Question for the pheasant hunters

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Arkansas

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2006
2,634
320
83
Bella Vista, Arkansas
Used to be a huge pheasant hunter back when I lived in Iowa so now that I'm back hangin' out for a few months I'm considering picking up a license....maybe.

I realize that with the brutal winter and wet spring the populations aren't doing all that well if not even at an all time low. My old stomping grounds were Greene, Carroll and Guthrie counties and it's probably not worth the price of an out of state license to go anywhere outside of those counties but I'm still curious where the hot spots are.

My lab (who cost a pretty penny) could use some serious experience so any info from other pheasant hunters as well as farmers would be greatly appreciated.
 

burn587

Well-Known Member
SuperFanatic
SuperFanatic T2
Apr 14, 2006
2,702
1,857
113
Denver, CO
I always had decent luck at Snake Creek Marsh just outside of Jefferson, but don't get your hopes up for much this year, the pheasant population has been hammered the past two to three years leading to low numbers.
 

zach

Well-Known Member
Jul 17, 2006
1,556
90
48
The Subs
Counts way down to extinct, Oceola over to south of Afton. Seven years ago we'd see 50-150/day many times. Last 2-3 years, only see 5-10 birds, mainly hens, on several 3-4 hour hunts on the same land. There were days we didn't even see a bird. I hear there are some birds up by Ft Dodge.

Driving around the DM area in country I have yet to see a bird on picked ground.

Best of luck to you.

Z
 

Chad

Active Member
Sep 10, 2007
468
29
28
Ankeny, IA
Last year SD harvested 1.6 million roosters and was supposed to be up just a little bit this year, ND 650,000 roosters last year, and IA around 272,000 last year and down significantly this year - down 30% in the road counts. Just got back from SD for the opening weekend and we did very well. There were 16 in our group, and I happened to be in the right place at the right time - Saturday bagged 8 and Sunday shot 5 to contribute to our total. The first couple fo weeks in SD hunting begins at noon, and we were done and had them all cleaned by 5:00 each day. It might be harder to find places to hunt in SD, but it gets easier and cheaper to find places after opening weekend.
 

HerkyKiller

Well-Known Member
Aug 14, 2010
1,731
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31
Ames
It's different landscape is what I'm saying. SD seems to have more Ragweed than ND does. It's harder to walk through than what ND has.

I've hunted both, and really have seen no difference between how many birds we got. But ND was easier to walk.
 

CyPride

Well-Known Member
Oct 12, 2008
2,543
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48
98
Last year SD harvested 1.6 million roosters and was supposed to be up just a little bit this year, ND 650,000 roosters last year, and IA around 272,000 last year and down significantly this year - down 30% in the road counts. Just got back from SD for the opening weekend and we did very well. There were 16 in our group, and I happened to be in the right place at the right time - Saturday bagged 8 and Sunday shot 5 to contribute to our total. The first couple fo weeks in SD hunting begins at noon, and we were done and had them all cleaned by 5:00 each day. It might be harder to find places to hunt in SD, but it gets easier and cheaper to find places after opening weekend.
exactly right Chad - on the IA counts. last year was horrible with the 275k number killed. Just saw that we are 25% down from that point. Wow! Thanks ethanol!
 

Arkansas

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2006
2,634
320
83
Bella Vista, Arkansas
Thanks for all the input. Love to hunt South Dakota (or even North Dakota for that matter) but that's just not in the cards for now. Sounds to me that I'm better off not putting out the cash for an out-of-state license which sucks. That's pretty sad when I think back to all the successful hunting we used to do in this area.
 

RossHallHero

Active Member
Jul 8, 2009
905
45
28
Birds like corn feilds.
Corn fields don't seem to offer the necessary cover to survive a brutally cold winter.

Seems as though corn is planted from fence row to fence row with nothing left in between.

I'm thinking about cash renting my backyard and I live in Johnston.
 

BigBake

Well-Known Member
Mar 17, 2006
6,535
399
83
45
U'dale
Numbers are way way down. I think (and it won't happen) that hunters really need to be smart and just back off for a year or two. The counts overall had been decreasing and last winter was just a back breaker for em.

No, I'm not a hippy. I own a 12 guage and enjoying hunting/fishing myself.
 

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