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Thread: Nebraska 2019

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Northern Michigan
    Posts
    858

    Default Nebraska 2019

    This year I decided to take a multi-state hunting trip starting in Nebraska. My basecamp was the Plains Motel in Holdrege and I would highly recommend this hotel very hunter friendly! I arrive in Nebraska on November 9th and started hunting on the 10th. My last day hunting was Nov 15th, then I headed to South Dakota on saturday giving my dogs a well earned 2 day break. This trip had an added excitement as KSBritman and I had finally pinned some dates down to hunt together as we have sister brittany's and we were both very excited to hunt them together. So Mike, KSBrittman, was joining me on the 13th. My dogs this trip were Bella (Brittany), River ( English Setter from Prairie Drifter) and Ellie (Lab).

    11/10 Day 1 - I started my trip traveling a couple hours east of Holdrege to hunt quail at a WMA i did very well at in 2018. Weather was in the 40's with very windy condition. Ran all three of my dogs just to burn some energy off of them after the 16 hour trip and they were full of energy. About half way into our hunt my brit pointed a covey of quail, she flashed me a look saying "yes they are in there and good luck getting a shot". The birds were in a cedar draw with tree tops, I step in and the covey flushed, I was not able to get a shot or see where the covey went. We continued on and and it was not to long and both my brit and setter pinned another covey, unfortunately the same result no shots and to thick to see where they went so no singles were found. Those were the only bird contacts at this area and we hunted three hours. We traveled to a WPA on our way back and hunted another 3 hours. My setter pointed a rooster and the edge of a flooded drainage, I was able to drop the bird but it was on the other side of the drainage and by the time I could get across and get the dogs in the area the rooster had to much of a head start and we were not able to locate this winged bird. My britt did has some nice points on hens. We also flushed a flock of Prairie Chickens and my gun malfunctioned so I missed that opportunity. Day 1 have seen three different species.......this is why I love bird hunting.

    11/11 Day 2 - Hunted another WPA, weather the worst of the trip had snow/freezing rain, very windy and in the 20's. My lab flushed a rooster right off the get go and made a nice retrieve. We saw tons of tracks but with the winds it was very difficult pinning the birds down. My britt did point a couple of hens and my setter had some "soft" points where she was stopping then moving on running birds unfortunately these were also hens. We did see a group of 6 birds flush way ahead and at least one was a rooster. I marked where he landed and was going to follow up. Got back to the truck and relocated and then ran my brit to followup on the rooster. We got within the area code of the rooster and he flushed about 50 yards ahead of me, Bella had a nice point of were he was.....Day 2 one bird in the bag.

    11/12 Day 3 - This day was a scouting day for my upcoming hunt with Mike, weather was in the 30's and still windy. We hunted a stubble area with a nice tree line, really only hunt able habitat. My britt pointed a covey and they flushed before I got close enough. I was able to take 1 on a point from my britt and missed several others that flushed wild. We hunted for an 1.5 hrs in the stubble field. Traveled to a CRP walkin area and we flushed one rooster out of range and this was the only bird we saw during our 2 hrs in the field. Still running all 3 dogs together. All three days the wind was playing havoc with my dogs. Don't really have to worry about the wind in the grouse woods.....lol. Traveled west and tried another WMA and this one was not productive only spent an hour hunting here. Afternoon temps were pushing mid to hi 50's. Hunted a WPA on the way back and just ran my britt, she had a good point that resulted in a group of 3 hens, we hunted this area for 1.5 hrs.

    11/13 Day 4 - Mike and meet at a WPA and we ran our sisters together, they did a good job hunting together and we hunted about 2 hours and only saw 3 hens. Weather was in the 30's with low winds. Both Bella and Ginger did a good job working these birds. We moved to another WPA and as soon as we pulled in roughly 6 birds flushed out of the field, we quickly put a dog down, my setter, she was very birdy but didn't produce any more birds in that area. We put my setter up and ran Bella and Ginger together again. It didnt take long for both of our girls to start tracking birds, a rooster flushed in front of Bella and I was able to drop the bird and Bella did a good job marking the winged bird and getting him. We continued on and hit the birdy fork in the field and Bella went one way and Ginger went the other, so Mike and I followed our respective brits and hunted on. Bella was able to pin down 2 roosters on two different points and I went 1 for 2 on these points....we also flushed a couple of hens too. We continue to hunt and meet up with Mike and Ginger, they had only seen hens. As we hunted back to the truck together Bella again got birdy and was tracking when a rooster busted out and I dumped him and Bella made a good retrieve. This was my first Nebraska limit in 23 years! We continued back to the truck with no other bird contacts. We hunted this area for 2 hours. We went to a CRP walk in area and ran our B team, Mikes other britt Lilo and my setter and lab. Right off the bat my setter flashed pointed a rooster in a plum thicket but he was just out of range. She hunted on and bumped a hen, good start to this area. The wind had picked up quite a bit and the birds were not holding for the dogs, Lilo was tracking a rooster that flushed out of range and my setter did the same. Mike was able to bag a single quail off this area. We hunted 2 hours and saw 12 pheasant and 1 quail. We hunted one last parcel of CRP with a nice tree/plum line. Bella and Ginger were very bird off the get and as I walked up to the top of knoll 2 coveys flushed when they saw me. We followed up for some single work and Bella was able to locate 1 quail for me and I was able to connect she made a nice retrieve. Great day in the field with a new friend for life in Mike. After day one Bella was kicking Ginger's butt......lol

