A Journal of our life with Bird dogs, where they take us with our friends and family, new and old, human, canine and equine.
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Monday, October 25, 2010
A great trip
Rod and I and the five red dogs returned this weekend from our 6 days of hunting in South Dakota. It's difficult to put into a blog the adventures we had. I ran a spotty journal of the trip, so will try to break it down into maybe a post a day. I promise I'll get back on blogging about the puppies as well ASAP as I know you all are really interested in them! (any why wouldn't you be!)
Here we go...
My good friend Rod and I began our trek to South Dakota Friday the 15th of October. Rod arrived at 5:00 a.m. and we moved his gear and dogs to the truck and were on the road about 6: 20. 30 or so hours driving later, Saturday noon found us arriving at our Firesteel Camp. Though very, very tired from the drive we cleared the five kennels from weeds and gave the dogs some quick exercise, moved gear into the house then finally got a much needed and deserved nap.
Sunday morning we went scouting the country we could hunt and it was almost overwhelming in it’s enormity. We drove for over two hours and we only scouted one large area within 9 miles of the house. This was our first time ever hunting in South Dakota – no guide, pure freelance on public ground on opening weekend. What would the hunting pressure be like? Would there be numerous hunters to compete for the same patch of ground? These concerns quickly faded. We saw three or four other hunters and they had their places “staked out”, but we just went on to a spot we saw birds earlier and no one was nearby. We hunted for five hours and only saw a few hunters in the extreme distance. Much different than the competitive hunting in California.
But were there birds? Dewey County is not in the prime pheasant habitat of the State. Areas like Pierre or Chamberlain are world famous for their concentrations of pheasants. Thankfully, yes, there were many bird contacts for the young dogs we had on our string. Gradually, they began handling these skittish birds with more care. Shots began presenting themselves at more regular intervals. I am still very bad at left handed shooting. I’m not fluid on the mount and feel clumsy and slow. As a result, though I had half a dozen opportunities, I was unable to connect on these fast Prarie Pheasants. Hopefully I will gain skill over this week as I hope the dogs will.