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Thread: Water and thin ICE

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Posts
    19

    Default Water and thin ICE

    I just returned from a 6 day hunt in Douglas and Charles Mix counties. Water and ICE. It was a successful hunt but very difficult. My buddy and I picked up 31 birds and did not loose a single bird. This was the first year we did not loose a bird.

    Most of the cover we normally hunt was underwater. Most of the good ditches were full of water. Most crops were out but it seemed like the areas where we had cover without water, there was at least one corn field still standing withing eye shot. For the first time in 20 years we had full access to a few thousand acres of Hutteritte ground. We spent most of the day looking for cover that was not filled with water. What we did find was too thick to walk, either overgrown shelter belts or 8 foot high fire weed patches that were impenetrable.

    We only got to hunt until 12 PM on Friday as the winter storm had us scurrying to get out of town before getting snowed in. The farm got 18 inches within 24 hours of our departure. The last place we hunted I was able to scurry across a barely frozen creek to get to the other side. Unfortunately all the cover was underwater which we could not tell from the road. I was stuck on the other side and ended up walking a fence row to the next road so I could get back to the truck. After the mile walk there was one small patch of blue stem in the last 20 yards of the fence row. Harper circle it and two roosters busted out simultaneously. Two shots and two birds. That was my first every two shot double (that I can recall). Photo attached of Harper with the double. The other picture was the first bird of the trip.

    Good luck to all that have not hunted or still have a hunt remaining. We are already planning our return trip. It doesn't matter how good or how bad the reports are, I go every year. It is what I do. It's not all about the harvest. While in South Dakota, I helped my friend scout for deer every morning and evening, load a deer his mother shot onto the gator, gut it, skin it and hang it. A few nights later we processed his mothers deer and his wifes deer she got over Thanksgiving. I also helped the land owner haul bins of corn to the mill early one morning. We started hauling at 6:30 AM> We got to hunt his standing corn one time and then his cousin came over and harvested it. Just a very small food plot for pheasants which received no fertilizer and he got close to 150 bushels to the acre.

    And one last comment. To MattD and all dog owners whom have recently lost a dog, my heart goes out to you. The following is for you.

    JUST A DOG
    “From time to time, people tell me, "lighten up, it's just a dog,"
    or "that's a lot of money for just a dog." They don't understand
    the distance traveled, the time spent, or the costs involved for "just a dog."
    Some of my proudest moments have come about with
    "just a dog." Many hours have passed and my only company
    was "just a dog," but I did not once feel slighted.
    Some of my saddest moments have been brought about by
    "just a dog," and in those days of darkness, the gentle touch of "just a dog" gave me comfort and reason to overcome the day.
    If you, too, think it's "just a dog," then you will probably understand phrases like "just a friend," "just a sunrise," or "just a promise."
    "Just a dog" brings into my life the very essence of friendship, trust, and pure and unbridled joy.
    "Just a dog" brings out the compassion and patience that makes me a better person.
    Because of "just a dog," I will rise early, take long rides and look longingly to the future. So for me and folks like me, it's not "just a dog" but an embodiment of all the hopes and dreams of the future, the fond memories of the past, and the pure joy of the moment.
    I hope that someday they can understand that it's not "just a dog," but the thing that gives me humanity and keeps me from being "just a man." So the next time you hear the phrase "just a dog," just smile--because they "just don't understand."

    Respectfully, John Smink

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Posts
    19

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    IMG_4966.JPGIMG_5057.JPGIMG_5002.JPGIMG_4990.JPG

    Single rooster was my first bird of the trip. The two on the tailgate was my two shot double from the very last hunt of the trip. The barn photo of the deer is with the family and friends I stay with when I go to SD.

    Good luck to all that still have a trip planned this year.

    Respectfully, john smink

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Sioux Falls, SD
    Posts
    614

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sjohn View Post
    I just returned from a 6 day hunt in Douglas and Charles Mix counties. Water and ICE. It was a successful hunt but very difficult. My buddy and I picked up 31 birds and did not loose a single bird. This was the first year we did not loose a bird.
    Sjohn, glad you had a successful trip, albeit pretty challenging. Sounds like a great time. Great pics! And thanks for sharing "Just a Dog". It really speaks to me, as my springer Buzz died unexpectedly yesterday. I find myself feeling a little foolish or childish for letting it hurt so much. It's good to know there's a bunch of guys out there who DO understand what Buzz meant to me & are man enough to admit it & show compassion. Thank you.
    "Most pheasants in South Dakota don't react too well to #5s." -The Hunt for Red Rooster

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    basehor, ks
    Posts
    2,486

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    Quote Originally Posted by A5 Sweet 16 View Post
    Sjohn, glad you had a successful trip, albeit pretty challenging. Sounds like a great time. Great pics! And thanks for sharing "Just a Dog". It really speaks to me, as my springer Buzz died unexpectedly yesterday. I find myself feeling a little foolish or childish for letting it hurt so much. It's good to know there's a bunch of guys out there who DO understand what Buzz meant to me & are man enough to admit it & show compassion. Thank you.
    Man brother I am so sorry to hear that. I have enjoyed reading your posts about the public land you hunt. I had a great lab just keel over dead while hunting some years back, it is never easy.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Posts
    19

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    Quote Originally Posted by A5 Sweet 16 View Post
    Sjohn, glad you had a successful trip, albeit pretty challenging. Sounds like a great time. Great pics! And thanks for sharing "Just a Dog". It really speaks to me, as my springer Buzz died unexpectedly yesterday. I find myself feeling a little foolish or childish for letting it hurt so much. It's good to know there's a bunch of guys out there who DO understand what Buzz meant to me & are man enough to admit it & show compassion. Thank you.
    Very sorry to hear about Buzz. Only real men show their feelings. I think of you as a friend just like MattD. You and I have conversed back and forth and I enjoy the brotherhood. I envy you for hunting public and hunting solo. I often thought about contacting you. When I am in a position to hunt by myself I would love to hook up with people like yourself to enjoy the finer points of dog work and pheasant hunting. I live in SC and spend most of my dog time hunting woodcock. I invite you to come to SC and hunt woodcock with me anytime you can. Season starts Dec 18 and runs until Feb 1. Our flush rates are in the order of 4-6 per hour. Limit of 3/day. Usually hunt between 19 and 21 times per year. Average birds per hunt over 15 years of record keeping is between 2.0 and 2.6 birds per hunt. It's a migratory bird so each year is different and often each week is different. When you have your new best friend, contact me. smink@clemson.edu

    Again, sorry for your loss brother.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Sioux Falls, SD
    Posts
    614

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    I don't want to hijack this thread, but that's really a nice gesture. And if I'm ever in your area, I'll hold you to your offer.

    You guys here on UPH really know how to lift a guy's spirits. Seriously. Thanks.
    "Most pheasants in South Dakota don't react too well to #5s." -The Hunt for Red Rooster

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