    20191113_120049.jpg

    11/14 Day 5 - Weather was in the 30's and low wind. Mike and I started at a WPA and Bella and Ginger did a good job tracking birds that resulted in 4 hens flushing. We hunted this area for 2 hours, was a good piece of land. We moved on to CRP walkin area, Bella and Ginger again did a good job locating birds, the birds were just not cooperating all that well. Ginger was tracking a bird that resulted in a rooster flushing and Mike hit the bird but it didnt go down. This was another good parcel with good habitat and cropland. We hunted this area 2 hours. We traveled to another area that had both crop and crp, I ran my setter and lab and Mike ran Ginger. We covered a little triangle area with good habitat and plum thickets, however, we didnt produce any birds. We got back to the truck and I put my B team up and got Bella out and Mike took Ginger to another crp field that was adjacent to where we just hunted. Bella and I hunted another corner cover. Bella was tracking birds and and went on point at the end of a plum thicket and as I was coming up 2 birds flushed one being a rooster and my gun malfunctioned, my bottom barrel firing pin had broken, so I missed this bird. As we were hunting back to the truck Bella bumped a covey of quail and I was able to drop one, she did a good job finding it. We hunted back to the truck, i changed guns and dogs, as i wanted my setter and lab to get some work on quail. So we continued to look for singles, my setter and lab bumped a couple of singles that I was able to connect on one. Mike and Ginger were able to located some birds as well and Mike missed his chance at a double......We had time for one more spot so we put Ginger and Bella down and took opposite sides of the draw, I was on the perimeter and when Bella and I made the turn towards Mike Bella became birdy, this resulted in a rooster flushing in front of Mike and he connected and Ginger made a nice find and retrieve for Mike, this was a good way to finish the day off.

    11/15 Day 6 - Last day of hunting in Nebraska and with Mike. Weather was in the 20's in the morning and we decided to go back to the WPA where I got my limit. I decided to run River and Ellile and give Bella a break and Mike ran Ginger. As soon as we got into the field the dogs were very birdy and several hens flushed on their own. We hunted the area for 2 hours and only saw hens. Majority of the birds were either pointed or soft points. This WPA is a great spot. We also returned to a crp parcel we hunted before. Dogs were River, Ellie and Ginger. Ginger had a good point on a covey on the fence line and both Mike and I were able to connect with a bird on the covey rise, River made a nice retrieve. As we continued on, Mike took the perimeter and I was interior, he and Ginger found several birds, Ginger went on point and roughly 6 hens flushed. Ginger was tracking that resulted in 3 roosters flushing and Mike was able to connect with one. River bumped a covey of quail out of range, we tried to follow up on singles but we were unsuccessful. We hunted this area 2 hrs. We had our tailgate lunch and Mike headed back to Kansas and I worked my way back to Holdrege. I wanted to get Bella out for a quick run, temps were in the low 60's and windy. We found a great parcel of CRP, plum/tree lines and crops all intermixed. It didn't take long for Bella to start tracking in the thicket and continued out to the grass only for a long range flush. We continued down another treeline and Bella went on point, I could hear the quail panicking, I flushed them and covey shot resulting in no birds. We tried for singles but had no luck. We continued on and she started tracking in a plum thicket out to the grass for a long range flush, seems like a pattern. We worked the last fence line and a rooster flushed, I hit him, he landed in a tree, as I approached he flushed and I tried to shoot but forgot to take my safety off....dummy. We continued on and Bella pointed rooster and I connected and she made a nice retrieve and that ended our Nebraska trip.

