Day 2 – Minnesota
Is this November 9th in Minnesota? It’s going to get up near 60 degrees again, which has us wondering if our Rooster Road Trip vehicle is a time machine that’s taking us back to October. No one’s complaining, just de-layering.
One concern heading into the first two days of the trip – in North Dakota and Minnesota – were the firearm deer seasons in those states. We’ve come across very little deer hunting pressure, and competition with other bird hunters has been nonexistent. It’s nice to have the place to yourself!
After getting up (literally) in the dark to hunt at sunrise in North Dakota yesterday, returning to the “gentlemanly” starting hour of 9AM in Minnesota was quite the pleasure. The reality of what we’re trying to accomplish – hunting 5 states in 7 days – is finally creeping into our bones. Translation: it felt good to sleep in.
We started off a few minutes after shooting hours opened at a Minnesota Wildlife Management Area / federal Waterfowl Production Area complex southwest of Madison, Minnesota. For those who don’t know, Madison, located in west-central Minnesota not far from the South Dakota border, is my hometown, and we decided to put my local knowledge of the area to use for the Rooster Road Trip.
The home field advantage paid off at the first area – a spot on which I’d duck hunted a month ago and had seen some pheasants. An hour or so walk had yielded no flushes, when Andrew and his Lab, Beau, worked through the last area of cattails on the tract. Lesson: always finish walks out. Two hens flushed out the front, then a rooster went out the back door. Bob made sure he didn’t have time to close it.
This afternoon, we’ll be hitting two more public areas concentrating on willows and cattails edges. More on that subject from Bob later. For the “Golden Hour” today, we’ll close out at one of the newest pieces of public property near Madison – one purchased with the help of the local Lac qui Parle County Pheasants Forever chapter and Minnesota Pheasant Habitat Stamp dollars. So more on that to come, too.
If you’re reading this in Minnesota, please be sure to tune into WCCO radio this evening where I’ll be recapping our first two days afield on LIVE OUTDOORS with Mitch Petrie and Mike Max.
Time to hit the road and see if we can yell “Rooster!” a few more times today.
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