Got out for a few hours yesterday to hunt and run dogs with a couple of good friends. Would like to say it was a good day, but the birds, (pheasant), have been insanely jumpy the last couple of weeks. Only saw three and at 1/2 mile out front. Still the dogs had fun running the cattails and willows. Lots of tracks were seen too. Giving hope for even more birds next year. And anytime one can hunt with good friends is a good day, no matter the bag.
Over all the season was good. There were grouse to be had up in the northern woods and enough wood ducks to make me happy. Pheasants were tough this year. With many hens seen and flushed, but roosters far and few between.
My two young Springer boys have really shown their skills this year. With the B&W Oliver going from being nearly given away as a pet to an impressive grouse dog. A lesson in having patience. His L&W littermate, Tater, has turned into a hard and big running dog. Crashing whatever cover gets in his way. He likes it the thicker the better and preferably wet. A handful to work, but we are slowly reaching an agreement. There may be a Cocker pup in my future..........
In a sad first, I had a stock crack on me. My little CZ 28ga Ringneck cracked half way through the wrist at the end of a hunt. No falls or hits on it, just cracked out of the blue. I had many tears in my eyes when I saw that. Fortunately, my local 'smith was able to do a very good repair that is virtually invisible. And turning it around in a mere week. Some how I managed to suffer through with my Dickinson 20ga SxS.
Overall, I have had seasons were I have shot more birds and was able to spend more time afield. But the memories of 2016 will shine as bright as any. Thanks to good friends, fine dogs, and excellent shotguns.
Looking forward to the upcoming season,