Pheasant Hunters - John & Karen + Josh

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Last fall, John and I went out the opening week of quail season and then John took our son Josh out during Thanksgiving. On the first trip, we ran into several fields of standing crops. By the time John and Josh returned, the crops were cut and the hunting was much more productive. Josh was actually able to get a limit on pheasants on just his second trip out...

many pictures from many hunting seasons with much change

started with retrievers moving onto pointers

came as quail hunetrs transitioning to pheasant

Some Earlier Seasons

Karen and I wanted to let you know that we had a wonderful time on our trips this year. We made our first trip to Missouri to bird hunt and took our 7-year-old son Josh along. We didn't have great weather, but enjoyed introducing Josh to wild bird hunting. Josh "claimed" more birds with his BB-gun than both of us combined.

From husband and wife to faterh and son daughter stayed at home

Our latest addition to the hunts, our 17-month old pointer Mike, with his first covey find. He acted a little lost at times, but wasn't too bad for his first time on wild birds.

Karen when seh hunted before son Josh

Karen getting close, but not quite, to her first limit of Kansas pheasants.

Some of the hutning they had as only a single view of a image can provide.

Meg and Mike pointing a couple singles for Karen on our last day in the field.

The older and younger

Our older and steady hunter, our 6-year old Meg, showing Mike how it is done. Meg has went with us every year and has proven to be an absolutely wonderful and consistent bird dog.

We met a fellow club member our last day in Missouri and then ended up running into Bill again when we returned for our Kansas trip after taking Josh back home. We had already found 2 coveys and teamed up with Bill to find 3 more coveys and take a few roosters to be off to a good start for the Kansas trip. We enjoyed our first venture out to a completely new area of the state.

After we got to our usual destination and started hunting, we found some coveys in the same fields as previous years. We also added a large number of new coveys to our notes for future reference. For really the first time since we started in 1999, we were consistently finding multiple coveys on individual properties. We found multiple coveys on 8 different sections and we only count them as a separate covey if we felt sure there was no way the second covey could have been related to the first covey. We joined up with couple fellow club members from WV on a few of the days. We were able to split up on a single piece of property and both groups find coveys.

Overall, we set personal records of 30 coveys in our 6-day hunt and matched our single day covey count of 7 twice. By far, we saw more birds this year than any year since joining the club. That said, we are already planning for next year!

(We will have to wait and send a picture from the Missouri hunt with Josh because our scanner is broken and the Missouri pictures weren't taken with the digital camera.)

Thanks again for allowing us this unique hunting opportunity!

John and Karen

Another

Good looking leaning into hard hunter pointOver our time with the club so far, this was probably our most disappointing year. It wasn't any fault of the club. We had heard several reports saying that the bird population was going to be way up and let our expectations get pretty high. We ended up having a decent year, but definitely not our best.

We usually go primarily looking for quail. This year, the quail seemed harder to find and the pheasants were way up. After a couple days, we went ahead and started looking for pheasant first and finding quail second. Overall, we got into many more pheasants than we have in any of the years since we started hunting in [location deleted]. Even though I still didn’t manage to get a limit (John did as usual), it wasn't for lack of opportunity. I just need to shoot a little better!

Tow on oneThis year, we just averaged about 3 coveys per day, but were finding pheasants in waves. There were several fields that we flushed 20-30 pheasants. In addition, it seemed the majority were roosters.

Again this year, we discovered some new good spots that we added to our notes. Many of our favorite spots from past years were in winter wheat this year and forced us to look at some areas that we hadn't explored yet. In fact, our new favorite spot was one that we had never hunted before but that had been available in past years. In that field, we flushed 30-40 pheasants, got up two good sized coveys and tracked down some singles too. We were in birds from the time we stepped out of the truck until we had worked the entire field. It made up for venturing out on a rainy day.

One on back the other into the pointWe had planned to make a second trip out, but some unfortunate events prevented it. As always, we are already looking forward to next year.

Karen and John West Virginia Hunting Partners

The Even Early Seasons

What is most significant about these photos and these hunters is they have hunted the mid-west for the first time during two of the worst seasons in memory and continue to come back. Could be a bad year out here is better than the best year elsewhere.

Pheasant and quail hunetrsHere is a picture of me and my wife on our best day of hunting in Kansas. Most were shot over points with our English Pointer Rock. It was a very cold day, but we got into birds on all 4 pieces of land that we hunted.

