ever seen in the cat tails, and swamps that we worked for the birds. It was not uncommon at times to flush 30 birds which really tested our shooting ability as we had to pick the roosters from the flock.

    I can see us doing this trip again in the near future. One of the best hunting experiences I have ever had.
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator Deadeye Logun S16 Champion, Backyard Shootout Champion TooManyHobbies's Avatar
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    Hell of a bag, what's the limit?
    NOBODY EVER SHOT BAMBI....they shot his momma.

  3. #3
    14 pointer WoodsmanA's Avatar
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    Congrats on the successful trip. Looks like an awesome place. 4600 acre farm... that's sick. Your dogs were probably in heaven. Were these native wild pheasants or stocked birds? I did some research a while back on wild pheasant hunting, which actually intrigues me a lot, and South Dakota has an estimated wild ring neck pheasant population of around 12 million birds. I don't understand at all why people enjoy hunting pen raised birds that are stocked but wild pheasant, now that's got to be exciting and a great challenge!
    Licensed Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator
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  4. #4
    12 Point
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    Quote Originally Posted by TooManyHobbies View Post
    Hell of a bag, what's the limit?
    3 per person per day 15 possession limit per person after 5 days of hunting

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by WoodsmanA View Post
    Congrats on the successful trip. Looks like an awesome place. 4600 acre farm... that's sick. Your dogs were probably in heaven. Were these native wild pheasants or stocked birds? I did some research a while back on wild pheasant hunting, which actually intrigues me a lot, and South Dakota has an estimated wild ring neck pheasant population of around 12 million birds. I don't understand at all why people enjoy hunting pen raised birds that are stocked but wild pheasant, now that's got to be exciting and a great challenge!
    Thanks Woodsman, these were all native birds none were stocked birds. They are unbelievably hearty to say the lease and are fast as heck. I'm an OK shooter and I'm not embarrassed to say how many I missed. Simply put they are quick and when flushed fly forever as it is all open land. Dogs did very well but at times became very overwhelmed with the number of birds they would flush.

    If I did it again I'd try to win a waterfowl tag and do a week trip combining the native pheasant hunt with the migrating waterfowl. Really want to shoot some snow geese, and they would fly over by the hundreds.

  6. #6
    Forkhorn
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    I have been considering doing a trip like that. Looks like you had a great time!
    Was this a outfitted trip or did you pay trespass fees directly to the farm?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldSwampYankee View Post
    I have been considering doing a trip like that. Looks like you had a great time!
    Was this a outfitted trip or did you pay trespass fees directly to the farm?
    Hi Old Yankee is was not through an outfitter it was booked through a "broker" that puts together a very nice package of hunting land and a lodging (Super 8) it was the most affordable way for us. It required a min of 4 hunters, gave us permission to hunt 4600 acres which we had all to our self, and every bird on the land was native. It was how we wanted our trip arranged we would cook our lunch in the fields, and eat our dinner out. We stayed in Huron, and the farm land we hunted was in Doland. I can get you the name of the agent we used that made our arrangements. She was very helpful, and knowledgable

  8. #8
    Awesome write and trip! I would love to do that one day.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bishopreid83 View Post
    Awesome write and trip! I would love to do that one day.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Thanks Bishop!! Once thing I forgot to mention is the size of the rabbits we saw in the corn. Not sure what type they are but they were extremely large




    For those interested here is the link to the trip we booked http://southdakotawild.com/index.php

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