Posts Tagged ‘Rooster Road Trip’
Monday, November 26th, 2012
A few months back, a friend of mine opened up to me about his secret passion for woodcock hunting. I, too, have an undeniable love affair with the American timberdoodle. This migrating aspen and alder tornado is an awesome game bird for pointing dogs and an under-appreciated challenge for wingshooters.
This same anonymous friend shared with me a woodcock recipe to transform the timberdoodle from a meat equated to flying liver into a white linen delicacy. I’ve bagged 15 woodcock this season and sautéed every single one to rave reviews employing his recipe. Unfortunately, I’ve exhausted my timberdoodle freezer reserves; consequently, last evening I substituted Nebraska’s Rooster Road Trip quail for woodcock in my newfound favorite recipe. Whether you’ve got timberdoodle, quail, ruffed grouse or a pheasant breast in the freezer, I believe you’ll find this recipe easy, tasty and addictive.
- 3 de-boned quail breasts
- Olive oil
- Chef Paul Prudhommes redfish blackening seasoning
1) Brush the quail breasts generously with olive oil
2) Liberally sprinkle the breasts with Chef Paul Prudhommes blackening seasoning
3) Sauté the breasts on medium-high heat in a frying pan for 3 or 4 minutes
4) Flip the breasts over and sauté for 2 or 3 minutes
5) Serve with a side of Brussels sprouts, mushrooms and wild rice
Monday, November 5th, 2012
The opportunity to hunt quail in Nebraska and Kansas has been one of my favorite aspects of the Rooster Road Trip over the last three years. As I’ve blogged about many times, I grew up hunting ruffed grouse in the “Northwoods,” and when I encounter a covey of bobwhites I can’t help but draw similarities to ruffs. Both birds only give you a split second opportunity and their flush is often heard before viewed.
There are definitely unique aspects of bobwhites too. A bobwhite’s covey rise is a whirl of motion challenging the wingshooter to select a single bird without falling into “flock shooting,” in which you simply look at the entire flock without properly aiming at an individual bird. “Flock shooting” will almost always result in a miss.
However, it’s the sound of a bobwhite’s covey flush I enjoy most about the bird. Unlike the chainsaw-like explosion of a ruffed grouse or the cackling bad-ass attitude of a ring-neck, a bobwhite covey sounds like twenty throwing stars whirring threw the air if an army of ninja warriors had just entered the scene to fight Chuck Norris. (Obviously, Chuck Norris could triple on bobs with one shot).
So with each visit to “quail country,” my affinity for bobwhites grows more intense. As today’s Nebraska hunt produced more coveys than ring-necks, my mind started to wonder about the public land quail hunting version of the Rooster Road Trip. I can pretty easily come up with Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas as four states on a hypothetical Quail Forever “Quail Quest,” but the fifth state is a bit debatable. Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, New Mexico, Arkansas, Arizona, Mississippi and Alabama are all conceivably doable based upon geography, but I have not personally experienced a quail hunt in any of these states.
What do you think the fifth state on a “Quail Quest” would be for the best public lands quail hunt?
Tuesday, December 13th, 2011
David Schager joined Pheasants Forever during PF’s Rooster Road Trip 2011 last month. The Carmel, Indiana resident’s name was randomly selected as the grand prize winner from the online event’s membership drive for a Browning Citori 12 gauge shotgun.
Pheasants Forever’s Rooster Road Trip 2011 visited five states in five days, including lands that Pheasants Forever has played a significant role in opening up to public access; either through land purchase, restoration or legislation. The effort focused on how important pheasant hunters that are Pheasants Forever members are to creating and improving publicly accessible habitat.
Special thanks to Browning, one of the sponsors of Rooster Road Trip 2011, for providing Browning PF hats to those who joined Pheasants Forever during the event, and the grand prize. Congratulations David, enjoy your new shotgun, and thanks to you and all members who signed up during the Rooster Road Trip for supporting Pheasants Forever and wildlife habitat conservation.
If you’d like to join Pheasants Forever, the nation’s leading upland conservation organization, visit www.PheasantsForever.org/Join. No organization does more to improve wildlife habitat for pheasants and quail, and we can only do it with your support.
