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 Post subject: First SD Pheasant Trip - What to Expect/What is Needed
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:45 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2019 8:15 pm
Posts: 13
I am set to go on my first pheasant hunting trip to South Dakota this year, the week before Thanksgiving. Le'ts hope COVID-19 doesn't ruin our plans. This is my first pheasant hunting trip to SD. I finally got the invite from my father in law (only took 12 years)! I mainly shoot clays (skeet and trap) and 2-3 times a year I get invited to a friends club in Wisconsin to pheasant hunt. I have never been on a wild pheasant hunt, let alone one in SD.

One specific question - my FIL is an old school - pump gun and nothing else - type hunter. I have two 12 gauge O/U's (my field gun weighs 7 lbs on the nose). He told me I am not going to want to use my O/U and I need figure something else out because I'm going to need a different gun out there (assuming that was a backhanded insult to my inferior shooting skills compared to his).

Any tips on what to expect, including what gear I should consider, would be greatly appreciated. I know we will be staying in Pierre and will be hunting different ground each day (60-90 drive each day).

It took me this long to get the invite, I would like to try and get invited back.




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 Post subject: Re: First SD Pheasant Trip - What to Expect/What is Needed
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 5:03 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Mon May 20, 2019 9:53 am
Posts: 1253
take the double you want to use and if he comments tell him his daughter doesn't mine the ol' over under one bit!


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 Post subject: Re: First SD Pheasant Trip - What to Expect/What is Needed
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 5:05 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:11 am
Posts: 4080
Location: Western Tampa, FL
Why fight it? I would find a decent pump shotgun to take on the trip. IMO, an Ithaca Model 37 with 26 inch barrel would be perfect due to its lighter weight. There are other pump guns that would be suitable and who knows, maybe you will come to like them. Practice beforehand and you are all set but don't out shoot the host. That is not good for future invites!

Maybe something like the one shown in this link. Good luck!

https://www.gunbroker.com/item/874866237


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 Post subject: Re: First SD Pheasant Trip - What to Expect/What is Needed
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 5:22 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 5:50 pm
Posts: 2439
Location: SE Ohio...where ruffed grouse were
What manner of "hunting" pheasants....with a birddog :idea: or a skirmish line or, walk 'em up?
Any need for non-tox?
Time of season?
Cover.....crp, waterways, cattails, mix?

An O/U is perfectly fine given it is loaded, choked and triggered well...the pump stuff is fluff, even tho I like to shuck or let an Auto 5 do it for me.
However, given he is a fil and it has taken 12 years :roll: , I leave you to make that judgment of toeing a line....or not.

Your wild pheasant experience...could...be easier or..could...be more difficult or ...could...be much the same as a Preserve.....much depends.

Depending upon the type of pheasant hunting and so, odds on, the pheasant shot opportunities.....I would practice to replicate those opportunities.
Don't shoot too quick, keep your head on the stock, ignore the tailfeathers, enjoy the trip apart from killing stuff and grin.....plus, shoulder any work or costs.
X those boxes and you will likely be asked again....then, you may have a better idea than daddy's fluff.
Good luck.


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 Post subject: Re: First SD Pheasant Trip - What to Expect/What is Needed
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 5:57 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2019 7:22 pm
Posts: 187
Location: NE South Dakota
Lived in SD my entire life and have shot everything from SA to Pump to Single Shot to SxS to O/U.

O/U is my gun of choice from row crop hunting to walking river breaks.

Full Choke or Modified depending on how your gun patterns, 1 1/4 to 1 3/8 oz of 4 or 5 shot. Fiocchi golden pheasants are a good factory load.


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 Post subject: Re: First SD Pheasant Trip - What to Expect/What is Needed
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 6:34 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2011 8:12 am
Posts: 184
A 7-lb O/U will be just fine. Do a lot of low gun trap and skeet and make sure the *&&^$*!! gun fits you!

If you don't have them, get a pair of brush pants (Wranglers are decent and widely available) and a pair of well-fitting boots with at least 8" tops. I have never needed insulated boots in at least 15 trips to SoDak at all times of the season just because you walk a lot. I do like a pair of thin gloves - deerskin are good, get them a little small as they will stretch. The Mechanix Wear gloves are a good choice too. Bring layers for under your hunting vest and not one heavy coat. I have hunted in some damned cold weather with just thermal tops and bottoms, a good hoodie (Under Armour makes a great one) and a fleece vest under my vest. Sunglasses and maybe some yellow or orange shooting glasses (or amber lens sunglassess) are a must. Orange hat always, you would be amazed how high some of the CRP (grasses) and cattails can get.

