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Thread: Anyone live in the black hills!?

  1. #1
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    Anyone live in the black hills!?

    Just got back from Texas on a turkey hunt. My first EVER hunt on private land for ANYTHING. It was great because it wasn't guided, i could still hunt how I want, and I was able to bag a couple rios. One good 3 year old and a bearded hen on the last hour of the hunt.



    Regardless of that story, I booked my SECOND ever hunt on private land when I got home. I live in Wyoming and go to the black hills every year. Found a good deal to hunt a guy's ranch (1800 acres) . Was tired of seeing so many birds on private and not being able to hunt them! Until now. Anyway, I was on the phone with him this morning and he said the birds have "disappeared". Obviously they're not gone but I'm wondering if they're henned up already because of the early spring? Was just wondering if anyone lives in the black hills area and is keeping tabs on the actions of the birds and what I should expect. It seems like they're always gobbling opening week but it still always seems early. Now all of the sudden opening week seems too late! Crazy, crazy year.


  2. #2
    I have been wondering about the warmer temps as well. However, the birds seem to be in the usual places and groups like the previous years. I have been scouting for two weeks now and I can honestly say I haven't seen anything that makes me worried about opening week. They still seem to be vocal and strutting like they normally do. Good luck and I will make sure to come back here and let you know if things start to change.

  3. #3
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    Not really henned up yet.

    I have songbird feeders in my yard and attract anywhere from 0-50 turkeys in the am depending on the day. A couple days there have been some "strutters" with the hens the last couple of weeks. Just last week there was a group of 5 long beards there by themselves, early in the am. There have also been several groups of hens coming the last week with no gobblers in tow. They come in early right off the roost so if the Tom's were with them they would be there.

    I'm hearing some gobbling in the hills, about normal for this time of year.

  4. #4
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    good deal! Thanks for the responses guys. I was hopeful that it would be the same as years passed but after talking to the landowner and asking him what he's been seeing his response was, "Well I don't know where they went if they're hiding in the hills or what." Regardless, I'm going so I guess it really didn't matter hahaha. I'm glad he had an opening for the first 5 days this close to the start of the season. Can't wait to get back up there! Absolutely love that country!

  5. #5
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    You will have a good hunt. Should have nice weather as well.

  6. #6
    POk3s, mez, Bearlodge,

    you'll have to keep us all updated on how its going, Ill be up there the weekend of the 21st. Im glad you guys got this thread going, every year Im looking for a report before I head over to that corner of the state to know what the birds are doing. How much snow do you guys have over there? I had heard there is still a fair amount on the ground...
    Thanks again guys!


    Ridge

  7. #7
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    from what i heard from the landowner, they have absolutely no snow and the temps have been in the 80s regularly. I'm sure bearlodge has it's usual snow pack, but might be able to hunt up on NF a lot quicker then usual!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by POk3s View Post
    from what i heard from the landowner, they have absolutely no snow and the temps have been in the 80s regularly. I'm sure bearlodge has it's usual snow pack, but might be able to hunt up on NF a lot quicker then usual!
    very little snow on the peak....
    Compounds.....a crossbow without a stock..... ya its still archery...
    Trad bows.....a compound without wheels.....ya its still archery...
    Crossbows.....a compound with a stock....ya its still archery......
    Archery, its why we are all on archerytalk,...... so stick togather and help preserve all our interest, not just your own!

  9. #9
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    I think da white shoe knows that area pretty well but i havent seen him on here in a while.
    "The Arrow is everything"
    "Never Give Up........Ever"
    "I Call, They Come, I Kill Them" Gregg Stevens
    "Not all Elk Encounters are Created Equal" Paul Medel aka ElkNut1
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  10. #10
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    yea I think I asked this exact same thing last year and he's the one who answered. Thanks man boy, I might have to make a trip up on NF just to see!

  11. #11
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    You are going to have to go looking to find any snow. They had normal amounts at some of the higher elevations but for the most part it was a very open and mild winter. We only had about 2 inches of frost in the ground in the foothills. Most all is gone, even at the higher elevations.

    It has been in the 80's and warm, mid 50-60's at night. We are two months ahead of schedule on the growing season. Wife's early flowers have already bloomed and done. That is usually an early June thing.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by POk3s View Post
    yea I think I asked this exact same thing last year and he's the one who answered. Thanks man boy, I might have to make a trip up on NF just to see!
    ya i only live 2 miles from bearlodge ...warren peak...i probly know...lmao
    Compounds.....a crossbow without a stock..... ya its still archery...
    Trad bows.....a compound without wheels.....ya its still archery...
    Crossbows.....a compound with a stock....ya its still archery......
    Archery, its why we are all on archerytalk,...... so stick togather and help preserve all our interest, not just your own!

  13. #13
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    as long as the turkeys want to play I guess it doesn't matter how hot is. Can't be any hotter then Texas so I think I can handle it hahaha.

  14. #14
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    2 buddies and I have been in the hills since last saturday. A warden told us to check out south of pringle so thats where we headed first so far we have covered from pringle to custer and west of custer. We have probably heard 4 different gobblers since we have been here. They have only been gobbling the first hour of the day then they shut up and we never hear a gobble the rest of the day. Been skunked 2 mornings now with no gobbles we are getting very frustrated. We actually head some roost the other night and we tried settin up by them but they are not responding to calls at all. Nor did they roost in the same area again. We have covered more NF roads then i care to say. We have tried many different things, seems like we just arent in many birds. We leave this sunday and we are willing to try new spots. Can anyone PLEASE put us on some birds? We drove 1200 miles and we would just be happy seeing some birds at this point. I think we have seen about 4 when we were driving around. Any help would be greatly appreciated. We have great places for easterns and whitetails back in central IL if that we would be willing to swap a hunt if someone can just help us out. Thanks guys

  15. #15
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    I haven't ever heard of those places so I'm guessing you're on the SD side???? I hunt nothing but the Wyoming side so I can't really help you out too much. Have you tried hunting the border of NF right where the ranches end and NF begins??? Seems I always see birds in these areas on the Wyoming side.

