National Grassland info needed......

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steingre
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National Grassland info needed......

Post by steingre » Tue Jul 06, 2010 7:44 am

I've posted this on other boards as well........................................

I'm starting to plan a trip for sharptails this fall. I hunted the Ft Pierre National Grasslands several years ago, but I may want to expand the trip and the location a bit.

I'm thinking of starting in North Dakota, the Little Missouri Grasslands, dropping down to the Grand River in South Dakota, and finishing up at Ft Pierre. That may be too ambitious...but I have three eager shorthairs, and, so far, it's just thinking and planning! Any information on the first two locations would be greatly appreciated!

Also, when I went to Ft Pierre for the September opening weekend...the coolest of the four days I hunted there was 96! My schedule is flexible...so I could go later- after October 1st- what's your experience with sharpies after the openings?

Thanks!

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birddog1968
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Re: National Grassland info needed......

Post by birddog1968 » Tue Jul 06, 2010 8:28 am

They get spooky the later it gets, they get hard to approach.
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Birddogz
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Re: National Grassland info needed......

Post by Birddogz » Tue Jul 06, 2010 8:35 am

You will be fine October 1st. What I have done before is wait until opening day of Pheasant season. I would get there a few days before season phez season and hunt sharptails. Then you will make note of where you have seen the most pheasants while hunting sharptails. That way you will have cooler temperatures and be able to limit on both prairie grouse and pheasants. :D I made that trip several years ago and had a blast! Very few people hunt pheasants in the expansive grasslands, but there are enough to fill up, and they hold well since they are still dumb and pressured very little in those areas. You should have fabulous shooting. The sharptails get spookier as time goes on, but early October you should still be fine. November is when they become almost unapproachable. Just a thought.

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Greg Jennings
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Re: National Grassland info needed......

Post by Greg Jennings » Wed Jul 07, 2010 4:49 am

In South-Central ND, the sharpies are too spooky by the opening weekend of out-of-state pheasant season...about the middle of Oct.

Another thought. With 3 dogs, you're going to need to take it easy. If you hunt them every day, you're going to run out of dog power.

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birddog1968
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Re: National Grassland info needed......

Post by birddog1968 » Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:00 am

Greg Jennings wrote:In South-Central ND, the sharpies are too spooky by the opening weekend of out-of-state pheasant season...about the middle of Oct.

Another thought. With 3 dogs, you're going to need to take it easy. If you hunt them every day, you're going to run out of dog power.

agree with first sentence. Tho we still managed to take a few it was nothing like the opener.....had to change strategies and get sneaky.

Hunted 6 weeks with two pointers and a lab last fall tho......sharpies, huns , phez, ducks.....
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Re: National Grassland info needed......

Post by Birddogz » Wed Jul 07, 2010 12:26 pm

I agree that they are spookier than opening day in September, but I had no trouble filling both phez and sharptails in the same day. I hunted probably 4-5 hours a day. Around 10 miles of walking a day, so I definitely was tired after 5 days of it. :lol: I shot some Huns as well.
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birddog1968
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Re: National Grassland info needed......

Post by birddog1968 » Wed Jul 07, 2010 9:30 pm

gpblitz wrote:Any trouble with rattlesnakes on the grasslands? I've hunted the LowerBrule res. many times and would run into a few snakes. Somes years wouldn't see any snakes.
I saw 0 snakes last year...hunted from Missouri grasslands ND down to Ft Pierre grasslands near lower brule, sept 20th- nov 1st. Lucky I guess.
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Birddogz
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Re: National Grassland info needed......

Post by Birddogz » Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:08 pm

I never saw any snakes while hunting. I saw one prairie rattler on the road. Stay away from rocky areas if possible.
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steingre
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Re: National Grassland info needed......

Post by steingre » Thu Jul 08, 2010 6:54 am

On my last trip to Ft Pierre...at a stock tank getting a little water for the dogs....I had to drop my gun, and make a quick grab...a dog in each hand, as a nice fat rattler warned us to stay away! He eventually slithered away...and I very carefully and gingerly dipped the water and tended to the dogs several yards away!