Friday, November 18th, 2011
Friday, November 18th – Minnesota
Pheasants Forever’s Rooster Road Trip 2011 concludes today in Minnesota. It’s the 35th day of Minnesota’s pheasant hunting season, and we’ll be hunting in the west central part of the state, including Stearns and Douglas Counties.
Shooting Hours: 9AM to Sunset
Daily Limits: 2 rooster pheasants per day / 6 in possession (changes to 3 and 9, respectively, on December 1 through the remainder of the season)
Public Hunting Land
Minnesota Pheasants Forever chapters have put a premium on purchasing lands for permanent public protection, and the Rooster Road Trip will be checking a few of these out. Last year alone, Pheasants Forever in Minnesota participated in 14 land acquisitions totaling 1,312 acres (all land acquisitions are accomplished in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and/or the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and opened to the public for hunting and outdoor recreation), and the organization expects to eclipse that mark in 2011.
Minnesota’s nonresident small game license is $84.50 and is good for the entire season. Residents age 18-64, and all non-resident hunters, must have a Minnesota Pheasant Stamp validation. The $7.50 pheasant stamp – Pheasants Forever’s first organization goal which came to fruition – is required of all Minnesota pheasant hunters. Since 1983, stamp sales have generated more than $15.5 million for habitat enhancement efforts on both public and private lands in the pheasant range of Minnesota.
Pheasants Forever’s Impact in Minnesota
Pheasants Forever Members: This will be today’s Pheasants Forever trivia question on Facebook
Quail Forever Members: 103
Habitat projects completed by Pheasants Forever in Minnesota: 24,277 wildlife habitat projects
Total habitat acres improved by Pheasants Forever in Minnesota: 214,812 acres
My Minnesota Memories
Born and raised in Minnesota, this is where the bulk of my pheasant hunting has taken place. I bagged my first rooster here, and hope decades from now to bag my last one here too (not that I’m in a rush). This won’t happen for me or other hunters from my generation without the continued support of Pheasants Forever.
Thursday, November 17th, 2011
Thanks to everyone for following along with Pheasants Forever’s Rooster Road Trip 2011 so far. We’ve put on over 2,000 miles in pursuit of public land pheasants, and hit the dirt back roads to some phenomenal Pheasants Forever wildlife habitat projects. And getting there is half the fun:
Thursday, November 17th, 2011
Thursday, November 17th – South Dakota
Pheasants Forever’s Rooster Road Trip 2011 rolls into “The Pheasant Capital” that is South Dakota for the fourth day of the five-day public land pheasant hunt. It’s the 34th day of South Dakota’s regular pheasant hunting season, and we’ll be hunting in the central to northeast part of the state.
Shooting Hours: 10AM to Sunset
Daily Limits: 3 rooster pheasants per day / 15 in possession
Public Hunting Land
With state Walk-In Areas and Game Production Areas, and federal Waterfowl Production Areas, South Dakota has more than 1 million acres available to public land pheasant hunters. Despite this gaudy number, South Dakota Pheasants Forever chapters are working harder than ever to create publicly accessible, protected habitat as even South Dakota has experienced significant losses in habitat acres and a subsequent plunge in bird numbers. In addition to contributing to land acquisitions, PF chapters have helped fund Pheasants Forever Farm Bill Biologist positions, which have led to 50,000 acres enrolled in the state-sponsored Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) in the James River Valley. These acres are protecting pheasant nesting habitat and opening additional lands to upland hunters.
A nonresident small game hunting license is required. For $110, you are allowed to hunt two 5-day periods. In case you’ve never been to South Dakota, here’s a bit of clarification on these periods: For the first 5-day period, you will obviously select the dates of your hunt. If you aren’t sure of your second 5-day period dates, or if you’ll be back, the standard recommendation is to select the last 5-day period the calendar system will allow, the reason being you can always move your 5-day hunting periods up (earlier in season), but never back (later in season). If inclement weather or a spur-of-the-moment road trip cause plans to change, you’ll be ready. Also, if late season pheasant hunting is your thing, consider purchasing your license on or after December 15th, as this allows you to use your first 5-day period for that particular hunting season, and your second period in the following hunting season.
