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Old 10-25-2012, 06:38 AM   #29
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Thanks HIBBY for the comprehensive report from the field. We don't depart VA until just after Thanksgiving but will be looking forward to our annual adventure just the same. It was good to see snow on the radar in SD for a change as we do enjoy our hunt in cold weather with a bit of snow on the ground as well. Good luck on your final days afield and give us a wrap up report when you have the chance.
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:43 AM   #30
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Thanks for all the posts, this has been great. Sharing hunting stories on an Airstream forum, how much better does it get! I am impressed with the knowledge and the willingness to share experiences of the members here. Several have helped me understand my new to me Safari, and now this. We have been a bit apprehensive of finding public property to hunt, however, it sounds like there are ample places. Thanks Hibby for all the information. My son and I are heading out very soon, getting excited, especially after reading yours and all the other posts.
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:59 PM   #31
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Today is the fourth day hunting, and my friend and I had some success (two birds each) but did not limit out. There was some snow last night, as temps had dropped significantly. The high today was only 37, and winds were easily 20-30 knots. Across the flatlands of eastern South Dakota, that's pretty chilly!

Today, we saw NO roosters or hens along the road which is very unusual for South Dakota. Road hunting is very much a tradition here, and many of the hunters that didn't want to brave the weather today chose to road hunt in the warmth of their vehicles and were disappointed.

We hunted a new stretch of CREP land that we were sure would have birds, but to no avail. We immediately returned to a plot that we had hunted on prior days and flushed multiple birds, including several roosters. Most were quite far out, but I managed to drop one just over the fence line onto adjacent farmland. After setting my rifle down, I made a full sprint chase after the injured bird and (literally) made a flying tackle into the snow and corn stalks to bring that one home. My good friend has been laughing all day about it, and claims it's the best retrieve he has ever seen. I have been reminding him that I made the retrieve because his dog didn't!

We then returned to a second plot of land that we had hunted on prior days, and flushed 30-40 birds. Again, many too far out to shoot due to high wind and perhaps having been "educated" about hunters over the past few weeks.

One thing that I have noticed in hunting this public land is that we have not yet encountered birds on a property if there was not a corn field adjacent to it. Water sources would also be a great habitat to look for in identifying good properties, but we are now passing by any property that does not have corn adjacent to it (even though it has been harvested already).
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Old 10-26-2012, 05:04 AM   #32
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Hibby,
From our experience, your last paragraph is very important and sums up successful public land hunting in SD.
Here's what we utilize successfully; once we find a roadway with unmowed grass (preferably taller yellow) we drop one hunter and a dog in the ditch then move to the end of the cover and drop the remaining hunters. Remember; food adjacent or water is important. The hunters then move to the middle which is usually where the action begins. We don't road hunt by driving. We must get into the ditch with them for good action which requires lots of walking, especially back to the vehicle, but it works well for us each and every year. Another point; we don't find many birds in the bar ditches with the wind blowing down the ditch rather we find them out of the wind in ditches that are perpendicular to the wind.
Hunting the fields; look for red switch grass knee deep or better then walk and stop, walk and stop. The more hunters the better for this type of hunting. Again, nearby food is a must in most cases. Any ditch or field with water and cattails is usually good.
How is your Airstream doing in the park? I assume you keep some heat on inside while away during the extreme cold.
Good luck and thanks for the reports.
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Old 10-26-2012, 09:22 PM   #33
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Zoom,


Those are good thoughts... I will definitely use that information for next year!

Normally, we are used to seeing birds running across the road and through the ditches. This year was a true exception to years past, as we did not see more than three birds the entire week on the road or in ditches. Every ditch was completely dry, and water sources were few. We still had great success!

It has been a great week, and the Airstream was wonderfu! This is the first year that I have not stayed in a hotel... Because the campground had full hookups, I was never concerned about depleting my batteries or running out of water. Had it been much colder during the week, I would have been into my spare propane cylinders but I had plenty. I turned the heat down to 50 F while hunting during the day.

