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Thread: Season Wrap-Up

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Sioux Falls, SD
    Posts
    886

    Default Season Wrap-Up

    Is it October yet?!?

    So yesterday, as many of you know, was W-I-N-D-Y!!!! With that & all the snow, I wasn't up for a long, drawn-out, all-dayer. So Ace & I hit little stretches of cattail ditches from about 11:00 to 1:30. We saw what I'd call "lots" of birds & pretty much all over the place. Just very wild & uncooperative. Then, of course, feeding time kicked in, so we just drove around. We saw "tons" of them out feeding. But for the last day, I knew I wanted to get out in at least 1 spot & do a "normal" hunt, as tough as it might be. I chose one of my favorite little, bitty WPA's that I hadn't been to in a while. Then, as if the weather gods realized they'd been unusually brutal all season long, the wind somehow went from 35 mph to about 5 mph, with as much sun as you can ask for at 4:00 in January. I was happy to be able to ditch the jacket & get by with my light gloves. And....I took my Sweet 16 to be certain there were no "I'm not used to this gun" issues. They were in there. Hen's were real dug in. Roosters a bit wilder, but Ace managed to flush 3 well within range. That was all it took. We came in about 15 minutes under the buzzer. It turned out to be probably the most enjoyable hour of the entire season. All-in-all, I saw more birds yesterday than I'd seen in any day in several years.

    I typically concentrate on about 3 geographic areas (not just 3 spots) throughout the season, each roughly separated by maybe 30 miles. I'd say 1 area had about the same number of birds as usual. 1 area I'm pretty certain was up significantly this year. I'll throw out a number & guess 40%. The 3rd area, I don't know what to think about. I hunted out there the 1st couple weekends, because it's typically the best early on. I have a feeling the birds were around somewhere, but I sure couldn't find many. There was virtually no corn or beans planted in the area. Obviously, that means things were really wet. But I really don't believe it had a catastrophic effect on the hatch or brood survival. I really think that as "summer" food sources disappeared with the onset of fall/winter, the pheasants moved (much further than I'd previously thought they would) in order to find grain or other easy winter food sources. Neither pheasants nor hunters have ever really had to deal with that before (that I recall). I could be wrong, but that's my best guess. Anyway, after about the 3rd weekend, I left that area & only returned once after we had some snow. Only saw a handful of hens.

    So I had a 5-1/2 month old puppy & was hunting an area void of roosters, so my season started off pretty slow. But Ace picked it up VERY quickly, especially after I switched to areas where there were more findable birds. Then the corn/bean harvest picked up pace. So just about the time my birds per trip average usually starts to fall off a bit, it actually started to increase, & the trend continued until the season closed. All-in-all, Ace & I had a pretty good year. Tons of fun. Roosterwise, it ended up pretty much just like any other "good" year. Not great. Definitely better than fair.
    20200105_165601.jpg
    Last edited by A5 Sweet 16; 01-06-2020 at 12:34 PM.
    "Most pheasants in South Dakota don't react too well to #5s." -The Hunt for Red Rooster

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    rural Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,364

    Default

    You just wrapped up my season as well, but by proxy. I love seeing Ace in his youthful vigilance, just starting out for his life's work.

    Glad you got out. Glad you told us about it.

    Have a good year.
    Kis
    For hunters, Fall is the island towards which we swim all year.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Sioux Falls, SD
    Posts
    886

    Default

    Thanks Kismet. You have a good year, too. I'd say on Ace's 3rd outing, he really zeroed in on his life's work choice. He just loves it. Is puppy...but an awfully good one. And tired.
    "Most pheasants in South Dakota don't react too well to #5s." -The Hunt for Red Rooster

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Spring Grove, IL
    Posts
    1,772

    Default

    Thats a good looking running mate you have there. You guys had a good year despite what most would say is a year with overwhelming challenges. Wish we couldve gotten together. This was my most challenging year yet trying to make and keep plans. The stars just refused to align. One of these years...
    Mike

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    20 miles south of Ft. Worth, Tx
    Posts
    408

    Default

    Congrats to you and Ace. Great way to close out the season!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Central MN
    Posts
    726

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    The season started out real tough and ended great
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Gatzby; 01-08-2020 at 04:24 PM.
    "We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It's the best deal man has ever made." M.Facklam

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Sioux Falls, SD
    Posts
    886

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gatzby View Post
    The season started out real tough and ended great
    Looks like it ended great! Super pictures! Dogs look awesome! (forgive me for being partial to the little black & white one)
    "Most pheasants in South Dakota don't react too well to #5s." -The Hunt for Red Rooster

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by A5 Sweet 16 View Post
    Looks like it ended great! Super pictures! Dogs look awesome! (forgive me for being partial to the little black & white one)
    Gotta disagree, the black and white is great, but the one on the left is drop dead gorgeous.

  9. #9

    Default

    Also how in the heck do you get them to line up like that. Mine are always competing to stick the birds in their mouthes. I could never get a great looking picture like that. There is always one that has to stick a bird in his mouth and turn away.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Central MN
    Posts
    726

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskan swamp collies View Post
    Gotta disagree, the black and white is great, but the one on the left is drop dead gorgeous.
    The pooch on the left is more than gorgeous he’s QAA, Master Hunter with 2 Master National plates.
    That little black and white is a bird finding machine!
    The middle black is QAA, Master Hunter, and HRCH.
    I own the one on the right.....he’s pretty special but I will keep his accolades quiet.
    "We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It's the best deal man has ever made." M.Facklam

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