After being stuck inside since the last day of the deer season I was pretty excited to get back out to do some hunting and fishing. My buddy Clint and I made plans to go up and chase some coyotes and do some ice fishing up around my families land in the Lake Preston area.
Weather Details: The weather started cold! When we left Sioux Falls it was -4, and when we got to our first hunting area it was -7. Even a “light” wind in South Dakota is noticeable when it is that cold! Wind chills were around 15 to 20 below zero. Thankfully it was bright and sunny which definitely helps. Temperatures warmed into the high teens through the day and the winds shifted from the north to the west. It was definitely cold on the lake, and the post cold front conditions didn’t help us much with the fish. By the time we were sitting in the afternoon it was pretty pleasant. We finished the day with decent temperatures and a very light west wind.
Our first spot hunting spot in the morning had us working a couple of smaller sloughs near a lake. The lake sits south of the land we were hunting so with a north wind it worked out perfect for us to set up with the lake at our back so the coyotes couldn’t get behind us and wind us. We had two sets trying to call the ‘yotes out of two big sloughs. We didn’t have any luck. Next we went and tried to call some coyotes out of a monster slough. We did some calling and were able to move some pheasants and deer out of the slough but again no coyotes. The coyote hunting thing was new to me, Clint had an electric call that we used as well as a “decoy” which was a stuffed dog with a rabbit pelt on its head. He had a string tied to it and planned to give it some movement if we saw any.
With our first round of coyote hunting behind us it was time to head to the lake. We went to a lake north of our hunting spot called Lake Poinsett. I had gotten a couple of reports for the lake and thought it would give us our best shot. With several trucks on the lake, and several in the parking lot it was a tough call on whether or not to drive out. We decided to walk out, it was a lot of walking but after seeing open water 30 yards from where we were headed we were glad to be on foot. I am certain that we had enough ice to drive every where we went but it wasn’t worth the risk. We fished 4-5 different spots at different depths and never could find the fish. We did see one perch on the camera but that was it. Fishing is my absolute favorite thing to do, so I just enjoy getting out. It would have been nice to catch a couple but we will have to leave that for next time.
After fishing we went back to coyote hunting and were excited to head to our best spot for the evening. Before we went out coyote hunting we ran into some wild turkeys in the farm yard. Clint is a turkey hunter and started calling to them, it was pretty crazy stuff! I have never seen turkeys in this area. Hopefully, they settle in and I can add turkey hunting to my list!
Back to the coyote hunting! We set up on my favorite farm to hunt and started calling around 3:30.
We called and watched and called and watched and nothing moved except of course a ton of pheasants. It was great to see the numbers and it looks like they are enjoying our mild winter. In the mix was a white hen which was pretty cool. Once the sun went down we made a move to get closer to the slough we were watching. We called some more and didn’t see anything moving. With just a little time left in the day I saw some movement on the other side of the slough. It was a coyote! He took off running AWAY from us. Which of course wasn’t the plan. I got my scope on him but by that time he was on the edge of the neighbors farm yard and I wasn’t about to take that shot. It was very cool to see him and while he could hear us and looked somewhat interested in our calls, we couldn’t convince him to come down and see us. We closed the day by watching 20 some deer around us, it was an amazing day outdoors and we had a blast watching all the wildlife in this great state!