I've talked to three different hunting groups that were out. No snow, lots of moisture, and mixed results. Two groups saw lots of birds, one group was disappointed. All hunting was done on private land, mostly family owned.
Hunted in sw ND and was tough. Very dry summer with cover pretty scarce, some birds could be hiding in fields as most aren't even harvesting them cuz it was so dry. One landowner near Beach said they'd only got 1" of rain since end of June. It rained Friday and snowed around 6" after that so the farmers welcomed the moisture. Many cancelled at the hotel cuz of the conditions so there wasn't alot of hunters around.
Hunting was great, 6 of us got our limit before noon every day this weekend, Oct. 16,17 & 18, hunting private land, lots of birds where we found good cover, never hunted the same piece of property twice, didn't have to, the farmers we talked to, said the birds are at good numbers, just find good cover and you'll find your birds, no trouble finding places to hunt, we hunted about 80 miles SW of Bismarck.
also did well in extreme SW ND over the weekend, but as mentioned it was bone dry and hardly any cover for birds - look for tree rows and shrubs to hold a ton
i didn't see much for young birds - i'm not sure if that is a function of the hatch being earlier because of dry and warm conditions or because the hatch might have been reduced because of the lack of moisture
I hunt by XXXX and there is noticeably less birds this year. Last weekend we only shot 1 young bird. They hadn't gotten rain for 3 1/2 months. It takes dew in the morning for the young birds to survive and when it's that dry, there's no dew.
well we just returned from our annual trip to southwest nodak we left early because of the storm we hunted sunday-till wed noon we did very well there are a ton of hens we shot our limits pretty easily we saw alot of unhatched eggs and nests with eggs in them i found one nest with 10 eggs in and a few yards away anither with 8 in an found several singles un hatched if they all would have hatced it would have been un real if the hatch is even normal next year it should be awsome provided a good winter survival
I've heard so much about the snow in ND that I'm getting concerned about the trip I'd planned for Thanksgiving. How has/will the snow affect the pheasants? Will the snow remain on the ground or is there a chance of it melting? Would you recommend cancelling or staying with the original plans if it were you?
I would still go as planned if it were me. In fact I'm leaving on the 13th for 5 days in the SW portion of the state and have no plans on canceling. Was told that 9 inches of snow fell with some smaller roads drifted over, but I'll adapt to the conditions.
From what I have heard parts of the state received substantial snowfall. Because of the winds some areas had considerable drifting. Temps are supposed to reach 40's by mid to late week and continue for a bit. So it's safe to assume some of that will melt off. By Thanksgiving enough should be plowed out to allow access to most areas. Heavy snow like that will further concentrate the birds into the heaviest available cover. That can be a double edge sword as once you locate them there will be a bunch of them. The down side may be that when they are grouped up in numbers that large they can be very hard to approach. Still, hunting in snow is my all time favorite thing. The snow gives you so many clues as to what the birds are doing.
I would still go.Unless the temps get way below zero and it gets downright uncomfortable.There are lots of pheasant hunters who hunt in Nov.and Dec.That's when the real pheasant "hunting" starts.Up till now it has been pheasant "shooting."
Thanks for the responses guys! I believe I will go, but the guy that owns the place says it is a bad year for the area. I've done almost all of my pheasant hunting in KS and this year has been pathetic, so ND can't be any worse. I don't care about the weather......at least I can count on it not being 80 degrees like KS has been so far this season
was to the area two weeks ago and to say the least 4 guys filled out every day by 1 -2 so if that is bad then id like to see good and all we hunted was PLOT land i have been hunting that area for 12 yrs and i would say it is a normal yr , I am going back the 21st of NOV and then to finish the last four days off of the season.
As of the 17th the snow pack has gone down considerably. Drifted areas still showing and most of it is hard pack and walkable from the melting and re-freezing that went on. Most CRP is now accessible that was previously snowed in. You'll need to hunt with stealth though as the birds are very wary.
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