    20191115_143549 (2).jpg

    This was a great trip covering 6 days in the field. Finally meeting Mike in person and getting to see hour sister dogs hunt together was just awesome. I walked a total of 57 miles in Nebraska resulting in 91 pheasants flushed, alot of quail my numbers say 135 but I think i tend to over estimate covey size. I bagged 5 pheasants and 5 quail and Mike got 2 pheasants and 2 quail, while only losing one bird. I love hunting Nebraska because of the mixed bag opportunities and sometimes you don't know what you dog has on point. The weather was pretty good for the most part, improving once Mike arrived. I felt my clan of dogs did pretty well for not getting out much this fall leading up to this hunt. Thanks Mike aka KSBrittman for coming up and joining me, your help and past hunting experience in this area made my trip very successful.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Miforester; 11-29-2019 at 01:35 AM. Reason: trying to add photos
    River - 3 yr old English Setter
    http://gundogcentral.com/view_pedigr...&generations=5
    Bella - 5 yr old Brittany
    http://gundogcentral.com/view_pedigr...&generations=5
    Ellie - 6 yr old Yellow Lab
    Jazi - 12/30/2005 -- 10/13/2017
    Kaci - 3/23/01 - -10/8/15

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    15

    Default

    Great report, cool dog pic's thank's

  3. #3

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    I had opportunity to Pm and talk to Tom on the phone but had never met him in person , usually when someone has more than one bird dog he is pretty dedicated , the when I met him one look at the bottom of his hunting pants ( worn from walking through cover ) I knew he was a a diehard Upland hunter .

    Tom I glad our schedules worked out this season , I enjoyed hunting with you and your dogs . I bet there all rested and ready to go !!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    336

    Default

    Thanks for the report and photos. Really enjoyed it.

    What kind of shape were the roads in this year? Hunted the same general area last year and some of them were basically impassable.

    Was planning a trip to North Central SD starting next Sunday but if they get the 12-15 inches forecast I might switch gears and head south.

    Thanks
    Chasing Roosters with a flushing dog on public land. As God intended.......

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Northern Michigan
    Posts
    858

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Downtown Bang! View Post
    Thanks for the report and photos. Really enjoyed it.

    What kind of shape were the roads in this year? Hunted the same general area last year and some of them were basically impassable.

    Was planning a trip to North Central SD starting next Sunday but if they get the 12-15 inches forecast I might switch gears and head south.

    Thanks
    The roads were in good shape when I was out there. Had very little precip while I was out there, however, since I have left they have received alot of snow with about 6-8" of snow so those good conditions have probably changed.

    I'm hoping to make another SD run after Christmas if the weather cooperates.
    River - 3 yr old English Setter
    http://gundogcentral.com/view_pedigr...&generations=5
    Bella - 5 yr old Brittany
    http://gundogcentral.com/view_pedigr...&generations=5
    Ellie - 6 yr old Yellow Lab
    Jazi - 12/30/2005 -- 10/13/2017
    Kaci - 3/23/01 - -10/8/15

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    336

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Miforester View Post
    The roads were in good shape when I was out there. Had very little precip while I was out there, however, since I have left they have received alot of snow with about 6-8" of snow so those good conditions have probably changed.

    I'm hoping to make another SD run after Christmas if the weather cooperates.
    Thanks Miforester. Much appreciated.
    Chasing Roosters with a flushing dog on public land. As God intended.......

  7. #7

    Default

    Another great report. I was thinking about taking a trip to Nebraska in a couple of weeks. This gives me some hope that I will be able to find some birds. Thanks. I also liked your South Dakota report.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Northern Michigan
    Posts
    858

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Wyowalleye View Post
    Another great report. I was thinking about taking a trip to Nebraska in a couple of weeks. This gives me some hope that I will be able to find some birds. Thanks. I also liked your South Dakota report.
    You will have the potential to have a great mix bag. You won't see the numbers that you would in SD. But you will see birds that is for sure.
    River - 3 yr old English Setter
    http://gundogcentral.com/view_pedigr...&generations=5
    Bella - 5 yr old Brittany
    http://gundogcentral.com/view_pedigr...&generations=5
    Ellie - 6 yr old Yellow Lab
    Jazi - 12/30/2005 -- 10/13/2017
    Kaci - 3/23/01 - -10/8/15

  9. #9

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    Awesome job!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    15

    Default

    Here's my 2 cents, just got back from SW Hays area weather was perfect we hunted 4 1/2 days belle my 7 yr old lewellyn and jupiler my 9 yr old French britt logged over 40 miles. It was are 1st time ever in NE but because of all the moister in ne Kansas and conditions in nodak we picked ne. saw a good # of birds both quail and phez you could tell the birds had been hunted a lot they where pretty spooky. I got a lesson as to what a sand bur can do to a dog not good also my britt pointed a rattler. But had a good time and would go back

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