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View Full Version : Halfway across the country...for pheasant.


GrouseMan77
11-26-2010, 02:27 PM
I've got a group of buddies that have been making an annual trip out to Kansas for the last 15 years or so. I took a break from the trip for about three years for various reasons (dating, engagement, marriage). This year I decided that I had to rekindle the Thanksgiving pheasant hunting tradition because my almost two year old GSP had not yet got a whiff of the long tailed birds.

My traveling buddy, Big Wally, and I departed on the 17th and 16 hours later we were back in Kansas. The rest of the group was already there. The weather forecast called for 50s & 60s. Those temps are a little warm for my taste but I'd packed as if I was going to take the place over.

After a decent nights sleep, we set into our morning routine of a big breakfast and then watching the sunrise.

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5090/5207695119_2fdb5211b7.jpg

My anticipation level was a little high for the first field. I wondered what Hazel would do when she smelled her first rooster? I had tried to prep her by explaining that these guys run like track stars. We had watched youtube videos of roosters flushing. All that was left to do was to step in the field.

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5050/5207699131_d1d09c470d_b.jpg

We got about 20 yards into the first field and Hazel had a solid point right in front of me. I figured the bird was long gone and moved in for the flush. Two quail exploded and I dropped one. A quick retrieve and we were on the board.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4132/5208294846_315de3fb4d.jpg

About 50 yards further a covey of about 15 flushed ahead of the dogs. I think one rooster was taken from the first field. For one reason or another all the pheasant had moved to the far corner of the field and Hazel and I were left out of the action.

I love looking at the sites between fields. Hard to imagine what finally caused people to up and leave. I have a lot of respect for the folks who make a living by working this beautiful land.

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5003/5207679225_f353f80e32_b.jpg

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4106/5208279312_dc881739ae_b.jpg

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5121/5207695669_d7a825c2af_b.jpg

It wasn't long until the temperatures really started to plunge. The folks at the Weather Channel were off a bit.

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5041/5208246898_c436304454.jpghttp://farm5.static.flickr.com/4092/5208246260_49eaa18436.jpg

GrouseMan77
11-26-2010, 02:30 PM
We were walking a grass edge to hunt a field when Hazel pointed about 50 yards to the front and left. She went from a dead sprint to a dead stop. The dog held but the bird didn't. A couple shots were fired in vain.

Next field Hazel and I caught up to the track star for the first time.

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5201/5207755885_4cd881db71_z.jpg

She locked up about 70 yards into a filed and I walked in. I really wish that I had carried a camera with me into that field. She was about two feet away from a rooster that she had nailed. I stepped in and the bird flushed up and was dropped on the second shot.

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5010/5207692507_bdfb864d65.jpghttp://farm6.static.flickr.com/5044/5207692027_6973852b0a.jpg

A very proud dad...

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5210/5208290562_db22136a76_b.jpg

and a very tired little girl.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4126/5207684479_f5e334e339.jpg

We got to see lots of the ultimate pheasant hunters...

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4129/5207688193_accc85d45a_b.jpg

and more old structures that I would love to hear the story behind...

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5089/5208276286_d975ccc5b1_b.jpg

GrouseMan77
11-26-2010, 02:33 PM
and fields that stretch forever.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4124/5208295772_b7f28832bb_b.jpg

Wally and I found some classy presents for our hunting buddies.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4112/5208231280_8c8c000dde.jpg

Somehow, toward the end of our trip the weather managed to get a little colder but we stayed tough and stayed in the birds.

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5044/5208230916_855c063bd7.jpghttp://farm6.static.flickr.com/5004/5207633755_147d40eaee.jpg

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5246/5208235180_153f846606_b.jpg

This photo is not the best but is one of my favorites from the trip. My girl is one of the younger dogs on the trip and the lab, Jake, is one of the seniors. Jake is a bird hunting machine. It does not matter what kind of bird your hunting. I love watching Jake work. He is an amazing bird dog. I think my two favorite things about this trip is being able to watch some great dog work and being with a great group of guys.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4083/5208244216_cdeb5fe551.jpg

The cast for the annual trip to Kansas has changed a bit over the years. But, at the end of the day I would say that in my experience this trip was one of the best so far. We had a great group of safe hunters. There were a few faces that I really wish were there...

