It was another phenomenal day of shooting Browning Cynergy and Citori as well as Winchester 101 model over and unders loaded with Winchester Super-X Super Pheasant loads in 2-3/4 inch 4s and 6s here at R&R Pheasant Hunting in South Dakota. If you need proof, just look at the death tally: the second day in a row of 100 birds in the basket. Our three-day tally was in the neighborhood of 260 birds for 11 or 12 shooters per day.
Alas, all good things must come to an end and we head home tomorrow (Thursday). The hunting here just got better and better each day and it’s tough to leave, especially after seeing how my Lab, Kona, reacted (and handled) all the bird scent and contact. I just want to keep hunting and watching him work birds. I was impressed at his performance and he seemingly impressed my hunting partners, guides and even the owner of the operation. He made me proud, which is the most we dog guys can hope for. I don’t think he impressed enough to score me a guiding job on the property, so I guess I’ll have to keep scratching out a living as a writer.
Today, the wind eased up and it got so warm that I was hunting in a t-shirt during the afternoon…something that’s unheard of in the Dakotas in November! The heat and light wind seemed to hamper scenting conditions, so we had to keep forcing ourselves to slow down and really let the dogs dig out the roosters in the milo fields.
Even though we tried to take it slow, I made sure to give Kona water when he’d bring a rooster to hand and to rest him after each hunt. I even took up post as a blocker twice to give him cool-down time.
Here’s a little tip: If you’re ever in the Dakota’s hunting, volunteer to take your turn as a blocker when working corn. The pheasants tend to run the rows and give the blockers some good shooting.
Also, if you’re in the market for a new shotgun, check out the Browning website. They have a “Cynergy Club,” which gives you $500 in free gear if you buy a new Cynergy over and under (which was responsible for many, many pheasants dying this week). As part of the club you get a custom hard case, soft zipper case, limited edition range bag, an exclusive Browning shooting cap, as well as a $100 check.
It’s up bright and early to drive to Montana tomorrow. After a couple of days rest for Kona and myself, as well as some family time (and grudgingly work), we’ll be hunting the Ft. Benton area of Montana with Pheasants Forever. I hope Kona continues performing like he did this week and doesn’t have a brain fart. I’ll let you know how it goes!