Outdoor Report for week of December 9, 2019
Most of the area lakes are froze over. The James River will remain open for a while, because of the water flow. Anglers can still shore fish the open water by the bridges. Anglers need to use extreme caution around the ice because of the weather and water conditions. The ice is not safe for anyone to venture out onto.
Waterfowl: The ducks and geese have all migrated south for the winter. The duck season closed on Dec 10th, the Canada goose season closes on Dec 22nd, and the snow goose season closes on Jan 10th.
Pheasants: Hunters have been struggling to find pheasants with all the standing crops. Hunters that are hunting in cattails by standing corn have had the best success. Sand Lake Refuge pheasant season opened on Dec 9th. Renziehausen Game Bird Refuge opened on Dec 1st.
Deer: The rut is winding down and the deer are starting to go to their wintering areas. Deer hunting has been a struggle with the standing corn. Hunters hunting from stands or blinds are having the best success.
Very little fishing activity observed in the county. Ice is very unsafe at this point in time and it’s not recommended.
Waterfowl: Very few geese left in the area.
Deer: Deer have started to move to wintering areas and are starting to herd up. Great time of year for an apprentice hunt, antlerless muzzle loader or late season archery opportunity. Standing corn fields are still holding deer as well.
Pheasants: Snow has pushed birds into winter cover. Cattail sloughs close to corn are good places to start. Birds are wild!
With the water freezing up, there has been no fishing activity observed across the county. Ice thickness varies greatly across a body of water. Please use caution if attempting to walk on the ice.
Deer: Archery and Muzzleloader seasons are still going. The cold weather should get the deer moving this week.
Waterfowl: Most waterfowl has moved through the area.
Pheasant: Hunters are having better success with the snow falls, colder temps. and crops coming out. Pheasants are starting to group up around cover and food sources.
Starting to see some people venture out on to the ice. Please remember to use caution, ice is very inconsistent.
Waubay: Some anglers are having luck with walleye and perch on the NE side of the lake. The refuge is now open to foot traffic only from one hour prior to sunrise and must be off the ice one hour after sunset.
Bitter: Have not seen much for fishing pressure yet on Bitter.
Pickerel Lake: There has been an up and down bite for blue gills lately with an occasional crappie.
Deer: Archery and Muzzleloader still open. Have been seeing less daytime movement of deer lately.
Geese: A few days left of the season there are a few birds in the county mostly near open water.
Ducks: Season closed. Ducks have moved out of the area.
Pheasant: Good number of pheasants in the area with success rates slowly increasing as crops continue to come out.
Poinsett: Currently iced over and a few people walking out from shore. Please check ice conditions as you venture out.
Waterfowl: Minimal amounts of waterfowl in the area
Deer: Evening hunts near a food source are good this time of year.
Pheasant: As the harvest continues for 2019, areas to focus on are harvested fields next to CRP fields and cattail sloughs.
Roy: A few anglers have ventured out and found some nice pike, a couple walleye and small perch.
Opitz: Small walleye have been caught near shore.
Pheasant: Hunters are finding good bird numbers on the western edge of the county. Majority of the birds are being found near harvested crop fields.
Deer: Archery hunters are still seeing deer in the morning and evenings.
Don’t let the colder weather deter you from getting out and enjoying our State Parks! As always, our parks are open year-round so take some time during the holidays to get out and enjoy South Dakota’s State Parks! The electricity is on year-round and the camping cabins and lodges have heat. Reservations can be made at campsd.com or 1-800-710-2267.
The 2020 Park Entrance License is currently for sale and makes a great stocking stuffer. Pick yours up today at any of our participating vendors in Watertown, Aberdeen and surrounding areas. These include Hy-Vee, Little River City, Gas n Goodies and the Cowboy Country Stores in Watertown. Aberdeen vendors include Ken’s Superfair Foods, Runnings, Kessler’s, and any GFP regional or district office.
Frontier Christmas at Fort Sisseton: Saturday, December 14 from 10am until 4pm. Celebrate the season in classic frontier fashion with Christmas crafts, homemade bread, hands-on activities, sleigh rides, and caroling. This year we are bringing roasted chestnuts to the Frontier! Lunch will be served from 11am-2pm or until gone Cost for lunch is $5 per person. This event is a fun time for the whole family!