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2023 South Dakota Pheasant Hunting Summer Update

June 26, 2023 by

’23 PCL Guests,

Like most landowners that are in the pheasant business expenses become a real factor.  We just hit the $40K mark and that’s a new record.  Please see attached Farm Log for all the details of activities and expenses at the farm thus far.

Here’s an update on habitat:

  • It’s drier than last year but not as bad a 2 years ago.
  • There’s bugs and we have not had a day over 100 yet and not many in the 90’s either (much unlike June 2 years ago).
  • Plots look much better than last year but still have room for improvement.  Here’s the run down:
    • Broadleaf- These have good emergence across the board and generally grass weed control is no problem.  The added safflower and Clearfield Sunflower are coming in strong and will hopefully produce the needed grain to pull more birds into those plots.
    • Corn – I like then 15” rows and the seeding rate could have been a little heavier and depth a little deeper.  I have 2 replanted corn plots at heavier rate and deeper depth on Lake Farm.  I still have some farming lessons to learn.  We have a new problem weed in the corn called waterhemp.  Stands up to the roundup pretty well.  Need to up to the max dose and try that next time around.  This is not a problem weed for dogs or hunters like foxtail and sandbur. 
    • Milo – Overall these look pretty good compared to past years.  I can improve stand with heavier seeding rate and depth in the future.  Also starting to sprayer with the new chemical as grass shows up.  For both hunting and weed control I need to do a better job at establishing the crop canopy earlier to shade out the weed competition in all plots. I had an extra bags leftover and had 2 corn plots that did not look so hot so I seeded them to milo at heavier rate and deeper planting depth and they have come in much more uniformly.
  • Birds – Seeing some broods and fliers.  We have see a lot of pheasants this spring and now with all the cover not so much.  I think rains will be enough to get birds through and heat has not been too bad.  We’ll need timely rains for crops and birds as we go here.