Now that I finally put the boat away it’s was time to focus some attention on my 4-legged friend Champ. This past weekend I made it out for a 2 day hunt with my buddy Chad and his two dogs, Joise and Bailey. As we eased into Friday evening the roads looked bad for travel with a front pushing into the area, we both knew that snow and slick roads were going to make for a long drive. With the truck locked in 4-high we took our time and had some great conversations about past hunts, we talked about where we were going to start and how we planned to attack the fields we were going to hunt.
As we pulled up to our first location Chad and I were both excited to hunt in the fresh snow, the dogs were a little fired up too, Champ had been singing to us for about the last 30 minutes. With two guys and three dogs we spend a lot of time working pinches and this time of year we had very good sucess with this plan of attack. The birds that are still around are there for a reason, their smart. Slamming truck doors or yelling at the dogs this time of year only yeilds one thing, birds busting out of the thick stuff prior to the hunter ever stepping foot into the field. Our starting location was a big cattail swamp with a lake in the middle and corn on 3 of the 4 sides adjcent. This place was a rooster goldmine! This time of year when I hunt anywhere near water it only means one thing, me finding a way to soak myself up to the waist. This trip was no different, I broke through a few times and got to find out what a snowman feels like, snowballs, Brrrrrr!!
Chad and I got to watch some fantastic dog work on this trip. All 3 labs point and we were left awestruck a few times at the ability of these hunting machines. Both Champ and Josie are seasoned dogs, they know the game and they know it well. Bailey is young and full of energy but when teamed up with two older dogs it was a great combo and fun to watch. There is nothing I enjoy more then watching a dog lock up and we got to watch this often as the birds held tight in a few of the locations we hunted. Fresh snow and thick cover made this a hard hunt on the dogs and the hunters but well worth the effort. The dogs enjoyed some R&R back at the ranch while Chad and I cleaned birds. We ended our evening with a few cold beers and some Godfathers pizza while we wathced the Gophers hockey game. It was a great end to a great day of hunting.
When we woke in the morning temps were hovering around 2 degrees with light wind and some light snow, it was beautiful. We made the decision to go back to our rooster goldmine to start the day. We pulled in just in time to watch a very large group of birds sit down just on the edge of the lake. There was some down timber and cattails where the birds landed and there were a lot of roosters in the group. We made the decision to pinch this spot, Chad came in from the right and I came in from the left and when we met up…OH MY GOD!! Birds were flushing in every direction. I pulled up on the first rooster and down it went on the first shot. I opened the over-under to slide another shell in and I hear a rooster bust to my left. I quickly closed Mr. Weatherby and downed that rooster. When the chaos ended we had 4 roosters in the bag. As Chad and I approched each other to talk about what had just happened we noticed Joise was covered in blood, not just a drop or two her entire neck was covered. The barbwire fence tore her ear and she got a barb on the top of her head also. She was a bloody mess and we made the decision to call it a day. It was a great trip and I can’t wait to get back out again, I love late fall hunting!