Monday, November 11, 2013

Utah Pheasant Hunt Continued....

Shawn and his dogs with a nice rooster he bagged this past weekend.

60 degrees is too warm for pheasant hunting. Dogs aren't lasting very long in the field and neither am I. I prefer my Autumn to be crisp and cool not sunny and balmy. It's beautiful but not the type of weather I like to hunt in. Despite the warmth we are still having a lot of fun. My friends and I have bagged some and missed some. (I've done most of the missing) We've had opportunities and you cant ask for much else especially here in Utah. At least that's what I'm going to tell myself after blowing the two gorgeous opportunities on wild birds I had this past week.

Only real bummer of this hunt has been my dogs feet. On the opener we did a lot of hunting among the fragmites and their feet got thrashed. I did all I could to get them ready for a hunt this past Friday. Soaked their feet used Tuff Foot and medicated the sore spots. I even booted them. It worked out and by Friday with the help of some new home made boots they hunted hard for me but by the end of the day both dogs were getting visibly sore. We went out for a couple hours on the next day  and I ended up leaving Hazel my Pudelpointer home. She would hardly get off her bed that morning. You know something is wrong when Hazel can't get herself fired up to go hunting. Chief made it and hunted hard but he was glad to go home and rest in the sun that afternoon. I should of booted them on the opener. Honestly with all the Grouse hunting we've been doing I thought they would be fine and that their feet would be plenty conditioned. I was wrong. Next year boots on the opener for sure. Sorry dogs.

Hopefully with the same regimen we can have them ready for another round next weekend.  The wild birds are getting smarter more wiley of us so whenever you bag one you feel pretty good about it. The released birds the state put out aren't very crafty and get themselves caught pretty easily but they keep things exciting so I do appreciate the effort the state has put forth this year.

And another thing. If anyone is looking for a good way to cook a pheasant. Look up a good old fashioned Southern-Style Fried Chicken Recipe. It works great on these birds to. I took some cooking advice from my new friends Stuart and Tim who are both from the south.  I soaked my birds in buttermilk, rolled them in flour with salt and pepper then pan fried them. It may have been the best pheasant I've ever eaten. Delicious.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Another Hot Pheasant Opener in Utah

Hazel, Chief and the mother-daughter duo of Sage & Oakley cooling off during the hunt. 60+ degrees on Nov. 2
The first Saturday in November has pretty much become the Christmas morning of my adult life.
Pheasant hunting in Utah can't stack up to other states but it's what we got and we make the most of it.

This year the state released a grundle of birds (11,000 spread out over the hunt throughout the state is what I heard) so the hunters were out in force. More hunters this year than I've seen in a long time. I would like to say the more the merrier but it was a little disappointing to see so many hunters in spots we usually have all to ourselves.

My nephew Parker packing out his limit.
I elected to stay home the morning of the opener. I don't like hunting around that many people. My dogs run big and it causes me anxiety to have people I don't know shooting every direction. My brother doesn't have that problem and went out first thing a cleaned up with 2 limits by 8:00 am for himself and my nephew.

End of day Rooster
I didn't get out until after noon and it took me a few hours to get my two birds for the day. 
We had a good time and saw some decent dog work. It was around 60 degrees so the dogs were hot and not working as well as I would of liked but they did their job and we took home some birds. One was definitely a planted bird but the last bird of the day was a beautiful wild rooster. Chief was working the bird and my brother saw it running about 30 yards ahead of us in the grass. I was able to rush around it and it eventually flew and went down. Made the day for me.

We went out again Monday and Shawn was able to get one. I had my chance but completely whiffed an easy shot off a sweet find and point by Shawn's dog Sage. Still enjoyed myself despite my poor shooting.