Planning a NE SD unguided hunt.

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Planning a NE SD unguided hunt.

Postby FowlPlay27403 » Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:56 am

Gentleman, let me first start off by saying I am not looking for your honey hole or spot. I have done a ton of research and I have narrowed my choice to where I am going to hunt in South Dakota to Brown County and the surrounding area based on projections of both Pheasant and Duck numbers. I have even created an excel file that has total projection for resident and non-resident projected numbers. So I know what county I am hunting in. What I need to know is what is the best time of year for you guys IN GENERAL to take good numbers of ducks AND pheasants. I am a rookie pheasant hunter but a seasoned duck hunter. I see a lot of talk about the end of October for both pheasants and ducks so I wanted to get some more opinions. I am planning on making Aberdeen my base camp. I will be doing this hunt completely on my own. My buddies and I will not be using a guide and will only be hunting public land, CREP, and WIA. Any and all information is welcome. Anything as to what we absolutely need to bring. Not hunting licenses, waders, decoys, etc., because we have that covered, but maybe some items for pheasant hunting, things we as duck hunters wouldn't normally think about. Area information regarding public land that we should scout which we can access by foot would be greatly appreciated as we will not have a boat or a dog. So everything is going to be carried in and out on our backs. We also want to be able to retrieve our birds so please keep that in mind if making a suggestion as far as areas we should scout. All information is welcome. Thanks for your help gents, and I look forward to your responses.
"The value of any trophy from the field depends not on its size but on the magnitude of the effort expended in its pursuit" - Aldo Leopold

Bird Count for 2014:
3 Mallards
2 Wood Ducks
2 Pintail
6 GWT
1 Gaddy
1 Spoonie
1 Canadian
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Re: Planning a NE SD unguided hunt.

Postby FowlPlay27403 » Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:59 am

We are not scared of leg work, and we have cyber scouted about as much as possible. But with limited time to scout, information about general areas is greatly appreciated. But most importantly we need to know what time of the year to plan the trip. Is it better towards the end of October, middle of November, etc. Thanks again.
"The value of any trophy from the field depends not on its size but on the magnitude of the effort expended in its pursuit" - Aldo Leopold

Bird Count for 2014:
3 Mallards
2 Wood Ducks
2 Pintail
6 GWT
1 Gaddy
1 Spoonie
1 Canadian
FowlPlay27403
hunter
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:37 pm

Re: Planning a NE SD unguided hunt.

Postby FowlPlay27403 » Thu Dec 19, 2013 11:04 am

Also let me clarify, we are planning on focusing on Mr. Greenhead for ducks. We get plenty of the other birds down here in NC but I want to see large numbers of Mallards. Ditch parrots will be the afternoon hunt, and greenheads (hopefully) in the mornings. Looking to hunt for 3 days and 4 nights.
"The value of any trophy from the field depends not on its size but on the magnitude of the effort expended in its pursuit" - Aldo Leopold

Bird Count for 2014:
3 Mallards
2 Wood Ducks
2 Pintail
6 GWT
1 Gaddy
1 Spoonie
1 Canadian
FowlPlay27403
hunter
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:37 pm

Re: Planning a NE SD unguided hunt.

Postby go get the bird » Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:57 am

In one utterly failed breath, you say you aren't looking for spots, and then you are asking for places that accommodate your lack of boat/dog. Not a good start.

Here's the deal:

I live in Aberdeen. If you want to bang ditch parrots, wait a couple years. The numbers were terrible this year- your spreadsheets should have told you that. Check out the SDGFP website.

You will have a hard time finding decent public ground to both pheasant hunt and duck hunt. Aberdonians are pretty picky on who they let pheasant hunt. Ducks and geese are different, so long as you aren't asking to hunt during deer opener. That's a bad idea as well.

If you're after green heads, opening pheasant weekend isn't the time you want to come. You need to hit the migration at its peak, or about a week or two on either end.

