Logo

Bookmark and Share


100218_YKMV_A11.pdf



shop online at www.missourivalleyshopper.com October 2, 2018 • Page 11 South Dakota Pheasant Hunting Forecast 2018 It’s South Dakota’s 100th pheasant hunting season this fall. With a good hatch occurring pretty much statewide in 2018, there are simply more pheasants on the ground. And more habitat too: Without a summer drought, emergency haying wasn’t necessary on key grasslands. More birds, more acres to hunt … the combination should be good for a centurymark season in South Dakota. While pheasant counts are still below the 10-year average, 2018’s move was in the right direction. WEATHER AND CONDITIONS “It was an eventful spring in SD to say the least!” reports Travis Runia, Senior Upland Game Biologist with South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (SDGFP). “April featured record cold temperatures and unprecedented snow, especially in the Southeast. Very fortunately, May was the fifth warmest on record, which kept pheasant phenology on track.” “The pheasant nesting season peaks in May,” says Runia. “Relatively warm and dry conditions without drought are ideal for nesting and that is what most of the primary pheasant range experienced this year. Favorable conditions extended into the critical early brood-rearing period of June for most of the state. Even though our southeastern 7 counties experienced very high rainfall in June, survey results there still showed an increase in pheasants.” HATCH AND BROODS That’s all good news for pheasant hunters. “Most of the state saw a very healthy increase from last year, which was a tough year for South Dakota standards,” says Runia. “Overall, roadside survey results indicate a 47% increase in pheasant abundance. The 2018 pheasants-per-mile index is 2.47, up from the 2017 index of 1.68.” HABITAT AND PROGRAMS “Due to drought relief this year, hunters will find far fewer hayed CRP and CREP fields in 2018 versus 2017. This will result in more areas to hunt,” says Runia. “This is particularly good news for hunters who target Walk-in Areas (WIA) for pheasant hunting. Approximately 20% of the state’s CRP lands are enrolled in the popular WIA program, with an additional 39,000 acres added this year.” South Dakota is replete with productive public lands for the pheasant hunter willing to drive, scout and get out and walk. “In fact, there are 1.1 million acres in all in the heart of South Dakota’s pheasant range,” says Runia. Go to https://gfp.sd.gov/hunting-areas to explore all the public hunting opportunities on a web-based interactive map, and explore the atlas or order a paper copy of it for your truck. TOP SPOTS “Although not all areas have rebounded back to 2016’s pheasant levels, hunters should have improved hunting overall in 2018,” says Runia. “The combination of higher bird numbers and more undisturbed habitat should improve hunting opportunity across the state.” It’s South Dakota. You really can’t pick a bad spot to go. The Huron and Mitchell areas clearly saw robust increases in birds. Don’t ignore the entire James River Valley, all the way up to Aberdeen, where PPM counts increased 30% but anecdotal observations of late-hatch broods are encouraging. Northeastern South Dakota – the Prairie Coteau – rebounded nicely from last year as well. INSIDER TIPS “Opening weekend is a very popular period to pheasant hunt in South Dakota,” says Runia. “Many friends and family treat opening weekend as a holiday and make it a point not to miss the ‘opener.” And that’s good.” “However, as crop harvest progresses hunters can experience higher success rates later in the season,” he adds. “As hunting pressure slowly declines, and it just does, opportunity for high-quality hunting extends well into the season. Hunters should consider hunting high-quality habitat adjacent to recently harvested grain fields for a strategic mid-season hunt.” Head toward frozen cattail sloughs in late season and you’ll have the countryside – and the birds – all to yourself. Bottom line, you can head to South Dakota after the crowds of the first couple weeks have subsided, and still have a great hunt. There will be birds to be had, and plenty of land on which to chase them. Hunting Wild vs. Preserve Birds, 101 By John B. Snow, Outdoor Life Some wingshooters are wild-bird snobs. I get the appeal, since I’m lucky enough to live in a place with an abundance of sword-tailed roosters that grow armorlike feathers late in the season, skittish Huns that are prone to flushing wild in the wheat stubble, and But I’ll never look down my nose at a well-run outfit with planted birds. They are great places to work young dogs and hunt with older companions who can’t hike the uplands the way they used to. And they provide bird-shooting opportunities to thousands of sportsmen who otherwise cannot access wild birds. Plenty of hunters get to experience a bit of each. And though both types of hunts involve feathers, dogs, and smoothbores, the shooting techniques for each are not the same. These are the key differences. The Shot Wild birds fly harder and flush faster, and most of the time they don’t hold as tight as preserve birds, giving the shooter a shorter window of opportunity to get the gun up and pull the trigger before they wing out of sight or out of range. An efficient gun mount—with the barrel already pointed toward the spot where the birds are likely to flush, and your eyes gazing over the bead on the muzzle—is critical. There isn’t much time to think. The gun needs to be moving right now to establish the correct lead, and ideally you want to trip the trigger just after the butt of the shotgun is pulled into the shoulder. If you try to employ the same lightning reflexes on a planted bird, you’re going to end up with a mess of feathers in the sky and a worse mess on the ground. Once the bird flushes, reciting a deliberate “one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand” will