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Areas to start

8567 Views 13 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  1littlefeather
I will be driving up from southeast GA with my hunting partner and five dogs. We need suggestions on areas to start hunting pheasant. We have maps for the PLOTS and WMA's and was wondering what would be a good area to begin our hunting? We have hunted in Kansas for the past three years and have decided to try a new area of the country. We have heard a lot of positve reports about ND but we are wanting to start in areas with good pheasant population. We are hoping to find birds without having to pay these private, pay to hunt, plantation style ranches. (A little too steep for us southern folks) :thumb:
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The area that consistantly has pheasants in large numbers is SW ND. Wherever you find pheasants in good numbers you are going to find posted land and fee hunting in ND, even in eastern ND. There are still farmers that will just let you hunt, but they are getting fewer every year. There is a lot more public land in eastern ND, but less pheasants. There is almost no public land in the west, but way more pheasants.
When saying there are less pheasant on the Eastern side of ND, what do ya'll call less? :-? I've been told that the less for ND is more than the average in KS, is there any truth to this?? :sniper: We want to be in birds and have the opportunity to see good dog work.
E-mail me at [email protected] and I will answer some more specific questions.
1 little feather:

I have hunted pheasants in both Kansas and North Dakota, and depending on the area in Kansas, a large portion of central No. Dak. does resemble both the terrain, huntable areas, and bird densities. As decoyer mentioned, the highest densities of birds are indeed in the SW corner of the State. The area is posted extremely tight, and you would have a very tough time finding areas to hunt in the first couple of weekends. If you were to target this area for hunting, the timeframe around deer hunting is usually a period that you might be able to hunt some areas, but that is dependent on if they are using it for deer.

I would suggest looking at targeting the mitigation plots that were planted along Lake Sakakawea. Since the lake is very big, numerous plots exist on both the north and south shores. The big drawback is that the areas are not extremely large, and the huntable areas get hunted very hard. However, if you have a good dog, you should have success.

Lastly, there are numerous State wildlife areas in Mercer, Burleigh, and McLean Counties that do support fantastic pheasant hunting. Based on my experiences, if you have an outstanding dog, you will always be able to pick up birds within these areas.
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1 little feather

SW ND is a commercialized big money area. Bring about $150 - $250 per day per guy to get on the land. Some guys will say that you can find good areas there if you look. Maybe, if you have a month or so. Concentrate in the south central areas and you'll have no trouble finding land and birds. There are many federal and state lands here and many farmers don't post - ask anway!

Timing will be everything. The first two to three weeks is tough as everyone is out hunting. This year that will start I believe on Oct 12. Deer hunting starts Nov. 8th and runs 16 1/2 days. Many farmers start posting a couple of weeks before deer hunting so the deer are not spooked. My experience has been the best hunting is later after the 1st week of deer hunting. Its easier to get on private land and you won't run into many guys walking the plots and waterfowl production areas.

There are some PLOTS lands in the SW but get in line if you want to hunt them.

I hunt in Saskatchewan for geese in Oct. You wouldn't be the guys from GA that are up there around the last week of Oct.? Send private message if you need additional information. Might even be able to show you were to get started.
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Extreme southeastern ND is usually very good opening weekend and then can get pretty tough until the corn is cut. The pheasants really use the corn fields when pressured.

The main corn harvest varies with fall weather and can occur anytime from mid October through mid November.

Southeast ND can also offer fantastic pheasant hunting when that area of the state gets some heavy snowfall and the birds are pushed into the frozen cattail sloughs.

Regarding southern tier ND counties. As you travel from east to west, the climate generally becomes more arid and less corn is planted. Small grains are planted and the cover in the grasslands is also not as high. This makes watching the dogs work birds much easier.

If you are hunting with pointing dogs, the tall grass prairie and unharvested corn in SE ND can make for somewhat difficult hunting conditions especially if you like watching the dogs work the birds. The further west you travel in ND the more open the prairie cover becomes.

More sharptails and huns as you travel west too.
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I am also writing to glean some more information about Pheasants in ND. I've never hunted up here and want to get info specifically about the Southeast to Southcentral part of the state. I understand that Southwest is nearly offlimits unless you want to pay. But as far as free hunting land and public land in the SE I would like to get any info that I can. We don't have dogs, so I guess I would like to know if this is even an option to hunt there without dogs, or if stirring up birds will be impossible. Have hunted in NE Colorado all my life, not use to seeing a ton of birds, so anything comprable to home would be great. Thanks guys!
:beer: Thanks for the information that I recieved from several members of the site. We had an awesome time and some of the best dog work you could ever dream of. :run: We will be going back for some more of the same this year. Once again thanks from south Georgia. :thumb:
1 Little Feather...I would be curious as to when you decided to come and if you went to the SE,SW,or SC part of the state.
Also,how did it compare with your experiences in Kansas?
I think you should try hunting NE south dakota it great birding hunting!
We hunted several different areas and had an awesome time at it. Comparing to KS we are going back to ND but won't being going back to KS for at least 3 years. The bird numbers are not there anymore. We saw birds but nothing like ND. We ran into a lot of locals that hadn't even seen any birds. It has just been too dry out there the last 3 years and the bird numbers are still really low.
Go West Central. Birds are thick and you can find private land to hunt. In addition there is vast areas of the grass lands that hold a lot of shartail, a few huns, and better pheasants then in Kansas, Nebraska, or Iowa! Most of the best pheasants are going to be in CRP next to grain. I start hunting south of Dickinson and then move to Watford City. Yes there is a lot posted but there is still a lot open. And I am always amazed at the numbers of birds.
Forgot, we hunted the first two weeks in ND and hunted the first week of Dec in KS. We were in ND for the first snowfall, the dogs loved it and the birds held great.
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