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Hal McKnight, from Oklahoma City, and Don Sitton, from Rockport, Texas, have recently given their accounts of a pheasant hunt they participated in during the South Dakota pheasant hunting season. The two hunters regularly visit the state and consider it, like many bird hunters, to be “pheasant heaven”.

Both were hunting in November near Winner, slightly north of the Nebraska border. The temperatures were less than is usual for the time of the year, but that didn’t dissuade either of them from taking to the fields to harvest pheasants.

The pair were hunting with 10 friends who came from across the US including Oklahoma, Texas, Alaska and Minnesota. The group love testing their hunting dogs, including two Labradors and five Brittneys; they meet every year in South Dakota for pheasant hunting and the twenty year tradition is going to continue for a long time.

Despite the recent decline in the pheasant population, the group were very optimistic that they would have a good hunting time. They split themselves into two groups; walkers and blockers. The walkers take their dogs and move in a line from the edge of one field to the opposite edge. This is usually into the wind. Meanwhile, the blockers task is to wait at the far end of the field.

This strategy does have some issues, namely that it is dangerous because you are entering each other’s gun ranges. Therefore, safety is paramount: a hunter must be completely sure of their shot before they pull the trigger. The group state the best safety advice is to see lots of sky before you take the shot.

This tactic worked fairly quickly for the group when two roosters left their cover. Both birds climbed almost vertically for about 20 feet. They were able to claim both roosters as they picked up speed on their horizontal flight, attempting to leave the area. The tactic also secured the group their bag limit.

What experiences have you had hunting in South Dakota this year? Have you managed to bag your limit?

Let us know in the comments below.


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