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DIY Prairie Pothole hunt in ND or SD?

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DIY Prairie Pothole hunt in ND or SD?
Has anyone here ever done a DIY prairie pothole hunt in North Dakota or South Dakota? My buddy and I are thinking of planning one. What kind of gear do you need? We have a small 13ft duck boat and a 14 sea class tab, do you need a boat? Areas you recommend? I appreciate your input and advice.


"A Country Boy Can Survive!"
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Re: DIY Prairie Pothole hunt in ND or SD? In reply to
Yep! You missed the SD non resident deadline... ND is awesome! Plenty of land to hunt thanks to PLOTS.( I think that is what it is called) . You will need to bring the TDB 14sc. And leave it with me..... Unless you are hunting Devil's Lake... Or another lake.. n o need for a boat... Maybe a canoe... I have hunted between Rugby and Rock Lake... On my a dog wader and a couple doz decoys... And had a great time with plenty of birds.... Something to be experienced! Nothing like walking in On a moose!!!

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***Phil (Chesapeake Boy) Nowack***

http://www.mapleridgetaxidermy.com
http://www.philnowackphotography.com

Nothing like the north wind pushing snow at your back, a bird in your hand, and chessie with ice on his coat at your side.

Birds brought to you courtesy of Nikon, Benelli, and Kodi
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Re: DIY Prairie Pothole hunt in ND or SD? In reply to
 NO SERIOUSLY...BRING THE 14SC AND LEAVE IT WITH ME!

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***Phil (Chesapeake Boy) Nowack***

http://www.mapleridgetaxidermy.com
http://www.philnowackphotography.com

Nothing like the north wind pushing snow at your back, a bird in your hand, and chessie with ice on his coat at your side.

Birds brought to you courtesy of Nikon, Benelli, and Kodi
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Re: DIY Prairie Pothole hunt in ND or SD? In reply to
This isn't for this year... maybe next. When does the ND season typically open? What kind of birds are you seeing? Waders and a canoe are no problem and we have a TON of decoys between the two of us.


"A Country Boy Can Survive!"
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Re: DIY Prairie Pothole hunt in ND or SD? In reply to
I believe it generally opens for non-residents around the 20th 22nd of September just look on their site. As far as Birds pretty much everything as that is the breeding grounds of the country. Canvasback redheads Scaup Mallard wigeon pintail teal most of the regular Birds. later in the year you'll get the rest of the divers

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***Phil (Chesapeake Boy) Nowack***

http://www.mapleridgetaxidermy.com
http://www.philnowackphotography.com

Nothing like the north wind pushing snow at your back, a bird in your hand, and chessie with ice on his coat at your side.

Birds brought to you courtesy of Nikon, Benelli, and Kodi
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Re: DIY Prairie Pothole hunt in ND or SD? In reply to

In Reply To
This isn't for this year... maybe next. When does the ND season typically open? What kind of birds are you seeing? Waders and a canoe are no problem and we have a TON of decoys between the two of us.


Depends on drought, water levels. Area I've hunted around McClusky has some deeper than waders spots. I've proven it! A good dog is worth it's weight in gold. I managed quite well with an inflatable kayak. Those spots are now likely wadeable.
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When things are good in my life, ducks fly in my dreams. When things are bad, they don't.
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Re: DIY Prairie Pothole hunt in ND or SD? In reply to
If you can get a license for SD DIY is pretty much the norm here. SD has a good app that shows all the public lands open to hunting. Even in dry years there is a ton of water in the ne part of the state.

Seasons for the past 20 years have started about the last weekend of September. Early on there is usually a bunch of teal and then some of about everything else. I wouldn't say that is the best time of the season to be here. It's ok but after a couple days it can get slow. Later in October it can get better plus pheasant season has started. Even if you don't want to hunt pheasants it will leave the marshes free of most competition.