  16. #16
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    Ya its southern black hills on the SD side. We just came up to hill city to scout around. We have tried quite a few places bordering private in both custer and pringle and the birds are just few and far between. We have covered some serious ground driving logging roads and havent even seen any around.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by strawberryridge View Post
    you'll have to keep us all updated on how its going, Ill be up there the weekend of the 21st. Im glad you guys got this thread going, every year Im looking for a report before I head over to that corner of the state to know what the birds are doing. How much snow do you guys have over there? I had heard there is still a fair amount on the ground...
    Thanks again guys!


    Ridge
    +1 here I try to call the district office every year but can never really get any information! I'll be headed over the 19th to get to our normal camp spot. Anyone been out the road headed west across the highway from Bear Lodge Campground. Curious if you can get to the end of it? Usually were busting drifts all the way out but I'm hoping this year we can get our spot and actually kill some birds out there!

    Good luck to all and keep an eye out for a 01' Red and chrome Dodge Ram with decals all over the back window, come introduce yourself or give me wave I promise I won't freak out!

    Curt
    2011 Bowtech Invasion 28/68#, Truglo 5 pin, QADX rest. Limbsaver stab., Carbon Express Maxima Blue Streak 350s, 100gr 3 blade rage (305 fps)

  18. #18
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    what state are your plates?

    featherflicker i sent you a PM

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by featherflicker View Post
    Ya its southern black hills on the SD side. We just came up to hill city to scout around. We have tried quite a few places bordering private in both custer and pringle and the birds are just few and far between. We have covered some serious ground driving logging roads and havent even seen any around.

    Need to go North. I sent you a pm.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by featherflicker View Post
    2 buddies and I have been in the hills since last saturday. A warden told us to check out south of pringle so thats where we headed first so far we have covered from pringle to custer and west of custer. We have probably heard 4 different gobblers since we have been here. They have only been gobbling the first hour of the day then they shut up and we never hear a gobble the rest of the day. Been skunked 2 mornings now with no gobbles we are getting very frustrated. We actually head some roost the other night and we tried settin up by them but they are not responding to calls at all. Nor did they roost in the same area again. We have covered more NF roads then i care to say. We have tried many different things, seems like we just arent in many birds. We leave this sunday and we are willing to try new spots. Can anyone PLEASE put us on some birds? We drove 1200 miles and we would just be happy seeing some birds at this point. I think we have seen about 4 when we were driving around. Any help would be greatly appreciated. We have great places for easterns and whitetails back in central IL if that we would be willing to swap a hunt if someone can just help us out. Thanks guys
    my bro lives in rapid he did the same last weekend, with the same results.....birds are down from recent years but there a few flocks around spear and sturgis........infact the blm land just southeast on I-90 of sturgis is the 1st place i would go........
    Compounds.....a crossbow without a stock..... ya its still archery...
    Trad bows.....a compound without wheels.....ya its still archery...
    Crossbows.....a compound with a stock....ya its still archery......
    Archery, its why we are all on archerytalk,...... so stick togather and help preserve all our interest, not just your own!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by POk3s View Post
    what state are your plates?
    Wyoming plates
    2011 Bowtech Invasion 28/68#, Truglo 5 pin, QADX rest. Limbsaver stab., Carbon Express Maxima Blue Streak 350s, 100gr 3 blade rage (305 fps)

  22. #22
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    10-4. I'm sure me and my buddy will at least be at the diner in Hulett a couple of nights. Whatever it's called. Gold GMC Sierra 2004. Wyo plates.

  23. #23
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    The Ponderosa.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by POk3s View Post
    10-4. I'm sure me and my buddy will at least be at the diner in Hulett a couple of nights. Whatever it's called. Gold GMC Sierra 2004. Wyo plates.
    We'll see you guys there
    2011 Bowtech Invasion 28/68#, Truglo 5 pin, QADX rest. Limbsaver stab., Carbon Express Maxima Blue Streak 350s, 100gr 3 blade rage (305 fps)

  25. #25
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    Thanks for your help guys. I never had service after i posted this so im just hearin from you guys now, sorry about that. Heres how it went. The birds started talking more down here the other day. They were still very henned up and would not leave them. We checked out a lot of spots throughout the week but it was always after morning hunts so either their werent birds there or they wouldnt respond to a call. People were right when thry said to get close to private houses. Though i wouldnt feel as good about the harvest, we got on some birds but no shot opportunities. we talked to quite a few locals from pringle to hill city and they all would say that the turkeys were everywhere. Makes sense now because they are all feeding them. Some people said they had flocks of 19+ year round. If i were to do it over i would have headed north like we were planning. but a warden from the black hills told us around pringle a "turkey bomb" went off". Friday people started showing up and scouting for shotgun season. They.were.everywhere! It made me realize how dead archery opener really was. We were set up behinde some private the other morning and had 2 toms and some hens at about 60yds and a truck drove by and the guy stopped and started yelpin at em. Needless to say they ran off and the hunt was over. We also found a beer can thrown in our campsite by some person out scouting the hills. We had a hard week and hunted our arses off. Had a darn good time with darn good friends. Glad i came. Goodluck this season flickers!

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