Everybody has an opinion on what places or areas are good for different types of hunting, but if you like upland game bird hunting, then South Dakota must be considered the best location to harvest multiple species of wild upland birds.
I have traveled to South Dakota at different times over the last twenty years, and I have been blown away by the variety of bird species. If you time it right, it is possible to hunt around at least six different species during the fall. A hunter can expect to find Chukars, Hungarian partridge, Pheasant, turkey, grouse, Prairie Chicken, and quail. I have experienced all these species around the area of Gregory, South Dakota.
This is undoubtedly one of the most unique bird hunting opportunities in the country. Another unique fact about this area of South Dakota is that hunters can still knock on doors and get permission to hunt private property, which makes up most of the land around Gregory. The locals are mostly friendly and more and more people around the area are realizing that hunting can supplement their farming incomes. When I meet with people and ask permission, I always ask if I can pay them a trespass fee or offer to share a bird or two with them if I am successful. If you play it right, you can find friendly contacts that will let you hunt year after year. This is a lot more affordable option that paying for guided hunts, and it could benefit both parties.
Not only can a hunter spend time collecting all the different bird species, but this is good deer hunting country as well. If you can apply for and receive a fall turkey tag and deer tag, this could be potentially one of the best buck/bird combos on the planet.
Gregory is a small, welcoming town and finding places to stay and eat are generally pretty easy. There is at least one reputable taxidermist in town, and there are plenty of hunting services if you do not fell like doing it yourself.
The weather gets cold there during the fall, but that is when the best hunting is to be found. Having snow on the ground is common and it only adds to the entire hunting experience in my opinion. On one memorable day while hunting just outside of town, I killed a monster tom turkey with multiple longbeards. Within two hours of my awesome turkey hunt, I also bagged my limit of pheasants and grouse as well. I never put a full day of bird hunting in, but anyone who does can fill a cooler with some spectacular specimens.
For more information on the city of Gregory, South Dakota, visit www.cityofgregory.com