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Updates on hunts!
It’s been a long time since my last writing. I’ve had a lot of action in the field since then and have enjoyed every minute of it.
The hunting for Bobwhites at our lease has been fabulous. Our dogs have gotten a lot of work and there have been some spectacular scenes such as dogs slamming on point while others come in to honor. There have been some really good finds for blind retrieves as well.
This season was particularly challenging for the dogs early on. We continually flushed coveys of over 30 birds, some with 50 plus birds. Quite frankly, most of my dogs haven’t seen wild coveys that large. With some adjus®ents in the field, all have settled down and think that a covey of 40 birds is normal. Now that the season is half over, we are finding 12 to 16 coveys per day.
We also had a good pheasant hunt for wild birds up in the panhandle. Many folks reported dismal hunts but our pheasant hunt was super. We hunted tail water pits, CRP and bedding areas. The first day we flew about 75 total birds. The second day, we flew about 50 birds. Not that great compared to Iowa or South Dakota, but really good for us Texans in an off year. Everyone could have limited out, some did and some didn’t – including me…if only I would remember to reload my O/U when I get out of the truck…
The dog work was generally excellent though we had very few cocks that would sit for a pointing dog. The pointing dogs would creep and ease just ahead of us indicating the presence of moving game and we would all anticipate reaching the end of the cover in which we could expect an explosion of multiple pheasant.
The kids on the trip had a great time, they are pictured below. All the kids got a wild pheasant and had great fun. Several of the kids and adults had not shot over pointing dogs before so had a really good time. My son Brandon shot a pair of really nice pheasant that we’re going to have mounted for him…his first wild pheasants.
The great white hunter on our trips this year so far has been Scott Petty. He shoots an O/U Ruger 20 GA and usually is very accurate. He has the big head about it and swears he’s the best since he shoots those 7/8 oz loads. OBTW, he also thinks he’s the great gun dog trainer too but don’t get me started on that one…(we are at each other like this in the field all the time and I love it! – camaraderie and poking fun)
Me? I shoot an O/U Berretta, premium grade 12 GA. I bought it while stationed in Italy some 17 years ago. It’s well worn, has fixed chokes and handles beautifully. I’ve hunted pheasant, woodcock, ruffed grouse, sharptail grouse, Hungarian partridge, bobwhites, and chukar with it. I guess if I had it to do over again, I’d have bought a 20 gauge or a 28 gauge but back then, bigger was better…a phase that we all seem to go through.
For Chris®as, My oldest son Brandon received his first shotgun, an O/U 12 GA with screw in chokes. It’s a no name brand Italian gun (Fausti) but it’s perfect for a 16 year old learning to shoot wild quail with an O/U. Of course he said he wished it were a Beretta! I told him that when he learns to take care of an O/U properly and to shoot properly with it, then he might consider buying his own Beretta in a smaller gauge!
Another friend, Steve Reynolds got his very first gun dog, a Brittany from our stock. She is a beautiful W/O with distinctive markings. At 8 weeks this dog was already running independently and exploring the world with no fear…WONDERFUL! Of course her father is the great ‘Rocket’, a line-bred dog out of 2xNC Ban-Dee lineage. Her mother is the daughter of the late NC MicroDot.
I do feel sorry for Steve as his young daughter named her ‘Sniffers’. Everyone gets a good laugh when they hear the name. I told Steve to yell the dogs name 3 times, as loud as possible, in his neighborhood as if calling it to come to him. He asked “Why”? “Because if her name embarrasses you when calling it, change it!” He said it didn’t so I guess he’s good to go! I can’t wait to see Sniffers hunt birds this upcoming season.