If you aren't here opening weekend of pheasant season, all you will find for public hunting is raped and pillaged walk in areas, run over countless times a day by no-brain out of state orange drones.

Your best bet is hunting private ground. Plat books can be had for a reasonable price, if not free. Get out and knock on doors. South Dakotans appreciate a good steak and a good bottle of booze. Bring some with and give it as payment for people who let you hunt. You'll get a lot farther doing this than hoping for a good hunt on public ground.
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Re: Planning a NE SD unguided hunt.

Postby FowlPlay27403 » Fri Dec 20, 2013 7:59 am

I was just asking for general areas, not names of CREP's or WIA's or anything like that. I.E. which bodies of water should I avoid so that I don't fill my waders up, those sorts of things. I honestly wouldn't want anyone to tell me exactly where to hunt because that takes some of the fun out of scouting and looking for areas that are holding birds and then planning the approach. I was using Aberdeen as my base camp. According to 2012 numbers provided by SD Fish and Game, Brown county had the highest combined numbers of projected birds. With 17,591 projected ducks taken and 86,342 projected pheasants taken. These are obviously a year old but I have the numbers for all the counties in SD. Like I said I wasn't asking for spots more or less what time of year to go, and what areas are safe to walk in and hunt and still be able to retrieve birds. Trust me we hunters from NC are just as quiet about our spots as you folks are up there. Heck even maybe more so as the birds here get wayyyyy more pressure than they probably do there. As far as pheasant I am a complete rookie. So thats why I was asking for help there, ducks I can pretty much figure out, I have been fortunate enough to hunt all over the country. But what I don't know without first being there are areas that we can hunt without a boat or dog. Because we can shoot them, but if the water is too deep than we aren't going to be able to retrieve them. I have heard of Plat books so that was going to be another question. But I do appreciate the information. How do you South Dakotians like whiskey? I sure wouldn't mind trading a few days of pheasants for some steaks and whiskey, and heck I'll bring some good beers too! Like I said I am on here trying to get an idea of what to expect, I have never done this before, it may turn out that we go the lodge and guide route but to me thats not hunting. I enjoy all aspects of the hunt, including scouting, setting my spreads, calling, etc. And pheasants would just be an added bonus.
"The value of any trophy from the field depends not on its size but on the magnitude of the effort expended in its pursuit" - Aldo Leopold

Bird Count for 2014:
3 Mallards
2 Wood Ducks
2 Pintail
6 GWT
1 Gaddy
1 Spoonie
1 Canadian
FowlPlay27403
hunter
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:37 pm

Re: Planning a NE SD unguided hunt.

Postby FowlPlay27403 » Fri Dec 20, 2013 8:09 am

Also it appears Day county and Kingsbury county are relatively close, so if the duck hunting isn't great when I am in Brown we don't mind driving. Like I said we are not lazy hunters. I am in my late 20s and I have hiked and paddled through some of the worst swamps and muck that you can imagine to try and shoot some ducks. We have no problem putting in the leg work. We just need to know a place to start. And if there are people willing to help us get some pheasants we would certainly repay the favor. I am an old school hunter, and I certainly pay it forward. I hope to make friends out there and make it a yearly trip but who knows. And if I do, and for some odd reason they want to come hunt in NC haha then I certainly would accomodate them.
"The value of any trophy from the field depends not on its size but on the magnitude of the effort expended in its pursuit" - Aldo Leopold

Bird Count for 2014:
3 Mallards
2 Wood Ducks
2 Pintail
6 GWT
1 Gaddy
1 Spoonie
1 Canadian
FowlPlay27403
hunter
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:37 pm

Re: Planning a NE SD unguided hunt.

