Pheasant Hunters - Jason

first season hunting dogs with pheasantsAt 8 months old this pup never saw a pheasant in training, only pigeons and quail. His first exposure to pheasant was on a wild bird hunt.

The first occasion was while honoring a 13 season experienced brace mate pointing and relocating on a running bird that we did not harvest.

His next rooster was a jump bird that we purposefully shot over him to introduce him to this bird (the only jump bird that will be shot this season). Within 200 yards he went on point. I walked in and flushed a rooster that I was not about to let fly in spite of being on an edge of a pond. That bird did splash down and on the far side of the cattails out of the pup's sight (That one bird soaked the other two in the game bag and why they look so bad in the picture.).

As luck seems to go our way, the bird was flapping one wing marking its location and the pup thrashed through the cattails and swam between 8 and 10 feet to the bird, bringing it back to shore barely making it through the cattails with the bird.

The next point was on a double about 300 yards from the water retrieve. Both were missed as they flew into the late afternoon sun. The pup remained true to his training remaining steady to point, wing shot and on the earlier bird, to the drop, breaking on command.

We then went after the two missed birds and within 200 yards the pup seemed to be tracking out from the grass draw into the clean cut wheat stubble. I did not believe he was tracking a pheasant that was until he went on point. The beeper sounded and I started to make my way to him when the rooster flushed at too long of range for a sure kill shot.

Within 50 yards he went on point, nothing flushed and he started a slow relocate when the rooster flushed about 20 feet away. Under our rules of engagement a relocated/flushed bird counts the same as a pointed/hunter flushed bird and I harvested that one.

In just over an hour that dog went from ignoring pheasant scent to becoming a pheasant hunter.

The next day we hunted the pup alone from his two senior partners (they would beat him to the birds) on the last field of the day and our luck held.

Walking with the wind to our backs the pup locked up on point having hooked around on a short cast to my front. I flushed the rooster, dropped it and the pup was released.

Shortly thereafter the pup goes on point, relocates, hesitates and starts a slow high and low head scenting moving oblique to the wind. About 15 to 20 feet to the pup's front the rooster flushes. The pup freezes, I shoot twice and can readily see the bird glide alive into the grass. I release the pup and he is at where the bird landed, in the grass and gone -- a runner.

a wet hunting day in kansasJust under a 100 yards away the pup has the rooster having proven himself a wild pheasant tracking dog.

This two day hunt and five birds in the bag and a good many more wild flushes fixed this dog as a pheasant hunter after his having earlier proven to be an effective covey and singles quail pointer. After these past five days he has become a bold pup as shown by his expanded range. His range is nearly double of what it was on his first hunt or during any of the summer's field training. While he has doubled his range he remains well within comfortable eyes on distance and his check back remains strong. The dog is now a pheasant hunter. The last part thanks to MAHA.

Thanks, Jason.

A Later Season

Kansas hunting with dog in box at end of day...picture is from January 30th, my first and only pheasant hunt of the season.

A great way to end the year and a special contentment watching my dog go in one day from pushing the pheasants too hard to slowly stalking before the point.

The weather was great, the cover good and plenty of roosters. I felt we had a good day.



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