You will probably be getting to walk a lot and not blocking. Remember: blue sky all around the bird before you pull the trigger. Don't get ahead or behind the walking line, a good way to get Dick Cheney-ed. Try not to slam car doors when you get out at a field, you would be amazed at what will make birds flush.

You will have an absolute blast. My hunting buddy out there says the pheasant hatch is great this year. If you are around Pierre make sure you know what Hungarain Partridge (huns) and sharptails look like, as you might encounter both.


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 Post subject: Re: First SD Pheasant Trip - What to Expect/What is Needed
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 6:40 pm 
Limited Edition

Joined: Sun Feb 21, 2016 5:47 pm
Posts: 309
Location: N. IL
If you normally shoot an o/u, I would stick with what you normally shoot best. I usually shoot a single barrel gun on pheasants with modified choke and 1 1/4 ounce #5 lead loads at 1330 fps. I did have a flat of copper plated lead #5's at 1400 fps and they killed pheasants very well. If shots get long, put in the full choke. Close shots maybe open up the choke. We usually hunt over flushing dogs so my shots are probably not as close as guys hunting over pointing dogs.

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Hunters don't have to make excuses for shooting at birds that are too close.


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 Post subject: Re: First SD Pheasant Trip - What to Expect/What is Needed
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 6:41 pm 
Shotgun Expert
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Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2006 11:02 am
Posts: 26592
Location: Plainfield, IL
Ryan Vance wrote:
I am set to go on my first pheasant hunting trip to South Dakota this year, the week before Thanksgiving. Le'ts hope COVID-19 doesn't ruin our plans. This is my first pheasant hunting trip to SD. I finally got the invite from my father in law (only took 12 years)! I mainly shoot clays (skeet and trap) and 2-3 times a year I get invited to a friends club in Wisconsin to pheasant hunt. I have never been on a wild pheasant hunt, let alone one in SD.

One specific question - my FIL is an old school - pump gun and nothing else - type hunter. I have two 12 gauge O/U's (my field gun weighs 7 lbs on the nose). He told me I am not going to want to use my O/U and I need figure something else out because I'm going to need a different gun out there (assuming that was a backhanded insult to my inferior shooting skills compared to his).

Any tips on what to expect, including what gear I should consider, would be greatly appreciated. I know we will be staying in Pierre and will be hunting different ground each day (60-90 drive each day).

It took me this long to get the invite, I would like to try and get invited back.


Unless your father-in-law is a real pantload, he has all the information for you. Good grief, anyone that has been going annually for 12 years should what to expect and what gear to bring. If you are unable to have a productive conversation with him about shotguns, hopefully you can talk about boots and gloves without a 911 call.

You are going to want comfortable boots and gloves and you need a shotgun that you can effortless shoulder without snagging, with a safety that is very easy / intuitive to get off with cold or gloved hands. You also want a shotgun that you don't mind carrying.

Obsession over action type is silly. I've used SxS's, O/U's. pumps, and autoloaders for over 50 years on wild pheasants. No pheasant cares what you kill them with and I personally could not possibly care what anyone I'm hunting with carries. I care what I use, naturally, but there is no reason to get the least bit excited what anyone else enjoys using.

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--Randy

http://randywakeman.com/


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 Post subject: Re: First SD Pheasant Trip - What to Expect/What is Needed
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2020 2:32 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:00 pm
Posts: 23
Ryan Vance wrote:
It took me this long to get the invite, I would like to try and get invited back.


Pick up a used Remington 870 and just enjoy the hunt. Cheap insurance, shows you listened to and valued his opinion. Can always be sold later.

Been 20+ yrs since I shot pheasant in SD, want to get back one day. Used a Browning Auto-5, could have used a Louisville slugger... Birds are big and they are slow. If your dogs stay close, you can't miss the birds. Watched one bird take off into the wind, dog finally got tired of watching it fail to climb or move forward and jumped up, grabbed it by the tail and pulled it back down. Bird took off the second time and climbed a little faster! Was hilarious to watch at the time.

Good boots (broken in, not new) and brush pants were nice to have, Gold Bond powder for your feet too. A pair of winter golf gloves worked well for me.

Wishing you only success...

Edit: no idea what the requirements are for blaze orange, but you may want a good game vest too.


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 Post subject: Re: First SD Pheasant Trip - What to Expect/What is Needed
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2020 4:54 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2019 8:15 pm
Posts: 13
Thanks everyone.

I don't want to imply there is some issue with the FIL when there is not. We get along great, but I am, somewhat, the punching bag during hunting conversations as I got a very late start (not until mid-30's, first skeet shooting, then preserve hunts) vs. someone who has been hunting "the real way" for 55 years. Its going to be a great trip. I can't wait.

