By some standards our season was not one to get excited about, but the older I get, the more I appreciate and am grateful to just be hunting wild birds in wonderful places.
We found some birds early, but as the season progressed, the coveys became harder to find. When we found birds, the covey sizes were good, and, as always, we took no more than a bird or two from each covey. We are happy with a brace of wild Bobs for a hunt.
Each of our two older, experienced dogs had injuries this past season that kept them from hunting for extended periods, so I’m sure that had something to do with the numbers of birds we found. Our new puppy tagged along and we got her out some as we begin to train her for next season.
Among the highlights of this past year was returning to duck hunting, which I’d not done for quite a while. A young friend and hunting companion is now a member, and he and I got out together several times. I look forward to hunting waterfowl with him again next year — he’s a real gentleman hunter. I also was able to blood some new-to-me guns — always a treat to look forward to for me. As you know, I collect old double guns, so having the history of a wonderful gun in hand and taking a wild bird with it over our dogs is a double blessing (sorry, pun intended).
For us, our bird hunting is a “family affair,” with Elaine and the camera accompanying me and the dogs on all of our hunts. Having the photos of our hunts is a great reminder of good days afield.
I really enjoy the MAHA regular posts, and I thank you and Susie for letting the rest of us see what’s happening on Association land. I especially enjoy the accounts and photos of members who are taking their young children on hunts. It makes me optimistic for the future.
As always, I end with thanks to you and everyone who helps the Association acquire land and prepare blinds and waterfowl habitat. I’m so grateful to be in my 6th decade of hunting wild birds.
This is actually the second wave from this large covey as half of it went out the other direction not offering a shot. Even after so many years of hunting quail, I still get excited on the covey rise.
My young friend has now become a member and he and I went together after ducks, starting with the teal season in good fashion. My 1892 Parker represented itself well on our first outing.
Prairie Aspen is now 6 years old and in his prime. He’s only seen wild birds, and has learned his lessons well. I like to watch him puzzle out a running covey. As my Pop would always say: “He likes his birds.”
Aspen hurt his foot and was out for several weeks. Our 11 year old Prairie Alder got lots of solo days afield (with at least one recovery day in between). She really should have been campaigned in horseback field trials, and she still goes hard and far when she gets the chance. She has nice style on point.
I don’t really go specifically to hunt pheasants, preferring quail, as do my dogs. We did get a nice point and retrieve on this rooster, and he went down nicely with an open choked load of #8s. Not the gun I would have carried if I’d known we’d encounter pheasants, but a 100+ year old 20 gauge at close range will still do the job.
One of my “new” guns that took a brace of Bobs on the first two shots I took with it. Using these old guns makes the hunting experience even more meaningful to me.
Our new pup, Prairie Rill, got out on this bitter cold December day and really enjoyed herself. I hope she has lots of future hunts on Association lands.
I’m so grateful to be able to hunt wild birds in places not too far from home. Nature puts on a show for us every day.