Coogan's hot hand--and a Franchi 20-gauge Rennaisance--adds another ringneck to the day's take.
Read Day 1 HERE Read Day 2 HERE The start of Day 3 of the Outdoor Life, Pheasants Forever and Benelli On Assignment pheasant hunt with Firesteel Creek Hunting Lodge ( was unlike the first two–finally some sunshine! With guides, dogs, hunters and camera crew at the ready, we hunters anticipated a great day on the prairie. Here, guide Steve Brunz gives us the rundown on the covers we were about to hit.
Benelli On Assignment host Joe Coogan provides direction to his camera crew. (No, those aren’t hieroglyphics on his hat band, but rather Texas cattle brands.)
First foodplot, first rooster–Joe admires a nice cockbird that held tight to the final 50 yards of cover before losing its nerve and attempting its escape.
Two more healthy roosters come to hand thanks to some fine dog work.
Coogan’s hot hand–and a Franchi 20-gauge Rennaisance–adds another ringneck to the day’s take.
Another cockbird that made the mistake of flushing in front of our crew.
When it comes to pheasant hunting, good dogwork is irreplaceable and we certainly had three consecutive days of excellent handling by Firesteel Creek guides.
Born to hunt!
Pheasants Forever’s Joe Duggan (right) joined me for a quick portrait photograph amid some of the most breathtaking country one could imagine.
A midday break and a photo that will bring back memories for a lifetime.
With the way Joe Duggan shot for three straight days, this has become his lucky hat.
If we walked three miles, our dogs ran 20–time for a well-deserved water break.
Ouch–ringnecks can live amid some tough cover. Throw some burrs into the mix and hunting dogs must be watched carefully for.
Guides quickly pulled burrs from our dogs’ pads and we headed to the final cover of the day–and the hunt.
The South Dakota sky never seemed bluer than on our last push of the hunt. Awe-inspiring might seem a trite phrase, but it never fit any better.
End of the day and headed for home–we’ll be back.

Isabel, South Dakota has been Ringneck Central for two days. Could Day 3 prove to be even better?