There are some great recommendations and considerations provided. To answer a couple of specific questions posed:

1) Time of year - weekend before Thanksgiving
2) Hunting with bird dogs. My understanding is the guys we will be with bring pointers.
3) I don't know the exact terrain, but I do know it is private property, managed specifically for pheasant hunting (not sure if this is helpful).

As I am lucky enough to get invited to a friends club a couple of times a year, I have the appropriate boots, pants, and blaze orange (hopefully).

A couple of general questions I have (not necessarily specific to a SD hunt):

1) Shooting glasses - I have always worn clear safety glasses or traditional colored sun glasses. Do colored (yellow, orange, amber) make a meaningful difference compared to regular sunglasses? Would you use different color for hunting a field in SD vs. the skeet field?

2) What type of gloves do you prefer? I have never found gloves that work well in the field. I use winter golf gloves for skeet, more out of convenience since I originally bought for golf (imagine that!)


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 Post subject: Re: First SD Pheasant Trip - What to Expect/What is Needed
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2020 6:05 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:00 pm
Posts: 23
Ryan Vance wrote:
I don't know the exact terrain, but I do know it is private property, managed specifically for pheasant hunting (not sure if this is helpful).
.
.
Do colored (yellow, orange, amber) make a meaningful difference compared to regular sunglasses? Would you use different color for hunting a field in SD vs. the skeet field?
.
.
What type of gloves do you prefer?


All personal opinions from a jealous man... :wink:

Suspect your hosts may be following some of these recommendations, lots of good reading: https://www.google.com/search?q=managin ... +pheasants

Well - pheasants aren't usually painted orange, so there's that... polarized sunglasses would be my choice.

Edited: Use the gloves you have, but perhaps carry some HotHands packs in your pockets. Used to ride a motorcycle and know how much dexterity you can lose with cold hands. Don't care for cold hands...

So jealous right now. :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: First SD Pheasant Trip - What to Expect/What is Needed
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:44 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 5:50 pm
Posts: 2439
Location: SE Ohio...where ruffed grouse were
Jmo, but both glasses and gloves will vary with an individual's tolerances.

I prefer the palest yellow under all conditions and..might...wear actual sunglasses once a year driving into the late afternoon sun...otherwise, not for me.

Gloves depend upon what cold actually is and again that varies.
My father said all you can do with gloves on, is whistle...I don't go that far but any from goat skin to golf works a treat....and then go from there.

If the property is managed for pheasants with all degrees of wild....your table is set pretty well, have fun.
Truthfully, "wild" does not a guarantee give as to birds.

Mind the barrel around the dogs and rising birds, as you no doubt know.
Plus, it's just a pheasant...odds on that another will be down the patch, don't get too birdy to shoot and kill.


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 Post subject: Re: First SD Pheasant Trip - What to Expect/What is Needed
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2020 5:36 am 
Diamond Grade
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Joined: Mon May 27, 2013 7:19 pm
Posts: 1898
Location: Indian Head Country Wisconsin
I often wear my bronze orange tint shooting glasses while Pheasant hunting if it’s sunny. I think they help with the contrast of a pheasant against autumn browns. Cloudy or overcast I wear my regular glasses as I don’t have other tints for the shooting glasses. Be prepared to take incoming flak from the guys if you are constantly changing tints; especially if you are missing a few. You can test out tints at a preserve before you head to SoDak.

For gloves, I like the Bob Allen insulted ones. Definitely my goto if I need gloves. Prefer no gloves if I can.

https://boytharness.com/product/leather ... ng-gloves/

If you do get a pump be sure to practice some with it. I’m a clumsy guy with a pump due to lack of practice. I shoot OU or auto for targets and pheasant. It does take a bit to be a smooth shell shucker to get an effective 2nd and 3rd shot. I have one pump and I’m not good with it, but occasionally the guys want a pump day at sporting so I play along.

We generally combo hunt in NoDak and make time for ducks and geese too. Good luck and hopefully this is an annual thing for you!
Image


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 Post subject: Re: First SD Pheasant Trip - What to Expect/What is Needed
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2020 8:53 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:32 pm
Posts: 559
Ryan Vance wrote:
Thanks everyone.

I don't want to imply there is some issue with the FIL when there is not. We get along great, but I am, somewhat, the punching bag during hunting conversations as I got a very late start (not until mid-30's, first skeet shooting, then preserve hunts) vs. someone who has been hunting "the real way" for 55 years. Its going to be a great trip. I can't wait.


I'd put a friendly wager on shots fired vs birds in the bag and take the O/U. I'd have a joke or two to throw out on any wasted third shots. That's assuming the verbal jousting is good natured. If it's a little sharper, I'd forgo the jabs at easy misses.

