Fort Pierre National Grassland

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beagler92
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Fort Pierre National Grassland

Post by beagler92 » Wed Aug 11, 2010 12:51 pm

im looking for some info on the Fort Pierre National Grassland, i would like to know what kinda cover there is and also where do you park at to start hunting. any other info would be much appreciated.

-Eric

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Re: Fort Pierre National Grassland

Post by Birddogz » Wed Aug 11, 2010 12:55 pm

There are pull offs all through the grassland. You are going to be in knee high to thigh high natural prairie grass like bluestem, buffalo grass, etc. Take a lot of water with you for you and the dog. Not too much water around.
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Re: Fort Pierre National Grassland

Post by ckirsch » Wed Aug 11, 2010 2:45 pm

Cover varies from grazed pasture to CRP-like cover. There are usually some stock dams, but you will need water for the dogs in between. You'll probably hunt early mornings and late afternoons to avoid the heat. Read the Forest Service regs on parking, as the USFS guys can get pretty anal about it, to the point of taking out a tape measure to see if you are more than 25 ft off of an established road. Bring some benedryl to give your dog on the way to the vet after it is snake bitten. (Just kidding on that one, but wouldn't be a bad idea to vaccinate your dog ahead of time, and carry the benedryl, just in case.....)

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stlgsp
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Re: Fort Pierre National Grassland

Post by stlgsp » Wed Aug 11, 2010 4:17 pm

A lot of this:
Image

There are some areas with a few more trees.
If you don't take a GPS then park at the highest point of the area you are hunting. Makes it a little easier to find your vehicle.

triplebbirddog
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Re: Fort Pierre National Grassland

Post by triplebbirddog » Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:19 pm

Go to U.S. forest service website and find the link that will get you to the maps. they have a wonderful map of the ft. pierre national grasslands. one of the most detailed maps you will find out there. it is only $10 and can be ordered off line or picked up in ft. pierre at the u.s. forest service office monday through friday. parking and what not is not that big of a deal. The south dakota game fish and parks has a feature on their website that allows users to download our public hunting atlas to a gps. garmin has the most models available for this option but it is an amazing tool. it is not always clearly marked when you get back in there. ckirsch is right in checking in to the rattlesnake vaccine. they are out there. its a wonderful place with plenty of space. the grasslands allotments are set up on the premises of grazing cattle and are rotated to try and avoid overgrazing. some areas will be only ankle high that are grazed and others knee high to thigh high in extreme cases. not sure how far north of the interstate the hail traveled but there was 12 to 18 inch hail along I-90 (which is just south of the grasslands) about a month ago. i don't think it made it that far north. good luck and good hunting.

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Re: Fort Pierre National Grassland

Post by Scott Linden » Sun Aug 15, 2010 4:01 pm

You will also be surprised at how much cactus is lurking among the grasses.
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Re: Fort Pierre National Grassland

Post by AHGSP » Mon Aug 16, 2010 11:39 am

A few things I learned that may or may not be consistent:

The Benedryl IS a good idea in all seriousness to minimize immediate swelling until Vet care can be reached and a snakebite kit for dogs may be a handy item as well, just in case. Have a list of the closest Vets to your hunting areas in your vehicle, call and talk to them in advance to find out useful/helpful info(Emergency Hours/Numbers?), the phone number(s) pre-programmed in your cell so you are not wasting precious time looking for the number and trying to dial when you should be driving. We used "Oahe Vet Clinic"(603 W Highway 14/34 Fort Pierre, SD 57532, (605) 223-2562 HOURS:MON-FRI 8AM-5:30PM,SAT 9AM-NOON) last year for a Rattlesnake bit pup and I can not say enough about the excellent after hours service and the VERY reasonable cost.

Avoid the "Dog Towns" and give them a wide birth, as they seemed to draw Rattlers and you also have to concern yourself with some of the nasty Bacteria/Virus' that Prairie Dogs carry, that could be a great risk to your dogs. Besides that, the dog towns are virtually barren of vegetation and won't likely hold any birds at all.

The Cactus(Prickly Pear?) can give the dogs fits if you get into a big patch of them, so it might be wise to have some HEAVY DUTY dog boots in your vest just in case. I don't think they are a necessity, but could be handy to have. A pair of leather gloves to remove the Cactus from the dogs pads and a pair of forceps to remove any remaining broken off spines could/would be handy to keep in the vest as well. Gloves and forceps will also be necessary in case of a Porky encounter. A Leatherman works just fine as well.

Carry LOTS of water for the dogs and yourself. There are stock ponds and tanks here and there, but it can be a longggg ways between them.

Familiarize yourself with the differences between Sharpies/Chickens and Hen/young Pheasants when they flush, take flight and are in flight. If your hunting appropriate cover, you're not likely to see any/many Phez, but there are some areas where the cover may slightly overlap and you might flush some Phez. We found this to be true where Cattails and Reed(?) grew well up the middle of the drainages/draws towards the tops of them and we were hunting the crowns of the ridges, or just over the lip and the dogs would work down into them and end up pointing Phez at the "heads" of these drainages and draws where this higher cover grew.

These are just some thoughts and suggestions and I'll add as I think of others.
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original mngsp
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Re: Fort Pierre National Grassland

Post by original mngsp » Tue Aug 17, 2010 6:05 am

Very good info Bruce, couldnt have said it better myself.

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