There are four steps to pulling off a successful pheasant hunting trip to the South Dakota.
Firstly, Researching and Reserving. You can find excellent sources of information from pheasant hunting websites, hunting magazines, internet articles, and internet searches on Google. Hunting operations and experiences vary widely in the Dakota’s and knowing you groups specific requirements will go a long way to helping you have a better than average outcome. Some hunting operations have a “wait list” and take reservations up to 2 years in advance. The more common time frame is 11-12 months in advance. The average hunter waits until Aug-Sept. to book. The best time to book a hunt is right after the one you were happy with. If the operation only provides hunting then you will also need to check dates of local motels in the area to insure you have lodging to go with the hunting. Don’t book a “hunt only” package until you have your lodging in order.
Secondly, Preparation and Packing. Check with your outfitters to see if you need to bring your own sleeping bag, pillow, towels. As far as clothing goes you want to bring plenty of orange. You should be planning for warm weather and cold weather and dress accordingly. You never know what you are going to end up with for weather conditions. Other musts are: shooting gloves, shooting glasses and orange hat.
In addition, Traveling and the Hunt. Spend a sufficient amount of time with your host to show you around the property. This is especially important if you have booked a self-guided hunt. Make sure you are comfortable with the layout and location of the property you are hunting. Take some time with your group on strategizing how you are going to hunt it. Believe me, if you are hunting wild pheasants, the birds have the upper hand. Also, the biggest mistake hunters make is by getting all excited and walking too fast. Bottom line: Land is expensive, don’t waste it. You need to maximize to acres you have to hunt that hold birds and hunt more slowly. You would be amazed to know the numbers of birds you are actually walking by.
Finally, Rebooking. Both before and during your hunt, talk with your group about next years plans. There is never a better time than to discuss next years hunting plans than when you are with your group this year. In the long run, this saves time and will result in a better quality experience in the future.
The public access area just upstream of the Grandview Bridge over the Big Sioux River is about the same as the last visit, just a little less muddy. We were able to drive down to the public access area on the South Dakota side without fear of being mired down in the mud. From this vantage point, it seems as though passage on the river is possible. Banks are very muddy, however, and a major problem would be access; of course, the water is also quite cold, and a spill could be dangerous.
The thaw at Lake Alvin went into a stall over the last couple of weeks. Warmer weather, though, seems to be making a difference now. There are longer ice-free leads and generally several feet along the edge that are open. The whole ice field looks ready to dissolve.
Not much has changed at Klondike over the last two weeks. There are fewer large thick ice chunks along the shore. It is also to see that passage through this set of constructed rapids will not be easy. Today, we could not envision a route for a kayak or canoe through the rocks. We discussed the danger of tipping over and getting a foot caught in the loose rock placed in the stream.
We understand that a portage trail will be constructed, but there is no evidence so far of such a path. While it is good to see the end of a low-head dam, there does not seem to be any improvement for river travel on this section of the Big Sioux. Maybe there will be something happening in the next few weeks; until then, though, passage through the rapids looks unlikely and a portage around the rapids seems difficult, especially trying to climb over the rocks. Take care if you go out on the water over the next few weeks!
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Great South Dakota for November 2012 is about South Dakota Business. Great South Dakota is the South Dakota web directory covering relevant websites to business & economy, computer, networking, arts & humanities, real estate, shopping & services, travel, society, transportation.