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  #1  
Old 07-15-2005, 09:45 PM
Mr.Seaguar Mr.Seaguar is offline
Wallhanger
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: NW Iowa
Posts: 1,176
Default S.D. West River deer hunting

Anyone hunt these seasons? I was just curious about Walk-in Areas. I have hunted these in eastern SD and they have pretty good cover. Are the areas out west as good? Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 08-12-2005, 07:26 PM
EyeAuthority EyeAuthority is offline
Minnow
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Watertown, SD, U.S.
Posts: 49
Default RE: S.D. West River deer hunting

A lot will depend upon the county and the tract of land but in my humble opinion it will depend more on the size of the property. Some west river counties are known for their mulies and others for their whitetails. The ranch I hunt was converted to walk-in some time ago and because of the sheer size of it, the hunting has actually gotten better. This is due to the fact that before it went into the walk-in program, pickups were every where, in every draw of every pasture. The deer didn't have a chance to grow old and were constantly harassed by folks in pickup trucks. I really like hunting mulies and by walking and glassing from high vantage points. Now, most people rarely walk more than a mile from the road for a variety of reasons. The particular pasture where I hunt is a 2 hour walk - one way. The bucks now have a chance to grow bigger and the proof is in my photos. Yes, it is hard work getting in and getting a deer out is even worse but it is worth it. Last season, I shot my buck on Sunday afternoon at 2:00pm and it was 12:00 noon the next day before we got the deer out. I am old enough now that I won't be able to do this for many more years - probably only a couple but the last 6 bucks my son and I have taken were more than worth it.

So, do your homework, find a big ranch (there are several) and get off the beaten path. I think you will be surprised.
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  #3  
Old 08-24-2005, 08:32 PM
Mr.Seaguar Mr.Seaguar is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: NW Iowa
Posts: 1,176
Default RE: S.D. West River deer hunting

Thank you very much. There are some huge ranches of WIA. My plan is not to hunt West River this year. I have 2 young children so time and money is sorta short to be chasing deers in yet another weapon, part of the state and month,lol. Next year is more likely. After that it gets progressively more likely. I appreciate your input very much.
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  #4  
Old 08-24-2005, 10:20 PM
EyeAuthority EyeAuthority is offline
Minnow
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Watertown, SD, U.S.
Posts: 49
Default RE: S.D. West River deer hunting

West River hunting can be a great experience. I started taking my son out there antelope hunting when he was 6 and he went with me on his first deer hunt when he was 10. The deer country is much rougher and I wanted his little legs to grow a little. We can hike out and on some hunts never really see many other hunters. Hard to believe in SD but true. Last year we only saw 2 other hunters all weekend.

As I stated before some of the walk-in land is quite good and others are so-so. Some are good for whitetails and others better for mulies. Some are better suited for upland game even though the walk-in guide will tell you that big game exists. Generally speaking, the rougher the land, the more likely you will find mulies. Gently rolling land with creeks, shelterbelts, and perhaps some farm ground will be better suited to whitetails.

From my experience, if you plan to hunt the walk-in land (and some of it is quite good) be darn sure to do your homework first. Decide where you want to go and then what game you want to hunt. Then find out if it exists on that property in numbers that will suit you. The walk-in guide will give you an idea what type of game "can" be found out there but not in terms of numbers. Some Game Wardens will help you with that information, others won't give you the time of day. The County folks like the extension agent may be able to help out. Look at maps and see how remote the pastures are. In eastern SD even many of the best walk-in areas have many roads around them. In western SD the fewer roads that border/disect the ranch, the better. The ranch I hunt is quite large and is only bordered by 2 roads and the topography is pretty rough in places. That is why it takes me 2 hours to walk in to where I want to hunt. Unfortunately, in a couple more years my son will probably be going out by himself.

Good Luck!
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