give it a chance to get out 20 to 30 yards before you shoot, making for a cleaner kill and better table fare. The Environment Hunting stocked birds can be a chaotic affair, with several hunters walking abreast and a dog handler moving back and forth, keeping track of the pointers and retrievers as they dart in and out of the cover. Add to this the tendency of planted birds to fly low, potentially in close proximity to the dogs, and you have a recipe for disaster if the shooters aren’t paying attention to everything going on around them. I consider taking a conscious mental snapshot of the environment to be a part of the shooting technique for planted birds. I need to know where all my companions—both two- and fourlegged—are in relation to me and the bird, and unless I can account for everyone, I pass on the shot. When chasing wild birds, you still need to be on top of all this, of course, but chances are there will be fewer hunters, fewer dogs, and no guide to worry about. The bigger challenge with shooting wild birds is the physical environment. Deep cattails. Tangles of young alders. Broken rocky ground. Keeping track of your footing and knowing where you can plant your feet should your dog get birdy will improve your chances of connecting in thick, tough cover. Your Gun Selection It’s easy to overthink the right gun, choke, and load combo for bird hunting. I believe half the reason some folks put so much effort into concocting their “ideal” setup is so they’ll have something to argue about with their buddies in the café before the hunt and in the bar afterward. But it is true that planted birds are more forgiving when it comes to shotgun selection. They are easier to kill than their wild cousins, giving you the flexibility to go with a lighter gauge and a lighter payload of shot. Whereas I won’t go smaller than a 20-gauge when I hunt mountain grouse, I won’t hesitate to use a 28 on planted pheasants. You’ll never go wrong with a 12, of course, but planted pheasants and sub-gauge shotguns pair as nicely as Stilton cheese and port. Your Shell Choice With preserve birds, standard low-brass game loads in 12- and 20-gauge offer plenty of knockdown power without generating excessive recoil. Wild birds merit more consideration, however. On any wild bird, high-brass No. 6s are the lightest I’ll go. If the cover is thicker, the shots are longer, the hunt is later in the season and the temperatures are colder and snow is on the ground, or I’m after larger-bodied birds like pheasants, I’ll go up in shot size to No. 5s or 4s. There are some hunting operations where the line between wild and stocked birds isn’t very clear. These premium lodges usually put out large quantities of birds early in the season, and by the time your dog points them, they fly and act much like wild birds. I joined some friends at one such place a couple of seasons back: Pheasant Bonanza in Tekamah, Nebraska. vOutdoor Life vPheasants Forever Game Processors Participate in Sportsmen Against Hunger Program By: Ron Fowler, South Dakota Sportsmen Against Hunger Game processors are naturally key to success of the Sportsmen Against Hunger (SAH) game donation program. In the past year 37 processors across the State processed over 34,000 pounds of donated game. Over the years as many as 51 processors have participated and have processed as much as 100,000 pounds. To help with incentives for hunters to donate game, processors have reduced their fees for processing donated game. This, in addition to SAH providing processing certificates for hunters to use in paying most or all of processing fees for antlerless deer, doe/fawn antelope and Canada geese, has resulted in additional donations of this game. Participating game processors also work with SAH in arranging for delivery of processed donated game meat to local food pantries, or to Feeding South Dakota food banks which distribute the donated meat to food pantries in their respective areas of the State. The food pantries then make the meat available to families in need. For the upcoming Fall and Winter hunting THE HUNT Starts Here! 850 S Highway 281 605.225.2737 50 Years given on the SAH website www.feedtheneedsd.com. And a link to a Department of Game, Fish and Parks processor map is shown on the SAH website. KONES KORNER Country Store ATTENTION HUNTERS See Us For Your Wild Game Processing Products available from your fresh game: •Salami •Cheese Salami •Smoked Country •Ring Bologna •Wieners •Cheese Sticks •Breakfast Sausage •Bratwurst •Cheesy Brats •Jerky •Sticks •Dried Deer Steiner’s Locker 404 E. 3rd St,. Yankton, SD • 605-665-3407 OvER 2500 guNS ON haNd BUY • SELL • TRADE 18299 uS hwy 81 Castlewood, Sd 57223 605-793-2347 • www.koneskorner.com Did you know people who do not wear hearing protection while shooting can suffer a severe hearing loss with as little as one shot, if the conditions are right? One Shot Is All It Could Take! You can prevent hearing loss by using appropriate hearing protective devices. Talk with our audiologists to choose the type of hearing protection that is right for you. GUNs. AMMO. GEAR. AbERdEEN, sd seasons and game donation period, the number of participating game processors has increased to 40. The list, along with more information on SAH, is also Over We’re H“ear” For You! MITCHEll, sd 515 E Spruce Street 605.996.0316 sodaksports.com EAR, NOSE & THROAT ASSOCIATES, P.C. 2525 Fox Run Parkway, Suite 101, Yankton 605-665-0062 • 1-866-665-0062 • www.entyankton.com Beth J. Beeman Au. D, CCC-A Todd A. Farnham Au. D, CCC-A
Shopper Issues
December 11, 2018
December 11, 2018
Published On
12-11-2018

December 4, 2018
December 4, 2018
Published On
12-04-2018

November 27, 2018
November 27, 2018
Published On
11-27-2018

November 20, 2018
November 20, 2018
Published On
11-20-2018

Missouri Valley Shopper
319 Walnut
Yankton, SD 57078
Phone: (605) 665-5884, Fax: (605) 665-0288

©Copyright 2004-2016 Missouri Valley Shopper