I had a nice pheasant hunt with my family on Saturday. 2 of my brothers, 2 nephews and my dad all went out to a pheasant preserve in western Utah. My older brother Guy doesn't hunt as much as he'd like to so it was nice to get him and his son Mckay out for a day of hunting. It was Mckays first experience upland hunting. Even though it was released birds it was very enjoyable.
We ordered a dozen birds and we bagged most of them. If we would of had more time I think we would of bagged at least that amount. We have a good relationship with this farm and they really accommodate us and they have good, strong flying birds. Plus it's roosters only. I like that. The ranch owner calls us odd. Most of his customers like their hunts to be quick, and easy. We tell them to spread the pheasants out and to release the birds in the thickest cover they got. We like the challenge of working for the birds. I'm not sure how my brother and nephew felt about that but it ended up being a very enjoyable day. We saw some nice shots, beautiful points and it was good to introduce Mckay to upland hunting. I think he really enjoyed it.
Highlight of the day was watching my Dad double on pheasants. Another highlight was towards the end of the day. We all started hunting all together and we were all spread out in a small valley along a river. I was up high on a hill watching it all. Shawn calls out, "Chiefs really birdy!" just as a bird flew from the river bank about 30 feet in front of Chief's nose. The bird was behind a bunch of tamarack bushes so only I could see it from my vantage point on the the hilltop it crossed in front of me and I took a shot (a long shot I probably shouldn't of taken) and hit the bird. It flopped and swayed in the air and went down about 100 yard in front of me and then ran into a ditch bank. I call to my nephews, "Mckay, Michael, get up here!" wanting them to get the bird. I hustled over there behind them. My dad was yelling at us from behind "To your left! It went left!" so Michael and I go left. I'm calling my dogs over to work the ditch as we start heading up the ditch bank. That's when Mckay calls out, "Hazel's on point". He's standing right were the bird went in. "Where is she?", I ask. "Right here at my feet", replies Mckay. "Good, she's got it then". Mckay then asks "what should I do?" I say, "Flush it". "How do I do that?", he asks. "Walk in front of her nose". He does and a beautiful rooster flushes up and Mckay makes a clean shot and Hazel makes a soft retrieve to hand.
I love this stuff I wish I could do it every day.