Saturday, November 29, 2008

November 22/23 An easy weekend.

November 22/23 An easy weekend.

I hunted a unit south of Hutchinson. 90 acres of CRP and wetlands.

I was lucky enough to hunt this unit the first weekend after they had taken the corn out of the field next to it.

On Saturday I was able to get my two bird limit in 30 minutes and on Sunday it took me 40 minutes. I kept working the dogs afterwards to get them some more exercise. Felt lucky to have gotten the birds I did because we didn’t see any others in the next hour of work.

On each of the days I missed at least one easy shot. I’m finding that I am doing well on the shots that are coming off of a point but if they are getting up early I am missing. It seems like I am worst at the crossing shots. Not leading or following through.

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Chilly and Wet One

Only hunted Sunday this past weekend. I started out with my two English Setters. We were west of Hutchinson, MN.
Started out at about 25 degrees and sunny which actually wasn’t too bad. Started out by seeing 4 hens grouped together. We continued to work around the edges of the field in hopes of pinning one there. We ended up pushing towards the drainage ditch. One Rooster got up a little ways out and I hit him but he dropped on the far side of the ditch. By the time we walked around the ditch to get to where it went down we could find him. We worked around the area for quite a while and still no trace. Tina and I worked that side of the ditch while Marge was holding on the other. As we pushed along Tina started to work a hot track. After about 50 yards she locked up. I kicked around and out up a Rooster. I thought I heard him drop into the grass along the ditch. I looked and couldn’t see him. Tina was searching and wasn’t finding any scent. I was starting to get upset and then I heard some splashing, Looking into the ditch I saw just the bird’s feet sticking up from the water. Tina didn’t see it and certainly couldn’t smell it. I ended up going in after him. The water was over my knees and dang cold. After putting the bird into the gamebag we worked along the ditch back towards Marge. As we closed in on Marge Tina started to get birdy again. We had one trapped between the two dogs. It was an easy shot and an easy pick up.

Back at the Trailblazer I put the two dogs away and put on some dry socks and boots ( I usually hunt with spares of everything ) and took Fergie out for a nice workout just to stretch her legs. We put up a hen which was fun even though she can’t see them she still knows that something is / was there.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A big change one weekend to the next

It was quite a change in one week. Last Sunday it was 65 degrees and dusty, too warm to hunt the dogs for too long. This Sunday it topped out at 25 degrees.

We were hunting just South of Hutchinson, MN. It is a 90 acre parcel. Mostly CRP with a good sized section of cattails. I started the two Setters and we worked along the fence line. When we got to the end of the field I was surprised to see that the corn was still up. It had snowed 2 days earlier and I could see a lot of tracks from the corn into the CRP. 4 or 5 hens were hiding in an area of thick short trees. As we worked around the thick cover we put up a Rooster. I got off two shots and saw him wobble after the second shot. He kept flying strongly towards the cattail section. We started to work towards where he went down. There was so much bird sign that it took a while to get back across the field. When we hit the cattails we worked the edge for a while. Tina went on point so I kicked and stomped in the likely area. No bird. I told her to go on but she held her point. She stuck her nose into the thick clump right in front of her. I heard and saw something moving. As the Rooster started to emerge. Tina almost caught it on the flush. I was able to bring it down on the far side of the cattails. We had to search for a few minutes to find it in the cover.

The dogs kept working the edge of the cattails and came across some wet sections. Unfortunately the water wasn’t frozen over so they got pretty wet and when they came out the water started to freeze on their coats. Marge the 12 year old was starting to get cold so we headed back to the truck. I pit a coat on Marge and wrapped her up in a sleeping bag and put her in her kennel. We took a lunch break and drove around to see how much corn was still up in the area.

After out break Tina and I headed back into the field. We worked for another 90 minuted and put up another half dozen hens but no more Roosters.

The day left me wondering what happened to the days where the temperature was a litter more moderate... maybe December...
Minnesota Hunting Resources

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Hot One

The first weekend of November turned out to be a warm one.

We drove out to the Dawson MN area to hunt a couple of new parcels.
We started at a nice 80 acre CRP field. We got our first Rooster in about 30 minutes. The parcel borders a WMA and we were hunting right along the edge. I'm sure it had gotten pushed off by all of the pressure. We finished out the parcel with out seeing any more roosters.

We moved to a small piece that bordered a drainage ditch. Didn't put up anything but the dogs were pretty birdy.

The next spot was a large unit bordering a long drainage and a railroad track. We put up a fair number of hens but no roosters. The corn was still up across the road so I'm sure that had something to do with it.

Decided to stop at the local DQ and get lunch and take a break.

After the break we went back to the first spot again. As the sun was dropping we could see a pretty fair number of pheasants starting to leave the corn field across the road.

We ended up getting our last rooster from the ones that had flown into the grass. I ended up cleaning the birds in the dark and then started the long drive home.

On Sunday is was another warm one. We actually cut our hunt to about 90 minutes. We saw a few hens but no roosters. We were hunting near Hutchinson. Seemed like a waste to drive 2 hrs each way just to hunt for 90 min but the dogs and I were all feeling the heat.
Minnesota Hunting Resources.