Hunting Grandpa’s Farm
This article comes to us from Amanda Dewald out of Mitchell, SD.
Making the long drive to Grandpa’s Farmstead through the Prairie’s of South Dakota, was a drive anticipated by all those who participated in the yearly ritual of Pheasant Season’s Opening Day.
With little breeze to help lift the bird scent, we decided to kick the noon hour off with a little road hunting. Today we had about 3 hours before heading for home. With Dad’s Shorthair, Tator, running side to side into the ditches in front of us it didn’t take long to get a point. The Rooster got up 5 feet in front of us. For some reason this bird was reluctant to rise up into the air, instead he simply glided away from us in the steep ditch. While Dad and Daniel, my brother, were dumping rounds at this poor bird, I simply pulled up with my 20 gauge and dropped it dead. You could hear their thoughts as they stared at me. First bird of the day and first Pheasant I ever shot. It was going to be a great day.
We finished walking the road to the corner, Dad, Allison, my sister, and I turned around to head back, we were about 20 yards ahead of Daniel when we heard the bird get up behind us. Daniel pulled up with his 12 gauge and dropped it. As we watched the bird dropped about 30 yards in front of us and was on the run. The bird’s running gear was clearly intact as it was running as fast as it could. Tator saw it land and was on the run, you could hear the dog thinking you – are – mine. Just as Tator went to grab it, the bird did a 90 degree turn to the North. Too late Tator had the bird and went into a hard roll, on his third roll he accidentally let it go. The Rooster was up and running again but Tator grabbed him before he got too far.
On the next field Dad and I rounded the slough a bird got up in front of us. In a calm, smooth draw Dad pulled up his red label and took the rooster out. It was a great shot, watching that bird fall with the sun glinting off the feathers.
The day sped by in a blur with limits being filled. As we walked along yet another slough a bird got up a ways in front of us, Allison knocked it down. It was a great shot as the bird was almost out of range when she dropped it. Before the bird touched the ground Tator tore off to retrieve it, probably remembering the earlier incident.
It was the end of the day, about 3 p.m. and time to head for home. As we walked along the shelter belt hoping to get our last bird, a deer spooked up ahead of us and disappeared into the shelter belt, lucky for him it wasn’t deer season yet.
Tator sniffed around and picked up a trail, as he pointed the bird flushed. Daniel shot at it a couple times, just as it was getting out of reach I knocked the wing out. We spent a good fifteen minutes trying to locate the bird but never did. As we headed back to the truck another bird got up in front of us. This time Daniel knocked it down. What a day! The two amateurs both knocked birds down. And 4 out of 4 limits were filled.