Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Late Season Pheasant Hunting Eastern WA

Friend and contributor Fran Seagren posted from her eastern Washington pheasant hunt yesterday:

Sarge "Finally" gets to retrieve a wild rooster 
 We had such a fun time hunting.  It was REALLY cold (14-20 degrees), but one of the best days we've had.  We were dressed how you and I looked yesterday at Ft Lewis - but without the "white."  :))  Scott and I were laughing at ourselves with all our layers, but it worked and we weren't cold.  My fingers were cold at first - but then after a while, my blood figured out what it's supposed to do, because my hands warmed up for the rest of the day.

Late season roosters are usually the hardest to hunt.  By the end of the season they're pretty smart and tough to get close to.  But, it was so cold, we were hoping they wouldn't want to move much once they found some good cover.  And, we do have good dogs that know how to hunt them, so we got into a bunch.  Really fun and exciting.  :))

Sarge flushed about six roosters and four hens today.  He was a "Pheasant Machine"!  He hunted really nice.  His finds/flushes today just didn't result in us getting a shot.  Sarge doesn't look the same when he hunts as when we're training.  In training, I think he looks like a big puppy.  But, when hunting, he looks "serious" and he moves and hunts like a fully grown/experienced hunting dog.

Disco flushed two roosters today.  The one in these pics was Disco's find/flush.  And, she actually got a live "almost" grab on it!  Hardly EVER happens with wild roosters  I saw her jump the rooster and feathers flew.  It rolled away from her and as it took off, she jumped up and grabbed more tail feathers!  It gained altitude and Scott shot it.  Sarge saw it fall (he was hunting in front of me) and I sent him for the bird.  I knew Disco would let him have the retrieve.  She's like that.  Sort of cute in a high rolling dog like Disco.  But, she didn't mind at all.  He was SO HAPPY about finally getting a rooster in his mouth.  He works so hard - you should see how beat up he is.  He was in the nastiest cover hunting his heart out for two and 1/2 hours.  I wish I had a video of him hunting today.  But, that's why he found most of the pheasants.  They like the nastiest cover.  Not many dogs are that tough.  Sarge is like Jonz used to be - only Sarge stays within gun range way more than Jonz ever did.  :))

Earlier in the day, Ruby pointed two hens when hunting with Scott.  He said she held steady to the flush and did a great job.  I had been hunting with Robert and he was a kick.  He hunted hard, like always, but today he was a real "team player" - something that he hasn't always been real good at doing.  He went on one point - rock solid.  I kicked around the brush for quite a while.  He held his point - he was SURE there was a bird in there.  A few minutes later we saw a rooster flush out of gun range - maybe the same one? :))

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