Day Two here at R&R Pheasant Hunting in Seneca, South Dakota, was a blast. Or blasts. Lots and lots of blasts.
After a Day One, which was a great day, scenting conditions improved dramatically, the wind was perfect and we got into some serious birds. Hundreds of birds. When the finally tally came about, more than 60 roosters were sent to the big roasting pot in sky by one group of six shooters and in excess of 40 for another group.
I tried posting a pic of four birds blasting from a milo field while two shooters picked their shots. The shutter clicked right after the impact of lead to feathers, but, alas, I’m having technical difficulties. I’ll try to get some shots up from the trip later.
Like yesterday, we hunted standing corn and milo, but today we hit some CRP fields. They were by far the most fun (that said with the understanding that it’s all fun!) for me because you got to watch the dogs work. It was THICK CRP that made walking difficult and really taxed the dogs. Kona was beat after the hunt.
The CRP kept birds holding tight and gave the dogs a chance to work them. It’s always fun to watch a dog bounding through a field in search of a bird, but then when they hit scent and do a button hook with their nose to the ground and tail going 1,000 mph, you know something is coming. You can watch the dogs push the birds and pin them down until the birds only opportunity to escape is to take to wing.
After working the CRP, I left Kona on the truck for the next hunt and picked up my camera. It may or may not have been a good idea. The next strip of cover was waist-to-chest-high milo…and it was LOADED with birds! There were plenty of shots throughout the field, but when we got to the end of the row and the birds were trapped between the line, dogs, a small rise in the field and the blockers, all hell broke loose! Multiple birds broke from the cover multiple times as just as many, if not more, shouts of “hen” and “rooster” rang out…which was then quickly followed by an artillery of gunfire from the Winchester and Browning over and unders. It was a sweet scene to witness even when shooting a camera and not one of the sweet-shooting shotguns.
Speaking of sweet shooting, there’s nothing like a ringer in the group to make me shake my head and resolve (for the gazillionth time) to get to the range. While we were all shooting 12-gauge Browning Cynergy and Citori over and unders, Scott Grange, a 35-year veteran of the company, was shooting, and I might add out-shooting everyone, with 28-gauge!!!! Ouch…
One more thing is for sure when it comes to pheasant hunting and working with a dual-purpose Lab. I’m going to need to take a couple of days after this trip, and before leaving for north-central Montana with Pheasants Forever, to revisit the sit whistle. All this ranging and quartering, with double-whistle toots for a direction change, has loosened Kona up and made his response a bit sloppy. That’s to be expected. It’s always a balancing act!
Day Three tomorrow. I’m going to bed.