Boats aren't a bad thing. There are many places to hunt without one but with one you can often get away from what crowd there might be. There are some big shallow waters like Thompson, Waubay and Bitter that get nasty with just a little wind. Also once you get to mid October and later the divers start showing up more. Very few hunters go after them here. Usually if the mallards are not cooperating most think there are no ducks. The divers seem to come through no matter what and if you can hunt the larger lakes you will at least get into a few ducks. Be prepared to have walleye fishermen troll by your spread.

Tim
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"Ah Nuts!"

http://snipehunterfishart.blogspot.com/
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Re: DIY Prairie Pothole hunt in ND or SD? In reply to
My hunting partners and I have done many DIY hunts in ND &SD. After many years we decided field hunting with large spreads was a PITA. We downsized and took the minimalist approach and did much better.

Unless you plan on hunting a large body of water no boat is needed, nor lots of decoys. You will Scout more than you hunt, and your vehicle will take a beating. Gas will be a major expense.

Good dogs are a must, and bring all the medical and care supplies that you can. You will need them. Care of the dogs are first and foremost, after finding a reasonable place to stay where they are welcome.

If upland bird hunting rest them often, and switch dogs. I have seen dogs die from heat exhaustion, some on the first day.

Your dogs must BE in good shape before they get there. Their pads will take a beating.

Never ever pass up a chance to talk with folks that live there. Buy what you need locally and spend time at the local cafe, VFW, etc. A little courtesy and kindness can go a long way.

Enjoy yourself and good luck.











"Art does not reproduce what is visible - but makes things visible." ~ Paul Klee, artist, 1920
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Re: DIY Prairie Pothole hunt in ND or SD? In reply to
Vince makes a great point.... I've never met anyone that sees your coming to town as their savior.

Shop local, be courteous, be humble and mostly be genuine.

There's a lot of issues in certain areas related to out-of-town hunters and guides locking up land with leases. Just be aware.
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When things are good in my life, ducks fly in my dreams. When things are bad, they don't.
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Re: DIY Prairie Pothole hunt in ND or SD? In reply to
I have noticed lots of land leased for geese... But if you tell them that you are targeting ducks... They usually could care less.... HAVE AT IT!.... Alir so is my experience

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***Phil (Chesapeake Boy) Nowack***

http://www.mapleridgetaxidermy.com
http://www.philnowackphotography.com

Nothing like the north wind pushing snow at your back, a bird in your hand, and chessie with ice on his coat at your side.

