|Successful South Dakota chicken hunt.|
Was recently invited to give a seminar in the Department of Natural Resource Management at South Dakota State University. The invitation also include 2 days of field sampling in the national grasslands.
After my seminar, we loaded up the dogs and the rest of the hunting party and headed for Pierre. My guide was Dr. Brian Graeb (pictured above), SDSU Fisheries Ecologist, as well as Llewellyn Setter nut. Brian runs Setters Slough Kennel and has 10+ setters. He brought 5 setters with him for our trip to Fort Pierre National Grasslands. Good thing, since temps were warm for our 2 days of hunting. First day I nearly went down with heat exhaustion. Temp at noon was nearly 85. Saw a few birds, mostly sharptails, at a distance. Had a couple long pokes, but nothing fell.
Second day we found birds on the edge of a couple standing sunflower fields. Dr. KC Jensen was the first to put birds on the ground, bagging 2 young Prairie Chickens. Then I was able to add a Prairie Chicken and a Sharptail to my game pouch. My first PC in hand. As you can see from the above, there is A LOT of ground to cover! Spectacular country. Even with the hot weather, Brian's dogs did a real nice job covering the prairie.
We definitely need to find a way to arrange a Grouse Camp in central South Dakota one of these years. I know I'll get back there sometime soon!
Look forward to seeing pics from those of you gathering in Maine for Grouse Camp. I'll be in Portland for the TWS conference. Definitely going to have a chat with TWS execs about the timing of this conference. I think its mid Oct the next couple years as well. Ridiculous.