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Old November 2, 1999, 10:26 PM   #1
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Join Date: April 19, 1999
Posts: 567
Saturday was the pheasant opener in NE. Had several relatives back for it, an uncle and cousin from IL, and 2 cousins and an uncle from Nevada, along with a brother and my dad. I got to play guide for the first day, then Sunday and Monday it was dad's turn (he lives in another small town 30 miles away). We started on my brother-in-law's farm and saw and shot a fair # of birds (I had my limit in the first 1/2hour 3 roosters with 3 shots) and I really worked at getting the other guys into good positions, I've hunted this farm for about 12 years so I have a pretty good idea of where the birds will be. We then hit a couple of other small patches, and in the afternoon, I took them to a 1/4 section of CRP land, big rolling hills covered with chest high switchgrass, small scattered patches of sunflower, tumbleweeds, and thistle, smartweed,cattails and rushes down in the draws, and a couple of nice wild plum thickets along the fenceline. I told them that even though the place had probably been hunted by a couple of other groups before we got there, it would be damn near impossible to chase all of the birds out. We got a few more, and then watched another group go in and cross an area we thought we covered only fifteen minutes before and take several more birds(I guess their having 6 dogs to our two helped a little.)
Sunday was a little tougher, it seemed that almost every field dad took us to already had someone in it (we saw several groups as large as 20, way too many for safety IMO), the birds were getting pretty wild from being chased so hard and running and flushing way out of range. Dad and the uncles (along with the dogs) were getting pretty tired so that cut our group down a little and we hunted some small secluded patches and salvaged the day.
Monday was downright miserable. When I got out of bed at 5:00 I could hear the wind howling and it picked up as the day went on. A constant 30 mph was the base with gusts up into the 45 mph range. How fast can a pheasant fly with a 40 mph tailwind? Having had no measurable rain for over 2 months the blowing dust burned your eyes nose and throat and made it almost impossible for the dogs to get enough scent. We did manage to find some birds but we worked our butts off to get them.
boy am I glad to be back at work, I need the rest.
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Old November 3, 1999, 12:00 AM   #2
Long Path
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Join Date: May 31, 1999
Location: N. Texas
Posts: 5,896
I've always heard that pheasant hunting is a great deal of walking. Would love to find out-- I've never been. I'm in TX, and there is pheasant hunting up in the Panhandle, but I never seem to get out there...

I also have always heard that, given the nature of the land you scour and the time of the year, pheasant hunting can get a bit brisk-weathered.

Closest thing we have in my area is quail hunting, which is a sport fit for kings, if you have decent dogs and a lively covey or two. The walking gets long there, too, but the terrain is more broken.

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Old November 3, 1999, 07:24 PM   #3
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Join Date: October 29, 1999
Location: rural Illinois
Posts: 589
I hunted many a 'husker ringneck in south central NE but have been told by relatives living there that birds are very scarce now.
I was planning to go to South Dakota in 2 weeks, should I reconsider?? I always loved hunting those Clay County, NE birds. This is to be my first bird trip back out in 10 years.
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Old November 4, 1999, 06:41 AM   #4
Join Date: October 30, 1999
Posts: 31

What part of NE are you in? I am hunting in NC Kansas opening week. I've been trying to talk the guys into leaving (Indiana) a week early and hunting in NE before heading south. Are there many "walk-in" hunting areas in NE, or should I have contacts before I get there?

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Old November 4, 1999, 01:55 PM   #5
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Join Date: April 19, 1999
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Hi guys,
I am in the northeast part of the state. There are good numbers of pheasants up here, though not quite as good as in past years. A lot of the land has come out of the Conservation Reserve Program and has been put back into crops. The quail population has not rebounded from the bad winters a couple years ago but there are a few around. The sw part of the state is supposed to have good number of birds also.
There are about 800,000 acres of publicly owned land (federal and state) open to hunting. In addition to this, there is another 115,000 acres in the Conservation Reserve Program- Management Access Program. This is private farmland enrolled in the CRP that is also enrolled in a state program that pays the farmer an extra few bucks an acre to allow public access for hunting. When you get away from the se part of the state (Omaha and Lincoln) or any of the larger towns, most farmers will allow access on their land as well. Information (as well as maps) about all of the land open to public hunting is available on the NE Game and Parks website

Long Path,
Pheasant hunting doesn't take much more walking than quail hunting, but a 1/2 mile through chest high switchgrass will take its toll. If you really want to wear out a pair of boots, try trekking across the Sandhills chasing prairie chickens and sharptails.

SD is most always good. If you are already planning a hunt there, I don't know if I would change plans, but depending on where you will be you might want to drop down across the Big Muddy and check out Cedar and Knox counties (south of Yankton).

I think I got you covered in the main text. If your guys can all wrangle an extra couple days they might enjoy it.
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