Birds brought to you courtesy of Nikon, Benelli, and Kodi
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Re: DIY Prairie Pothole hunt in ND or SD? In reply to
DIY is the way to go..... Only got to do it once in ND back in 2002 I think. Stay in Bismark and you have plenty of opportunity within an hour's drive. I've found out since that the locals don't like people hunting the water.....drives the ducks out and they don't come back. Bring layout blinds and field decoys. Bring your bird gun. Ducks at first light, Sharptails until lunch, then scout for ducks for the next morning..... Bismark has lodging, restaurants, groceries, gas..... there is next to nothing after your tires hit the gravel, so you have to start every morning with a full tank of gas and have a cooler full of food for the day.
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Re: DIY Prairie Pothole hunt in ND or SD? In reply to
Since the oil boom you will find it difficult to get permission to hunt. You can't believe how much of the land is posted now. When I bought my farms up there several years ago there were almost no posted land, but now it is diametrically the opposite. Guides have leased a lot of land and landowners have got tired of disrespectful hunters and all that goes with that.
Someone will post that you should go ahead, there is plenty of opp. left still, but if you don't know someone you have a good chance to be hugely disappointed. Things aren't what they used to be.
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Re: DIY Prairie Pothole hunt in ND or SD? In reply to
I know you ask about SD and ND but think about crossing the boarder and certainly not trying to sell you in my statements. Just my opinion on options you may have if you travel in that direction. Cross at Pembina, ND or Neche, ND and enjoy the Manitoba prairies depending where you are in ND. The Minnedosa Pothole Region of Manitoba is a paradise. I see you have a TDB based on your post...Great boat to have on some of the larger bodies of water. Plenty of large lakes to hunt beside the major Winnipeg and Manitoba. No need to drag tons of decoys. Two to three long lines is more than plenty on divers or even puddlers. Most days just a half dozen or less is all that is needed for ducks. Been traveling for years into the region. Each season always exploring something new. Late September through October birds can be found everywhere. Everyday is new while your there. Could be thousands of birds and only 15 minutes of shooting. Almost every year I have been there I have heard of major birds building up near Mallard or Skowdon (spelling) during the early part of October (Now this is one heck of a drive north of Winnepeg, keep an extra 5 to 10 gallons of gas with you just in case). The southern end of Lake Manitoba also offers some walk in opportunities with a small push boat or canoe is needed because of no-motor rules. You will find most farmers are more than welcoming if you drive past an area where bunches of geese or ducks are congregating. If you want the chance at a almost everyday mix bag its definitely a waterfowler's dream. Have shot seaducks, divers, and puddlers in the same bag on many trips with even bonus Canada, specks, and snows on morning hunts out of potholes. Dish the full body geese and just buy a couple dozen WhiteRock or similar brand Canada decoys (Weight and space is saved). The only caveat on geese is that since you are a alien, non-resident of Canada; goose hunting is limited to only hunting until some date later in October which offers all day hunting. Due to noon rulings it sometimes can stink but is absolutely amazing when a big flock of any goose species decides to get a drink of water near your decoys in the afternoon just after feeding in local fields. I am not talking about a few dozen or even hundreds...I am speaking about a few thousand sometimes at minimum. Plenty of other opportunities of grouse shooting in various Queen Land area if you decide to take a mid-day stroll. An don't worry about getting up everyday at day break to hunt ducks. Take your time and hunt on your own time. No time is a bad time. Just make sure you have your CAFC 909 ETW forms (3 copies) signed prior to crossing and your port of entry from US Customs to get your gun back in the states document with you. I can tell you a typical spend on a week long trip over the last 10 years has been in the ball park of around $1 to $1.5K per person (2 to 3 hunters, $800 if you are really frugal) depending on much we travel in Manitoba (gas prices are the number one variable that increases or decreases) about all other cost such as food, lodging, licenses, and shells has stayed roughly about the same. Actually the highest expense I have paid was when I drove from Houston, TX two years ago. Spent a lot of road miles through central Manitoba with the furthest north being around The Narrows. Put near 3400 miles on my Tacoma on a 10 day drip. Enjoy the Gibson Canada Whiskey while in the Narrow, bring a pole and hit the Walleye at night (don't forget the fishing license, non-resident conversation license cost about $35 US), if you go. You may want to also take the opportunity to hunt at least one day with a guide which will run you roughly $350 a day. Greater, lesser, cacklers, specks, ross and snows are plentiful. Cacklers would be my preferred hunt through a guide if you go. To have 3 to 5K locking into the spread on most every flock is breath taking. Some of those days can be just 15 minutes of shooting in reaching limits just as well. Safe hunting and fishing this year. I will be there the first week in October might see you on the chase. My positive for this year is that my buddy is bringing his 12 year old son for the first time to Canada. It something special to see the energy of a kid or even an experienced hunter experience a hunt in Manitoba for the first time. I have found most experience that first thought of taking a bird at longer ranges because we have become accustomed to slinging steel out there 40 yards with special "Sniper" chokes developed in the waterfowl market. I bring 3 chokes, IM, M and skeet 2 in my 20 gauge and do not have a problem bagging either ducks or geese within 20 yard shots. Only choke up on geese. Just be patient, most birds are young and fall at your feet. When you find the concentrations of birds that most Management areas in the states only have even during the peak period on a day to day basis it gets under your skin and becomes an absolute addiction. Probably won't sleep tonight after writing this because now it in my head.


Regards,
Kristan
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Re: DIY Prairie Pothole hunt in ND or SD? In reply to
I agree with Kristan.











"Art does not reproduce what is visible - but makes things visible." ~ Paul Klee, artist, 1920