Winter golf gloves work fine while pheasant hunting. Often I'll wear something heavier and warmer on my left hand and a golf glove on my right.

Be mindful of the dogs and the dog handlers. Don't be the new guy that's barking commands at the guys dogs. Worse yet, no ground swatting or shooting low birds around them.


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 Post subject: Re: First SD Pheasant Trip - What to Expect/What is Needed
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:22 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 6:08 pm
Posts: 3176
Location: WY
What kind of gun dog does the "expert" FIL have?

_________________
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 Post subject: Re: First SD Pheasant Trip - What to Expect/What is Needed
PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2020 10:23 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:26 pm
Posts: 3070
Location: MO
Your O/U would be perfect if it weren't for the A hole in your party, namely your FIL. If you can, I'd recommend you buy or borrow either a new Ithaca 37 or a Browning model 12 Winchester replica. Those are the 2 best quality pump guns made recently and will show up anything he has. You don't need to be invited back, South Dakota is a state anyone can go to. Schedule next years hunt while you are there, and don't invite him. BTW, never ever fire that 3rd shell unless you have already connected with birds 1 and 2! You won't believe how that will impress the real hunters in your group.

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 Post subject: Re: First SD Pheasant Trip - What to Expect/What is Needed
PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2020 11:28 am 
*Proud to be a*
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Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2005 7:25 pm
Posts: 8979
Location: Louisiana
Oldfarmer wrote:
Your O/U would be perfect if it weren't for the A hole in your party, namely your FIL. If you can, I'd recommend you buy or borrow either a new Ithaca 37 or a Browning model 12 Winchester replica. Those are the 2 best quality pump guns made recently and will show up anything he has. You don't need to be invited back, South Dakota is a state anyone can go to. Schedule next years hunt while you are there, and don't invite him. BTW, never ever fire that 3rd shell unless you have already connected with birds 1 and 2! You won't believe how that will impress the real hunters in your group.


:shock: Good grief, it's his wife's father. Perhaps he'd rather keep the family peace and be able to get a piece now and then.


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 Post subject: Re: First SD Pheasant Trip - What to Expect/What is Needed
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 7:47 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:15 pm
Posts: 46
Hope the trip is still on!

Not a lot to add. You seem like a nice guy, so just be yourself, help out with loading and unloading stuff, offer to buy dinner one night - normal "thanks for having me" kind of courtesy. And mind your barrels and keep the action open around the group and the dogs when you are standing around.

I sure hope you haven't gone out and bought a different gun. Shoot what you are used to shooting and shoot well, there are enough challenges on your first wild pheasant hunt in SD without adding a strange gun to the mix. Not sure why "old school" means pump - semis/doubles/single shots/over and unders been out there forever. I've used autoloaders and O/Us of different varieties with plenty of success. Just a question of what you like to shoot and like to carry. He probably just wants to out shoot you!

One thing I always did that was worth it often was take two pair of hunting boots (and one was always insulated). Pretty easy to soak a pair and you may not just hunt for an hour and a half, lol. Take plenty of options for layering - weather could be anything, including snow and quality wool hiking socks and poly liners work great (don't have to be thick).

I don't like heavy gloves on my shooting hand and I'd need to feel the buttons on my dog's transmitter, so it was usually hand warmers in the pocket and no glove on my right hand, but it can get darn cold - still, you warm up walking about.

Haven't been since we went from feast to famine in one year with a terrible drought where we went, so it's been about three years or so, but I'm hearing and reading all sorts of good reports about birds. When I was lucky enough to start going I was in awe of the raw numbers of birds that I saw. This has me thinking of going this year.


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 Post subject: Re: First SD Pheasant Trip - What to Expect/What is Needed
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 8:20 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:27 pm
Posts: 35
South Dakota allows you to take the plug out of your gun for Upland.
The O/U might be simply perceived as a disadvantage to the 5 shot autos.

Another SD oddity is the shooting hours are noon to Sunset before the Standard Time change and then 10am after the time change. Makes for a leisurely morning. And it tends to allow some late nights.

Don’t be surprised if the hunt is a driven mass of guys stomping cover towards other hunter that “post” at the ends of tree belts or strips of crop and cover. The key is to only shoot high birds to the sides as you approach the end. Not my cup of tea but popular in old school farm country.


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 Post subject: Re: First SD Pheasant Trip - What to Expect/What is Needed
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 10:17 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2015 6:19 pm
Posts: 219
birdhunter39 wrote:
take the double you want to use and if he comments tell him his daughter doesn't mine the ol' over under one bit!


LOL!!!




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