Also, a picture of my wife with our lab (Bo) and a pheasant she shot and another with me and Bo with pheasant shot on the same day as the first picture.

The season that was unseasonably coldWe only got to complete one hunt trip from WV this season. We tried again in December, but had bad timing. We got caught in the real cold weather that hit Kansas. (-30 degree wind chill is too cold for us hillbillies!)

Thanks for allowing us and other out-of-state hunters to be members and enjoy the thrill of hunting Kansas and Missouri wildlife!

John and Karen

Another

The early creer when just figuring it out.We made our trip out this year during opening week. As you know, it was very hot and dry that week which didn't make for good hunting conditions. However, based on conversations with others, we still did as well or better than most. In just over 6 days of hunting, we were able to find 13 coveys and managed to bag 22 quail and 15 Ringneck. We started the week out well, managing to find 3 coveys and some Ringneck each of the first 2 days. It then fizzled out as the week went along (it got hotter!). We could definitely tell that the bird population was down this year. It took much more hunting to find the birds and then the coveys seemed considerably smaller than the past few years. Oddly enough, we were lucky and got to work more singles than usual.

Great timesJohn was able to get a limit of quail on the first day and a limit of pheasant on the second day. I  (Karen) was not nearly as successful. It seemed that all the birds flushed in his direction and he doesn't miss much. It probably helps that he keeps calling the dogs to hunt with him!! My only regret is that I didn't get a picture of the few that I did kill. I thought we'd get more later in the week and it would make for a better picture - lesson learned!

The first pointerSince joining the club, the bird population has dropped each year. Even so, we have been pleased with each of our trips to Kansas. We have learned more about the area and about the birds over the past 3 years. Of the 13 coveys found this year, 7 of them were found in locations that we had not previously found birds. This is knowledge that we will retain for future years. Then, whenever there is a good year (hopefully soon), we should have a much easier time finding the birds and bagging the limits.

Training continues int eh fieldOur reason for joining the club and continuing to travel out there each year is for the challenge of "hunting" wild quail and pheasant. We could spend the money and go to a preserve, but we would not feel that we were truly hunting. We enjoy the challenge of pitting our hunting skills against the birds and the weather. Our biggest reward is not the birds in the bag, but being able to find the birds in the first place. This is especially true when we find out that we do better than many of the local hunters who are able to scout the land before the season begins or the hunters that have been hunting there for a number of years.

What MAHA gives us is the permission to hunt on private land without having to know or get permission from the landowner on our own. The club gives us access to the land and an opportunity to hunt!

See you next year! Karen and John Burks

Another

Two take the lead to show where the quail are to be foundWe waited until after our first-ever January hunting trip to Kansas to send in an update of both our November and January results. This gave us a chance to do a comparison between early and late season hunting in addition to getting a second chance at getting some pictures (didn’t have a good working camera in November).

In November, we found 25 coveys in 6 days of hunting ranging from 2 to 7 coveys in each of the days. We didn’t see many pheasants, but we primarily hunt for quail and take pheasants when the opportunity arises. We found the number of birds in each covey to be much larger this year than last year. In addition, there were a few places that we found multiple coveys on a section of land. One of these included a batch of young birds that appeared to only be a few weeks old. Our overall opinion was the hunting was much improved over the same time last year and signs that next year could be even better if the weather cooperates.

The first huntIn January, we were greeted with 35-40 mph wind gusts that made the hunting slightly tougher. We managed to find just 4 coveys in about 3 1/2 days of hunting with 3 of the coveys being found on the day after the wind died down to 5-10mph. During the windy days, we switched and hunted more CRP. This resulted in finding many more pheasants than we usually see. We estimate 30+ flushes of pheasants per day with about 90% being hens and most of them flushing way out of range. Again, we saw this as a sign that the bird population next year should improve if the weather cooperates.

Traveled far to get a littleI'm sending some pictures of our two female pointers. This was our lemon-headed (Dot) female's first year hunting for wild quail and pheasants in Kansas. She learned quickly from our experienced liver-headed female (Meg) and found 3 of the 4 coveys on the January trip in addition to pointing several ringnecks. We’ve also included a short movie clip of a point, back, flush, and clean miss of a single quail from our January trip courtesy of a first-time quail hunter Robert that we took as a guest.

As always, we enjoyed our trips and already looking forward to next year.

John and Karen

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