Sunday, November 18, 2012

Morning Pheasant Hunting

It’s been far to long since I got out to chase some pheasants. It seems that the last few years something has always happened that prevents me from getting out there. Two years ago I had my boots fall apart, then later on in the year I had problems with the transmitter on my SportDog collar. Last year we had a snow storm a week into the season. I was without power for nine days. This year my schedule at work got flip flopped around and I had to attend a class for work on one of my vacation weeks. So FINALLY I got out. I went out with my buddy Serge, who’s got a new GSP. He’s 7 months old and has a very bright future ahead of him as a bird dog. I look forward to hunting with him for years to come.

I got to the local wildlife management area at 6:30 am as the sun was starting to peak over the horizon. When I stepped out of the vehicle to take this picture the overhead display read 25 degrees.

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We started our walk on the inside edge of the field and the outside edge near the river. We each took a section. The dog was very birdy in a few areas so we knew we might be in for some luck. As the patch of land widened I turned right and a few feet in front of me was a hen pheasant. She flushed low and through some tree’s that were 10 yards away, I didn’t have a shot. I made a mental note of where she went and we would go look for her. We brought the dog up to the area and split up to meticulously work the area. I went one way, they went the other. I picked the wrong way because I heard a shot ring out.

He had missed but he saw her go down the embankment by the river. This is a common occurrence for flushed pheasants here. Many of them get flushed and seek refuge by the river. The vast majority of hunters don’t go down here, so they are safe. We do, however, go down there. Serge and the pup walked by the river and I walked the edge of the embankment. We walked a hundred yards or so but so no sign of the bird. Just as he decided to double back come back up the dog was on the bird. A shot rang out and this time it was successful.

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We continued to hunt and found numerous birds that had met there demise due to predation. In all the years I’ve hunted here I always find more dead birds than live birds. That’s not saying it’s a bad place to hunt, it’s great. It’s just that A LOT of birds get picked off by hawks, owls, coyote’s, etc....

We walked about three and a half more miles and find no live birds, so we called it a morning and went our separate ways. We walked about four miles total, which felt more like eight miles with the terrain we walked.

On the way home I received a text from a friend who wanted to fish. So off I went to the river. That’s a story for another day though.

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