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2011 South Dakota Pheasant Hunting Season Outlook Forecast Report-July

July 19, 2011 by

We're implementing over 150 acres of new CRP at the Pheasant Camp Lodge near Geddes South Dakota this season.  Some trees but mostly grasses.  Last week I was out doing some CRP maintenance which included clipping weeds in some of the new CRP stands.  I am happy to report having seen several broods of chicks from 3" to 6" in size and all are flyers as they pretty much fly from very young and small in size.

What's different at the farm this year is that we now have 278 acres of CRP where before we had none.  This makes it much harder to tell what is out there in the way of pheasant numbers since I don't visit all the acres if it doesn't need maintenance and we like to leave it as undisturbed as possible anyways. 

Between my neighbor's place (Cattail Haven) and mine (Pheasant Camp Lodge) you really don't see that many pheasants right now and we have several hundred acres of good quality CRP between us.   People ask me how the birds are looking and I tell them I don't really know and if anybody does tell them they know, they are probably full of it.  I do know that the warm temps are excellent and the cover growth and insect abundance is insane right now which is great for new chicks.  I also know that I flushed about 30 hens out of each of my 15 food plots I mowed this spring and so I know those birds are out there somewhere doing their thing.

It has been very wet in some areas of the state and that could mean that the nesting season will get pushed back like it did last year when we had an early wet spring.  We saw newly born pheasant chicks after labor day last year and this is not uncommon at all.

So with the broods I have been seeing on the limited acres I have disturbed and the amount of nesting season left in the year, I am highly encouraged.  This heat is key for pheasant chicks and equally important to finishing crops off in time and they are catching up quick after a late start.

The expectation is that we will see crops coming out later this fall than last year as they have been well behind the 5 year average in the state, but with these recent record temps and humidity, who knows?  Late season hunting could be the cat's pajamas in 2011 South Dakota Pheasant Hunting Season.

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