Truer words have never been spoken when describing what a difference a day (or two) makes in South Dakota’s ‘tween season: mid-February. On Saturday afternoon the 19th, south winds brought in 60-degree temperatures as a February thaw made its way across South Dakota. A sign that spring was imminent, and it was only a matter of time before we began prepping the equipment one last time to ready ourselves for fieldwork. A few of the guides put together a friends and family group and hit the tree belts and leftover food plots for one last shot at a rudy; moreover, an opportunity for their 4-legged retrieving corps to work off some winter reserves. A fine day was had by all.
By Sunday evening into Monday morning, the weather pendulum had swung to the opposite side; reminding us winter had yet to completely release its grip upon us. -24 degrees without taking into consideration wind chill, coupled with 8” of new fallen snow. We’ll take the snow. In fact, we’ll always take the snow and virtually any form of moisture with the exception of the “h” word. Although 84-degree swings in such a short amount of time are more common than I care to admit, I’ll never get completely used to it. Interesting enough, Spearfish, SD holds the world record for the fastest temperature change when in 1943 the temperature went from -4-degrees to +45-degrees in two minutes courtesy of a Chinook wind. Location, location, location.
My southern friends ask why fight the perils of the winters and instead spend some time in a region where a grain shovel and snow shovel aren’t the same thing. I remind them we enjoy being resilient (or just numb to it) and wish them many sunburns. In truth, I think the wide variety of the seasons is a major reason most of us don’t make a dash south.