My wife also packed plenty of food and I went the entire week without needing a restaurant or grocery store. Next year I am sure that she will go with me!
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Old 10-27-2012, 04:47 AM   #34
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Hibby,
It's been great reading your posts and learning of the campground in the Mitchell area. Nothing better than coming home to familiar surroundings with a stocked refrigerator. Better yet, it's an Airstream with no expenses for a motel or restaurant!
Safe travels home. Maybe we'll bump into each other in the field one day.
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Old 10-28-2012, 01:04 PM   #35
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Magazine article about Airstreams and bird hunting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hibby View Post
Non-resident license in SD is $114. Sounds like the Airstream will be a perfect basecamp! Take your game shears and lots of ziploc bags!
Hibby, I'd like to chat with you via Private Message about your pheasant hunt and your use of the Airstream. Your conversations back and forth with "ZoominC6" are just the kind of discussions I want in the article. I alsoi will spend time with waterfowl hunters in MN and ND as well as quail and chicken hunters in NE and KS.

I have written a number of other articles about Airstreams' being used for out of door pursuits and bird hunting fits the bill for another discussion.

I can be reached at tomp1937@gmail.com or my private cell (612) 720-0645

Any hi-res photos you might have might also fit the article.
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:43 PM   #36
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Tomp1937,


I'd be happy to... It was a great experience and part of my reason for buying the Airstream (hunting and fly fishing)! I regret that neither of us took many photos, but happy to share. I have already blocked my calendar for the same week next year. Maybe you'll go with us to take the shots we can't take! My cell is 616-581-4350 and most likely to catch me in the evening. You can reach me at the office by day at 616-249-3865. How about horseback for elk in Colorado or Wyoming?
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Old 10-29-2012, 06:59 AM   #37
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Hibby,
Lab and Lewelyn? We hunt two labs and a Lewelyn as well and they work well together. One of the labs is a pointing lab which is really an advantage. Thanks for posting the pics and hope you had a safe trip home.
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Old 10-29-2012, 08:35 AM   #38
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Not to change the subject, but I am curious about the jackrabbit populations on public assess land where you were hunting.. Did you see many? I am a falconer and fly homegrown NA goshawks, working on my fifth generation. My dad was a bird hunter in the 50's, as am I, but after 30+ years gun hunting, I started hunting with hawks 20 years ago.
Pheasant, jacks, and ducks are my main interest but I esp. am looking for some good jack [populations . It would a fantastic trip in the Safari and one that will hopefully happen soon. Thanks for any info you can share.
Barry
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:21 PM   #39
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Barry,

In past years, we have seen many while hunting on public land in South Dakota. However this year was different. We did not see a single rabbit! I'm sure that they are there, but harder to locate due to the lack of water. Plenty of skunks though; dogs were sprayed twice!

ZoominC6,

The trip home was uneventful and smooth travels. The lab is pure, although he belongs to my friend Harold, which I'm sure has tainted him somehow. His name is Doc, and he has a great nose but if the bird goes down in the cattails, he stops there! I'll admit to having made some great retrieves myself on this trip!
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:32 PM   #40
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Tomp1937,


There's no good story that hasn't been embellished, and I think we could come with quite a doozie... I made the front page of the Grand Rapids Press twice for my forays into dovemhunting and fly fishing, Although no airstream was with me at the time. I simply got busted being off work on a sunny day.

I'm willing to set up the airstream on the lawn of the Muskegon River Lodge and show flyfishing from the door. I know the owners! We could do a pheasant shoot nearby after fishing or vice versa...

I think we need to coordinate a stream of airstreams in the Grandville parade this year and announce the next up-and-coming urban even for the downtown streetscape... This could be tied in with the Jennison Street dance?
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Old 11-01-2012, 10:48 AM   #41
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I spoke with my husband last night and he said the bird numbers are down compared to previous years. He goes with some friends and they hunt the same place every year. The place they hunt hadn't had rain in forever. Hubby got his birds though. He hunts with a Springer and we have a Field spaniel in training.
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Old 11-01-2012, 12:56 PM   #42
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I spoke with my husband last night and he said the bird numbers are down compared to previous years. He goes with some friends and they hunt the same place every year. The place they hunt hadn't had rain in forever. Hubby got his birds though. He hunts with a Springer and we have a Field spaniel in training.
Thanks for the report fresh from the field. The news is as expected but we accept it knowing SD is still better than anywhere else, even in the down years. We enjoy the hunt and it makes the harvest even more enjoyable. Love those Springers as I grew up with a great one, my best buddy as a kid, and have had Labradors since our kids were little. Life is good. Thanks again.
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