Pheasants Forever’s Impact in South Dakota
Pheasants Forever Members: That is today’s Pheasants Forever trivia question on Facebook
Habitat projects completed by Pheasants Forever in SD: 17,920 projects
Total habitat acres improved by Pheasants Forever in SD: 220,688 acres
My South Dakota Memories
I’ve been visiting South Dakota for annual pheasant hunting trips since I was a teenager, almost all of them December, late-season hunts – some of the coldest days of my life, and at the same time, some of the warmest. Any self-respecting pheasant hunter owes it to themselves to visit South Dakota at least once in their lifetime . . . or perhaps once a year.
Wednesday, November 16th, 2011
If one had to guess which of the three states so far on Pheasants Forever’s Rooster Road Trip – Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa – has produced the most flushes, most would guess Kansas or Nebraska, right? But it was Iowa today that yielded the best aerial show so far.
The day began in Lyon County at the Venenga Wildlife Area near Little Rock, which was actually the first donated property Pheasants Forever ever received in Iowa. A beautiful parcel, but no birds today.
With a tip and a little man and dog power boost from Jared Elbert, Pheasants Forever’s area Farm Bill Wildlife Biologist, and Ann Byers, the local Resource Conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service – both avid pheasant hunters – we headed east to try a few public wildlife areas in Osceola County.
What we found was great public grassland habitat, interspersed with food plots provided by the local Osceola County Pheasants Forever chapter, and more ringnecks than we expected. A lot more.
Unfortunately for us, it was one of those afternoons that drive dogs wild and pheasant hunters mad. With a 30 mile per hour wind and the home habitat advantage, these pheasants made herding cats look like a more worthwhile endeavor. Birds poured out of thickets, they poured out of the food plots and they poured out of the grass all at safe, check that, extremely safe distances.
After a couple hours of being put through the ringneck ringer, we headed back to the truck. With the northwest wind pounding our backs on the mile walk back to the truck, we’d put our proverbial tales between our legs. And wouldn’t you figure, that’s when the last rooster put his tail in the path of Andrew and Jared’s guns.
While Iowa has seen very unkind weather for pheasants the last five years, where exceptional habitat still exists, birds can be found…distances, however, may vary.
Wednesday, November 16th, 2011
Watch this video and then go to www.RoosterRoadTrip.org and find out how to win a Browning Citori 625 Field 12 gauge over/under shotgun!
Tuesday, November 15th, 2011
Pheasants Forever’s Rooster Road Trip 2011 happens to be my last major pheasant hunting trip without a bird dog to call my own. And if ever there was a case study about the power of dogs when it comes to chasing ringnecks, this week has been it.
PF’s Bob St.Pierre, with his midst-of-her-prime shorthair, Trammell, has three times as many shot opportunities as me on this trip, and PF’s Andrew Vavra, with his coming-into-her-own lab, Beau, has twice as many shot opportunities as me. Me? All I have are my own two feet – “Mooch the Pooch” – sandwiched haplessly between these two trying to scratch out a bird off their scraps.
This is not to say I don’t fully enjoy my time afield; rather, I want that “next level” of pheasant hunting only made possible with a four-legged companion. The relationships Bob and Andrew have with their dogs is something I aspire to. This Rooster Road Trip has also been a crash course in what will be asked of me when I become a dog owner, a day that’s just five weeks away. In that respect, it’s been the ultimate training ground for the soon-to-be trainer.
But I’ve also grown impatient. I’ve waited a long time to get “My First Bird Dog.” I’ve appreciated Trammell and Beau’s field work. I’ve enjoyed watching Bob and Andrew’s wingshooting. And I’ve been a congratulatory bystander after either pair has earned a sporting rooster. But a part of me is also completely selfish and wants that all – for me. What mooch wouldn’t?
Previous “My First Bird Dog” posts:
- Introducing “My First Bird Dog”
- What I’m Looking For
- Gun Dog Experts’ #1 Piece of Advice
- Just Show Me the DOGFAX
- Why Attend a Hunt Test or Field Trial?
- What Was Your First Bird Dog?
- Stuck Between Two Litters
- Rationalizing the Sticker Shock
Monday, November 14th, 2011
Wearing a mounted HD head camera this morning helped me capture this point by Trammell, my German shorthaired pointer, and first shot on Pheasants Forever’s Rooster Road Trip 2011. This action occurred on a Walk-In Hunting Area (WIHA) in northwest Kansas.