Postby tornadochaser » Fri Dec 20, 2013 9:20 am

The later in the season you wait for pheasants, the better chance you have if you're only going to hunt public land. Like right now...snow and cold have the remaining birds in winter cover.
You can pick pretty much any county north of hwy 14 and east of 281 and find mallards in the fall, especially towards and into november. Plat books are $35 a piece. Pick 3 counties, scout, knock on doors, and enjoy your stay.
Google earth imagery goes back to 1998 at least for much of SD. You can look at sloughs and lakes over time and get an idea of depth. You can also get an idea of what roads might still be under water. If your in day county, the road system can be frustrating the first time you go out scouting.
Bring field hunting gear for the mallards if you have it.

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Re: Planning a NE SD unguided hunt.

Postby FowlPlay27403 » Fri Dec 20, 2013 10:02 am

Thanks tornadochaser! What about Brule or Lyman counties near the Missouri. I have read some good reports about the numbers of birds there in early December throughout the years. Have any of yall hunted those areas before?
"The value of any trophy from the field depends not on its size but on the magnitude of the effort expended in its pursuit" - Aldo Leopold

Bird Count for 2014:
3 Mallards
2 Wood Ducks
2 Pintail
6 GWT
1 Gaddy
1 Spoonie
1 Canadian
FowlPlay27403
hunter
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:37 pm

Re: Planning a NE SD unguided hunt.

Postby tornadochaser » Mon Dec 23, 2013 12:54 pm

The ducks that use the missouri river late in the season can be notorious for feeding after sunset providing little hunting opportunity if the river ramps are froze up. Before freeze up the river can provide great hunting depending on the area, migration, and weather.

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Re: Planning a NE SD unguided hunt.

Postby FowlPlay27403 » Wed Dec 25, 2013 7:45 pm

Thanks again tornadochaser!! And Merry Christmas everyone! Looks like this thread has been getting a lot of views but not a ton of responses! I am still looking for more information about the area gentlemen so any and all information is welcome!! Any guides or outfitters that read this I would like to hear what you have to offer someone like me who is looking to do it myself!
"The value of any trophy from the field depends not on its size but on the magnitude of the effort expended in its pursuit" - Aldo Leopold

Bird Count for 2014:
3 Mallards
2 Wood Ducks
2 Pintail
6 GWT
1 Gaddy
1 Spoonie
1 Canadian
FowlPlay27403
hunter
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:37 pm

Re: Planning a NE SD unguided hunt.

Postby jpallen14 » Thu Dec 26, 2013 2:26 pm

If your traveling from NC and plan on hunting water don't come any later then the last week of October. Anything after you'll run the risk of many of the small wetlands being frozen.
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Re: Planning a NE SD unguided hunt.

Postby FowlPlay27403 » Wed Apr 23, 2014 8:04 am

Thanks everyone for your responses. I have been approved for my PTO request for the dates of November 5th through the 10th. I am going to enter the lottery for the out of state waterfowl licenses so I am keeping my fingers crossed. If anyone lives around the area and wants to take a rookie pheasant hunting around that time I would be much obliged and would gladly repay the favor with cold brews and a steak or two! I will go by myself if I have to, I am determined to do this, but I think hunting is a lot more fun with friends and new friends.
"The value of any trophy from the field depends not on its size but on the magnitude of the effort expended in its pursuit" - Aldo Leopold

Bird Count for 2014:
3 Mallards
2 Wood Ducks
2 Pintail
6 GWT
1 Gaddy
1 Spoonie
1 Canadian
FowlPlay27403
hunter
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:37 pm

Re: Planning a NE SD unguided hunt.

Postby recker » Mon Apr 28, 2014 1:12 am

The lottery is much tougher then it used to be for waterfowl anyway so keep those fingers crossed. Twenty years ago I could get two licenses for ducks in sd and now it seems one every other year. The word is out big time and thank God I have North Dakota in years I dont get it anymore but be prepared to maybe not get a license.
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Re: Planning a NE SD unguided hunt.

