Monday, December 22, 2008

Sub Zero Pheasants

After working almost 3 straight weeks at 12-14 hours a day my body and mind were ready for a break. So I did what all good upland hunters would do for a break..............I went hunting! I scrapped up all the energy I had and headed east to our closest pheasant cover in Burlington, CO. It was a very cold morning and I didn't have a clue to how the birds would react. I thought it might be one of those days were all the birds busted out as soon as you stopped the truck. But luck would have it they held tight.....real tight!
-2 degrees as we started the hunt!
After the first gimme shot was missed I regained all credibility by downing a late breaking rooster. Mia made scent but I thought it might be left over scent from the first bird but I quickly remembered that you should always trust your gun dog as I pulled the trigger. After those first two flushes it was obvious that the cold was keeping the birds in their place.

For the next few hours we hit our usual coverts with great resolve and thoroughness. Most of our damage was done at my favorite section of CRP. The best part of the field is that it gets better as the season moves on and it's only starting to get warm. My brother in law Pete and I took 4 roosters before noon. We had a few more missed opportunities after lunch but could not connect. But that was just alright for us we had a great day afield. Mia once again proved her maturation as she worked every scent cone she could find. I was particularly fond of her range as she relaxed to the tight holding birds.It was nice to slow it down a bit!

Bundled up Ben.....
Til next time................

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

All for one....bird that is!

I have a saying "If you live in Denver, Colorado and you hunt or fish: you have to drive at least two hours to get away from the crowds" or "or near a decent population of birds"

Yesterday was no different. My brother was in town and hasn't hunted wild pheasants since they slowly disappeared from the Upstate NY landscape some long lost time ago. We were on a mission and the four hour round trip wasn't going to stop us.

The crew consisted of my brother -in-law Pete, his son Ben, my brother Phil and myself. We hit the coverts of Burlington, CO pretty hard. The dogs put us on birds in almost every covert we hit but most were hens. At one point we had over 25 flushes with only 3 roosters to speak of. It was one of those days were the action was there but the shooting opportunities weren't.

It was so bad that the first bird to hand was a trap that Mia had on a hen! The hen must have been asleep at the wheel and thought she was being run down by a lab, just kidding. But low and behold Mia came in with her prize.

Although I was slightly proud of her I knew it wasn't the best thing for her to trap a bird on a day like this. Frustrating days afield can spill over to the dogs as well. The next bird contact we had Mia thought she could do it on her own when the next set of hens took flight. But as she learns, so do I.

The last field we hit was the best part of the day. Birds, birds and more birds. And even roosters to boot but the shooting opportunities still were slim as birds took off towards the road, the farm house or even the neighbor's horses. One rooster did succumb to the well placed shot of my brother. At 3pm it was like first light all over again,well maybe not but it was good to get one in the game bag.

It was a fast, hard and tiring hunt but it was worth the drive. Mia worked the birds has hard as ever. Abby had a ball and even put a few hens to flight.

Til next time.......