Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pheasant Opener Hutchinson MN

I've started the last few pheasant seasons by hunting in the Hutchinson, MN area and have had good luck so I decided to go with what had been working.

Our friend Greg and is GSP, Tank, joined us on the hunt.  Our first stop was a farm just west of Hutchinson.  The corn was still up along two sides of the field.  We started out by following the edges of the field in hopes of cutting off any birds that might be trying to make it to the corn.  The dogs did get birdy along and in the corn but we didn't move any birds.  Next we moved towards some trees on the way to the drainage ditch that cuts through the unit.  The dogs didn't get too excited in any of these areas.

We decided to change it up and cut across the field and the dogs started to get more interested.  Tina pointed and relocated a few times before locking up solidly.  I moved in and the birds came up.  Six hens ended up flushing.  They looked really small so I am guessing late hatch or a renest.  we continued to work the field back to truck and didn't move any other birds.

We then moved to another farm.  This farm is just south of Hutchinson.  We started by working the edge of the cattails.  The dogs were worked all the way to the other side of the wetland and started the point and go, point and go that signals a bird nearby.  I took a step to the right and a rooster got up.  I totally blew the opportunity.  I was hunting with my Browning Over / Under and flipped the selective trigger to the side instead of forwards to release the safety.  By the time I recovered the bird was out of range.  I was pissed at myself.  I have been mostly hunting with my Beretta semi-autos this fall and wasn't able to make the adjustment.  arrgg.

After recovering from being ticked at myself we made a swing towards the south edge of the field.  As we pushed through the trees that line the border of the field the dogs started to get more active.  Tina went on a solid point.  I hoped to redeem myself and moved ready for the bird.  Up came a huge Tom Turkey.  It was a shot that I'm sure that even I could have connected on.  Not having a turkey tag and using dogs on turkeys being illegal I passed on the shot.  At the edge of the field we made a move towards some thicker cover.  As we approached the cover we had a rooster bust out well past gun range.

The dogs continued to work well but it was warming up to the mid 50's and the wind was picking up as well.  We decided to call it a day.  With moving so few birds the easy missed opportunity stings all the more.

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