Postby tornadochaser » Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:26 pm

There will be more licenses available this draw i bet. The Legislature turned over NR license control to the GFP. They can increase up to 5% of the previous years total each year.
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Re: Planning a NE SD unguided hunt.

Postby tornadochaser » Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:28 am

Nevermind...no license # adjustments till 2015.
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Re: Planning a NE SD unguided hunt.

Postby FowlPlay27403 » Thu May 01, 2014 8:43 am

Yea it seems like it is much harder these days. Unfortunately thats the way things are headed. More people hunting (which is a good thing) but less room to hunt. So keep those secret spots a secret hahaha. I will update you guys on whether or not I draw. It sounds like you have a better shot if you put in for a group permit. Also sounds like better odds if you put in for the 10 day license as opposed to the 3 day license. Because of the area I am hunting in I can choose either the 3 day or 10 day but they only have 500 3 day licesnses and roughly 4500 10 day licenses so we will see. It also appears that if you put in last year and didn't draw that you have priority this year, which I guess makes sense but I will be real bummed if I don't draw. If I don't draw I may just head over the boarder into ND, which I will then begin berating the ND forums for input hahaha ;)
"The value of any trophy from the field depends not on its size but on the magnitude of the effort expended in its pursuit" - Aldo Leopold

Bird Count for 2014:
3 Mallards
2 Wood Ducks
2 Pintail
6 GWT
1 Gaddy
1 Spoonie
1 Canadian
FowlPlay27403
hunter
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:37 pm

Re: Planning a NE SD unguided hunt.

Postby tornadochaser » Sat May 03, 2014 10:08 am

Statistically you have a 70-75% chance of drawing.
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Re: Planning a NE SD unguided hunt.

Postby jpallen14 » Thu May 08, 2014 7:26 am

If you have preference you'll get a license. If you don't you'll have about a 55-65% chance of drawing. I know several NRs that have successfully drawn a NR license 4-8 years in a row. The way the system is set up and person applying by themselves have the same chance as a group applying. Good luck
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Re: Planning a NE SD unguided hunt.

Postby recker » Mon Jun 02, 2014 12:13 am

jpallen14 wrote:If you have preference you'll get a license. If you don't you'll have about a 55-65% chance of drawing. I know several NRs that have successfully drawn a NR license 4-8 years in a row. The way the system is set up and person applying by themselves have the same chance as a group applying. Good luck



You are about right about a 55 percent chance. Even though I dont get one everytime anymore I am glad they stick with the quota or it would turn in North Dakota which is some areas is a complete zoo.
recker
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Re: Planning a NE SD unguided hunt.

Postby FowlPlay27403 » Tue Jun 24, 2014 2:01 pm

So I booked my flight for November 5th through the 10th. Have booked my hotel, and car rental. Have also applied for the non-res 10 day as my first choice and the non-res 3 day as my second. Heres to hoping I draw! If not its going to be a pheasant only hunt! So the question remains, does anyone want a new hunting buddy that is in the area of Aberdeen? I am an experienced waterfowler, and rookie pheasant hunter but I am in my late 20s so I don't mind doing extra leg work if you are a bit older and dont have as much spring in your step. I will gladly repay with beer and good conversation. I am huge college and pro football fan, I played Ice Hockey for 20 years, and love college basketball being from NC. If this helps you get an idea of what type of guy I am. Shoot me a PM if you would like some hunting company around that time. As it stands right now it appears I will be solo because my buddies are lame and didn't save enough PTO, but I am determined to make this happen nonetheless so if I have to hunt by myself so be it. Also any additional information is greatly appreciated. Thanks for your responses up to this point and hopefully I will get to meet a few of you in person for a hunt or 2 when I am out there!
"The value of any trophy from the field depends not on its size but on the magnitude of the effort expended in its pursuit" - Aldo Leopold

Bird Count for 2014:
3 Mallards
2 Wood Ducks
2 Pintail
6 GWT
1 Gaddy
1 Spoonie
1 Canadian
FowlPlay27403
hunter
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:37 pm

Re: Planning a NE SD unguided hunt.

