Rooster Road Trip North Dakota Recap
I’ve personally had North Dakota circled on my Rooster Road Trip calendar thanks to an omnipresent billboard campaign featuring the ring-necked pheasant that ran all summer in the Twin Cities. That campaign billed the state as “Legendary” and today North Dakota lived up to the slogan.
Our public land du jour were a pair of CRP tracts enrolled in North Dakota’s PLOTS program by Matt Olson, the Pheasants Forever Farm Bill Biologist for Sargent County. PLOTS stands for Public Lands Open To Sportsmen and is a gem opening up private land to hunters.
Rachel Bush, Pheasants Forever’s Farm Bill Biologist from Jamestown also joined us today with her fantastic black Lab duo of Belle and Haley in tow. Rachel and her husband are both natural resource professionals who have relocated to North Dakota from my home state of Michigan. “We love the prairie, we love the duck hunting and we love the pheasants. North Dakota is home,” explained Rachel as we followed our dogs along a cattail slough.
The action was fast and furious out of the gates as a smattering of hens flushed a few minutes after shutting tailgates. Shortly after the hens, a pair of sharp-tailed grouse escaped my immediate species identification, but a running rooster was not so lucky. After my young shorthair Izzy tracked it for 200 yards in high winds, the bird flushed at my feet with my head camera rolling. If you look at the video closely, I almost pulled the trigger a hair early and would have missed behind the bird. Thankfully, I reset and swung through the bird for a clean connection.
Despite high winds all day long, which resulted in many birds flushing wildly, we had Rachel and Matt’s sharp shooting as the day’s secret weapon. Rachel, in particular, made THE shot of Rooster Road Trip 2012 with a rooster so high in the air you’d think it was considering migrating south as it screamed over her. But Rachel expertly swung to her right with the fluidity of the avid duck hunter she is and dropped the ringneck from the rafters. Legendary!
Leave a Reply