Roosters – They’re Out There!
I just returned from a visit with the Knife River Pheasants Forever chapter in west central North Dakota (north of Bismarck). I visit some of our top chapters every fall to do stories on their hard work for conservation and to hunt some of their wildlife habitat projects.
Despite all the talk about low bird numbers, five of us bagged our limits (three birds each) in about a half day. I must say, our group was all good shots and all had good dogs. I’ll add here that my new springer, Hunter, had a break out hunt, performing as good as my late, great springer, Wolf, ever did at his peak. I think my hard work training him all summer paid off, but it also seems to take until a gun dog’s fourth year before they really put it all together.
We hunted CRP, big and small; food plots big and small; river ways; public and private land. It was the kind of hunt I really love: hard dog work between spread out flushes. On one drive, Hunter was hot on the trail. The bird got way out and Hunter went after him. I reluctantly called him back with the tone on his e-collar. I worried it would discourage him. We kept walking toward the bird. We soon passed over a shallow, thistle-choked waterway in a big CRP field. Hunter immediately worked back into the waterway. I knew he had the goods on the runnin’ rooster. Sure enough, after some fast tracking work, Hunter pushed the rooster up and then made a great retrieve.
Instead of the tone discouraging Hunter, he self-corrected on the next hard running bird and held off until I caught up. That’s a veteran move. That rooster ended up in the bag too.
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