Tuesday, October 28, 2008

3 Day Hunt

The plan was to take a Friday off and make a 3 day hunt out of it.

Friday started well and we got 3 birds in a bit over an hour. We even passed on a few chances to fill out as we didn't want to be done right away. We were just west of Hutchinson, MN. We drove 90 min west to the Granite Falls area. We missed a couple of easy ones and ended up with the 3 birds.

Felt ok about not limiting out though as it was misty and light rain to the hunting spots and from the hunt to the hotel but it was decent weather while hunting.

Had good dog work out of all three dogs. Tina is starting to catch on to the ways of pheasants.

Stayed at the Fiesta City motel... Pretty funny.. we had the cabin option. We got all checked in and headed down to the cabin. Walked in and it had not been cleaned at all. Went back to the office. Got switched to a regular room. $57 per night. Not bad for 2 guys and 4 dogs.

Saturday was a nice day weather wise. We were hunting the Granite Falls area. Mostly saw hens until later in the day. Spots that usually produce roosters just held a few hens. Corn was still up around most of the spots though. Even hunted some public land for a change of pace and just saw hens there also. We did end up getting one rooster towards the end of the day. Missed 2 easy shots also.

The dogs did well for the second straight day. I could tell they were tied by the end of the day though.

Sunday dawned with howling winds. The gusts were up to 50 mph. We ate breakfast and bagged the hunt and started the drive home. When we drove by the spot we had planned to hunt it started to rain and the wet snow flakes were not far behind.

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

2nd Weekend Pheasant 2008

On Saturday I started out south of Hutchinson, MN and ended up getting one Rooster. I saw 2 others and 2 hens. The corn was still up on the south side of the unit. It was about 50 degrees when I started. I then drove out to by Sacred Heart, MN. I hunted 3 different units there and saw 4 more Roosters and 3 hens. I got a shot off at one of the Roosters but didn't get him. It was about 60 degrees when I quit at 2:30 or so. I was just hunting Tina by herself and she was getting warm and tired so I pulled the plug on hunting the late day hunt and decided to drive home early.

Sunday I was west of Hutchinson and got my two Pheasants within about an hour. 2 nice points and relatively decent shots. I missed one that got up a little farther out. I'm glad I finished up when we did because it was up to 60 degrees already.

So far I've been getting my birds with my 12 gauge Beretta. I usually swap out to my 16 ga Browning Lightning Feather after the first bird but so far I've either gotten my second bird during the first part of the hunt or I haven't been able to connect on a bird after I've switched.

I'm seeing fewer birds this fall but so far the corn is still up around most of the areas I hunt.

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

First Sunday Of Season

Today made yesterday all the more enjoyable.

I hunted east of Albert Lea MN.
Saw 1 Rooster and 2 Hens.

It was just too warm and windy to be any fun.
Corn was up on 3 sides of both of the parcels that I hunted.
Hoping for cooler, calmer, and no rain for next weekend.

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Opening Day Of MN Pheasant Season

The season got off to an iffy start.
We were hunting just west of Hutchinson MN and due to Hwy 7 being closed west of St. Boni I ended up getting to my spot about 40 minutes after the start of the season. It wouldn't have been a big deal except that it was already 60 degrees and I was worried about it getting too warm if I had to hunt too long.

Hunting too long didn't end up being too much of a concern. We got our 2 pheasants in about 30 minutes and got 3 more nice points on the way out of the field.

Hunted the new setter, Tina, and mostly blind Pointer Fergie.
Tina pointed the 2 birds that we took along with a pair of hens.
Fergie actually had a lot of fun and ranged out a little ways and got a nice hen point.

The Garmin Astro did a good job of letting me see where Tina was in the grass without having to use the locate feature on her Innotek Track and Train Collar.

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Monday, October 6, 2008

Ratchet, The Dog, Confiscated by the Military, Soldier Devastated

US Military threatens to kill pet of deployed US Soldier


A US Solder, held in Iraq over 15 months longer than her original commitment to the Army, saved a puppy some months ago. The puppy was scheduled to be shipped out of the war zone to the soldier's parents in MN by Baghdad Pups, but the military seized puppy en route to the airport. Now the puppy might be killed to punish the soldier.

Ratchet, The Dog, Confiscated by the Military, Soldier Devastate.

Washington, DC October 1st - Operation Baghdad Pups is a SPCA International (www.SPCA.com) initiative created to provide medical care, clearance and transport for the animals our U.S. soldiers have come to love during deployment in the Middle East. Today, the United States military committed a crime against their own mentally wounded U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq. Commanding officers ordered the confiscation of a dog, Ratchet, befriended by a group of soldiers during a 15th month of deployment. Ratchet has been a lifeline to Sgt. Gwen Beberg. This morning, Ratchet was on his way to SPCA International rescue experts at the Baghdad Airport to be flown home to Gwen's parents in Minneapolis, MN when Sgt. Beberg's commanding officers ordered Ratchet confiscated and held in Iraq to face certain death.

“This year has been extremely difficult on my daughter and her family. It has been a year of disappointments, loneliness, and fear because of all the sacrifices the army has required of Gwen. Ratchet was the savior of her sanity. Now they have cruelly ripped Ratchet away from her and sentenced him to death. I don't know how my daughter will cope. Ratchet has been her lifeline,” explains Sgt. Beberg's mother, Patricia Beberg. Gwen Beberg, a decorated soldier, has been held by the military more than 15 months past her original commitment due to the stop-loss policy and now the military that asked extraordinary sacrifice from her has crushed her by ripping her lifeline away. Now, Sgt. Beberg is under military investigation for befriending the dog that saved her life.

It is against military regulations for active duty troops to befriend animals - Soldiers can face immediate court-marshal and some even see their animals brutally murdered by a direct gunshot to the head from commanding officers who will not bend the rules. Hundreds of U.S. soldiers in the Middle East befriend animals in the war zone to help themselves cope with the hardship and terror they face every day. These dogs and cats become their lifeline - saving them from deep depression and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

The military refuses to help or formally recognize the lifeline these animals give to our mentally wounded soldiers. Veterans returned from Iraq are committing suicide at twice the rate of average Americans. The dogs and cats befriended by our troops rescued by Operation Baghdad Pups are providing proven pet therapy to soldiers who may otherwise suffer from PTSD and deep depression.


US Military threatens to kill pet of deployed US Soldier


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

First Ruffed Grouse Hunt 2008

This past weekend I was hunting by Ely, MN.
I've hunted up there at least one early weekend for the past 10 years.

On Saturday I saw / heard 8 birds, shot at 2 and got both.

I started with my new Setter Tina ( http://www.hunt.mn/tina.htm ) She has been used as a Guide Dog on hunts before. I was nervous that she would run way to big for me. She actually was about right. I think that if a few more of the leafs had been down we would have been a good match.

She got 1 of the two birds.

Marge and Fergie were hunted together. Marge is a 12 year old English setter and still can hunt far a good period of time. Fergie is a 10.5 yr old Pointer who is mostly blind. She seems to see somewhat when it is sunny outside and enjoys going down the trails and taking her time through the woods.

They did well and we got one bird on the hunt. Marge did end up running off, I'm guessing that she was chasing a deer. She got out to 700 yards. I ended up getting my truck and driving back to where she had taken off. She actually came back and was hunting the other side of the trail.
I was using the Garmin Astro on her for the first time and was really pleased with how well it worked.

Sunday wasn't as productive. We only saw one and heard 1 other bird. We ended up calling it a day around 2 pm so that I could make the drive back to St. Paul.

Coming Soon - Reviews of hunting gear that I am actually using.


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