Postby gonefishn1212 » Thu Jun 26, 2014 10:36 am

if u get a duck licenese hunt the green/red areas in the hunting atlas. or DL the SDGFP app for ur smartphone. i have it and is very usefull.
hunting duck..... sitting on the bank in tall grass is sufficent with ur camo. i do it.. throw out some decoys and relax they will come. if not pack up and move... no need for a dog, as the wind will blow them to shore.
for pheasant, which im a big pheasant hunter hunt the green/red/orange and brown areas. if ur by urself i reccomend hunting ditches only. the ditches are legal to hunt. u can walk the or drive them. one tip, if u drive with ur window down at 25mph or less. u can hear them running in the grass in the ditches. stop.. get out shut car off and close door befor shooting to be leagal. if u see some trees or brush in the ditches slow down and take a little more time to look they hide good. make sure u get kill shots on the pheasant as they dont always die! they run! and bury them selves in the grass and are a bit*h to find if u dont have a dog. if ur by urself dont waste ur time hunting fields... they will just run and dont normally flush unless ur right on them or a dog is holding them. its just guna be easier to stick to ditches and more time effiecent for ur time frame if ur alone.
hours for pheasant are 10am to sunset central time. good luck man. any questions ask. ill help you out and give you tips from my experience. i live in rapid but when pheasant season comes along im out and about in pierre area every weekend. Good luck to you!!!
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Re: Planning a NE SD unguided hunt.

Postby gonefishn1212 » Thu Jun 26, 2014 10:41 am

if you were to go to the chambelain area..in kimball SD thats where ill be duck and pheasant hunting nov 8-10th i limit on duck every time im there. and i usually get a few pheasant..id invite ya if u could make it but aberdeen to kimball is atleast a 3-4hr drive
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Re: Planning a NE SD unguided hunt.

Postby FowlPlay27403 » Thu Jun 26, 2014 12:43 pm

Thanks for the information gonefishin! From the research that I have done it seems that you are right that roadside ditches (right of way) is my best bet if I do end up by myself. I appreciate the offer to hunt with you! I don't know if I will be able to make a drive that far especially since all the rental car companies limit the miles you can drive in the rental (probably because every guy like me that rents a car drives 1000 miles while they are there scouting, but if the birds aren't in and around Aberdeen and I have to make changes to my plan I will def shoot you a PM and maybe we can meet up. Keep the replies coming guys this is all really helpful, I am still holding out hope that an Aberdeen local will show me the ropes!
"The value of any trophy from the field depends not on its size but on the magnitude of the effort expended in its pursuit" - Aldo Leopold

Bird Count for 2014:
3 Mallards
2 Wood Ducks
2 Pintail
6 GWT
1 Gaddy
1 Spoonie
1 Canadian
FowlPlay27403
hunter
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:37 pm

Re: Planning a NE SD unguided hunt.

Postby gonefishn1212 » Thu Jun 26, 2014 5:17 pm

I have never hunted Aberdeen area but have wanted to last couple years.. the guys I usually go with are down for any thing, maybe well make a trip up there. and u could tag along with us.or vise versa its usullay 1 or 2 ppl. I don't like to hunt with groups more than 5.. just a preference thing. and I have a dog. so every one wants to be my best friend around pheasant season. ill let u know as time gets closer if were guna make the trip to aberdeen
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Re: Planning a NE SD unguided hunt.

Postby gonefishn1212 » Thu Jun 26, 2014 5:33 pm

I don't know if u know. but u probably already ready... u can only shoot the roosters pheasant hunting.. there are also sharptail grouse mixed in wither the pheasant. I personally don't like grouse but hey u might.. cant tell grouses sexs apart but they area same bag limit as pheasant but u can hunt grouse sunrises to sunset. if it flies it dies! except for hen pheasant...
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