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Greg Jennings
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Re: National Grassland info needed......

Post by Greg Jennings » Thu Jul 08, 2010 7:31 am

Had some friends hunt in the grasslands in NW ND last year. They didn't mention rattlers, but did have lots of problems with porkies. Take your leatherman!

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Re: National Grassland info needed......

Post by larue » Sun Jul 11, 2010 8:41 pm

I have hunted both grasslands you are talking about.
You will find north dakota with fewer hunters,and look for gooseberries,with a few huns in the lands on the edges of the crops.Hunt the outside portions of the grasslands out there,as the badlands are not really grouse country.
I had more issues with porkys in nd.I based my camps out of williston and dickinson.
Pierre is much smaller,but higher bird numbers.I will be out there again this year,maybe with my horse this year.
Expect more pressure and smarter birds in sd.

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Re: National Grassland info needed......

Post by jfreeman GSP » Thu Jul 15, 2010 12:28 pm

I am also planning a trip in Sept for sharptails in SD, for those that have hunted Ft. pierre grasslands and the lower Brule res. which one
do you consider best. I have been on the lower Brule and saw grouse but they were very wild and this was in Dec. I am trying to make up my mind
as to which one acct. if I hunt the res I will buy the yearly liscense. I also am wondering how the hunting pressure compares around the last of Sept.
I hope this is not considering hijacking this thread and if it is I apologize, but would very much appreciate any info from you,ll.
Thanks very much
P.S. The Reservation people said thier sharptail and praire chicken counts were up from last year, don't know if this is just trying to sell the hunting or
not, if so I don't guess the hard winter affects the grouse as much as the Pheasants.

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Re: National Grassland info needed......

Post by Birddogz » Fri Jul 16, 2010 10:52 am

Prairie grouse are not affected by hard winters at all from what I have seen. They are some really hardy creatures.
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Re: National Grassland info needed......

Post by triplebbirddog » Mon Jul 19, 2010 1:17 am

I have got a picture of about 150 to 200 prairie chickens feeding in wheat stuble on a miserable december day. the last weekend of sd season is was around -20 and shot limit of grouse/prairie chickens and pheasants. last year i harvested about 2 prairie chickens for every 1 grouse taken. that was from ft. pierre national grasslands and north past little bend on missouri river. It can be tough walking but there is good hunting opportunities in river hills. I know lower brule has good numbers of birds and if you have the extra money it could pay off just due to lack of pressure.

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carpfisher
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Re: National Grassland info needed......

Post by carpfisher » Fri Sep 10, 2010 7:49 pm

Just discovered the FPNGL. Google searched and found this forum/post. Looks like good information. Cansome post a link about the reservation? I see some references to it but don't anything about hunting there.

Greg

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Re: National Grassland info needed......

Post by Scott Linden » Sun Oct 03, 2010 6:22 pm

Made some TV shows near Ft. Pierre and also in ND for sharptails in mid-September ... excellent numbers where we went. Also hunted grasslands near Mott, ND and saw lots of birds. Same for the PLOTS land there - make sure you learn about it.

They will be spookier by the time you get there, so good luck. We had a rattler under the horse trailer in SD, maybe it'll be less of an issue once weather cools. My experience with BLM bureaucrats at Ft. Pierre has been very positive. Reach out to them in advance and you might be pleasantly surprised, too.
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carpfisher
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Re: National Grassland info needed......

Post by carpfisher » Thu Oct 07, 2010 7:00 pm

Scott,
Yeah, we know about the timing and spookiness. We figure there's bound to be some dumb ones in 100,000 Acres. Last year we went to ND, both east and west and the bird count was very low. Hopefully it'll be better here.
I have talked wih the folks in FPNGL Office and they haved been very friendly and helpfull.. We haved one of the cabins at FArm Island State park for the week and we are psyc/ed up. Dog is working good at home every night.
Thanks for the comments and I enjoy your show and website.
Greg

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