Just got back from Chamberlain hunting private land with a guide (1st time with a guide). Got a limit daily with my Citori Superlite and Golden Pheasant #5. I was the talk of the hunt because, of course I was the only one with a 16ga.
Bird numbers down on public land and "in the ditch". We didn't see near the number of birds flying across the roads as we usually do. I haven't hunted around chamberlain before tho, usually farther north. We limited by lunch 2 of the three days on private land. The rooster/hen ratio was prob 10/1. That doesn't sound good if it is statewide.
I was up in SD last week. The Sweet 16, vintage 1959, was hitting well. Had to be the gun because I normally don't do that well. Bird numbers seemed about as last year. But that's no big deal as last year was no great shakes. Still SD is still the Mecca for pheasants even in a down year.
_________________ Many places remain undiscovered. Some because no one has ever been there. Others because no one has ever come back.
t bird we hunted the opener there in Chamberlain with guide first three days. 4 of us shot limits every day we worked hard for them but were done in 4 hours usually . i did not use my 16 but a win 101 pigeon Grade FWT in 12 Ga. Next year the 16's
For pheasants to return, in SD or other portions of the upper plains, they must first get thru the winter. That is looking to be a problem in many areas...not speaking of private business stocking efforts.
Fingers crossed for all the plains birds in the coming months.
Joined: 24 Dec 2009
Location: South Dakota
No doubt that weather is a factor for pheasants but more important is habitat. Thousands and thousands of acres of land coming out of CRP in the past 10 years has been a bigger factor. Now with grain prices down I'm hearing of farmers that are wanting to get land back into CRP. Hopefully the new farm bill will provide the financing for that.
_________________ My 16's:
Browning Citori White Lightning
Browning A5 Sweet Sixteen (1960)
I was under the impression that in much of MT and ND, SD as well, “weather” reduced habitat this year as surely as have decisions re set-aside programs like CRP and CREP.
There reaches a point where which negative factor affecting game and non-game birds is greater or more important is of little importance....especially so in the Appalachians today but that truth holds elsewhere.
In that vein, I wish the idea of “build it and they will come” never saw the light of day as it has distracted too many people for far too long.
That said, pheasants especially, can return in a comparable instant.
Good luck to them and all the plains critters in the coming days.
It ain’t all about us hunters.
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