It’s early March. What is there for an avid outdoorsman to do ? ? Shed hunt ? Still too much snow .Ice fish ? ? Perhaps. How about a trip to a game farm for a Pheasant hunt ? Now thats sounds like a blast ! Pun intended. We met up at the clubhouse shortly after noon and after getting dressed to kill we were off to the field.Four gunners and three dogs We had been informed that the Pheasants had been uncooperative all week and were running instead of holding tight for the dogs to flush. This makes for some very difficult hunting. We would send one guy around to the end to “stand” and try to keep the birds from running out the end. While this looks great on paper and sometimes works it doesn’t block the sides and that became an issue.
I was first to “stand” so I headed down as the guys and dog (we only took the one dog on the first pass) got ready to make the 1st pass. On my way down I saw three Pheasants running out of the very sparse cover that was left on this particular farm. Right there and then I knew this was going to be a challenge. I see the guys coming and see a Pheasant fly up BOOM ! One shot one bird down ! I thought “good start”. But that one turned out to be the only one we could get to fly. On that first pass we saw nine Pheasants got only one airborne and got that one. Now we decided to run all 3 dogs and get after them. Two pointers and one flusher. After some more passes we never got another bird airborne.
I know it’s a game farm but we chose not to “ground swat” the running Pheasants. That tactic can be very dangerous with 3 dogs to keep track of. So we tucked our tails and headed back to the clubhouse to regroup and make a new plan.
The new plan consisted of a different farm with better cover. That made all the difference in the world as the birds held, the dogs got on point, and the flusher did her job. The shooters didn’t hold up their end of the deal thou. As many shots were fired. The bruise on my shoulder tells me I did my part by keeping my barrel warm. We did hit a few but also played catch and release with some others. I got caught a couple times with my camera in my hand but that will happen when trying to documenet a hunt as best as you can.
I can see why the guy that invited me on the hunt didn’t even carry a gun. He gets his enjoyment out of watching his dogs do their thing. It is so cool to watch them spin on a dime and get “birdy”. The pointers have beepers on their collars so when they are on point it beeps steadily. I love that sound !