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4133/5207662401_79667ac0be_b.jpg

but we toasted the guys who couldn't make the trip...

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5166/5208256772_f308c0fc34.jpg

and hoped that they would be with us the next time the sun set on our brief time in Kansas.

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5205/5208256988_a721febb6e_b.jpg

Knothead
11-26-2010, 03:09 PM
Thanks for a great report and awesome pictures. Nothing like it and the pheasants make a great tablefare. I was born and raised in Ohio. My father and uncle operated a dairy farm south of Columbus. Every Thanksgiving the ritual was to finish milking and go pheasant hunting. Mid-afternoon was dinner and back to the cows.

gmreeves
11-26-2010, 09:50 PM
Amazing photos of a quality trip. I really enjoyed that.

Grannyknot
11-26-2010, 11:12 PM
Excellent Photos. Glad you guys had a good time.
I notice lots of red faces....the result of cold winds of course.:biggrin:

Knik
11-27-2010, 09:36 AM
Grouseman.............. Thanks for the pics.! Never made it out to that part of the country, but it sure looks like a great place to visit. Couple of guys from work go out there every year around this time, I think they said 18 of them make the trip. They duck hunt part of the day and pheasant hunt the other half.

Thanks again for sharing with us, I really enjoyed the report!

GrouseMan77
11-27-2010, 10:00 AM
Couple of guys from work go out there every year around this time, I think they said 18 of them make the trip. They duck hunt part of the day and pheasant hunt the other half.

In my opinion, Kansas is a beautiful place. I didn't duck hunt this year because I was more interested in getting my dog into birds. If I would have had a few more days the duck hunting would have been tempting. We had another group of guys who strictly duck hunted and did pretty darn good.

Pretty big pile of mallards & teal.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4126/5207651151_07201423a5.jpghttp://farm5.static.flickr.com/4144/5208249440_1a45ba973e.jpg

Knik
11-29-2010, 09:33 AM
Hey Jason, Sawyer said that he would trade you 2 ducks for every pheasant....... :biggrin:

Lewis and John can sure cook the grub can't they?

MadisonBoats
11-29-2010, 11:21 AM
Awesome pictures! You must have a great camera:smile: and you have a good eye for pictures.

GrouseMan77
11-29-2010, 06:04 PM
Hey Jason, Sawyer said that he would trade you 2 ducks for every pheasant....... :biggrin:

Lewis and John can sure cook the grub can't they?

Sawyer can keep his ducks....unless he cooks them in that dutch oven.

Lewis and John cooked some great food. Their spaghetti was the absolute best I've ever eaten and the enchiladas weren't far behind. Great guys.

Rodonthefly
11-30-2010, 04:42 PM
Jason was that Robert Mays that was with you? I would be careful hunting with that wild man. haha. We had sent me a message on facebook while I was in the woods deer hunting saying he was out there huntting. i told him i would take soem pheasent tails if he had any extra.

GrouseMan77
11-30-2010, 06:06 PM
Jason was that Robert Mays that was with you? I would be careful hunting with that wild man. haha. We had sent me a message on facebook while I was in the woods deer hunting saying he was out there huntting. i told him i would take soem pheasent tails if he had any extra.

Rod, Robert was on the trip with us. He is a pretty good shot for someone who rarely shoots.

I think the majority of the pheasant tails got grabbed up by one of the guys who wants to use them in his wedding next spring. Maybe he meant he was going to use them on the honeymoon.:eek:

2weightfavorite
11-30-2010, 06:54 PM
your pup on the bbed brings back memories... When we used to hunt our labs for pheasants and quail when I lived up north, the dogs would hunt forever. As soon as we would put them back in the truck they would be sleeping. It was almost instantanious, they would jump in the cab, curl up against us, and the eyes would shut. Our dogs were spoiled and road in the truck with us, and lived in the house with us as well. when we would get home, we would lay out our hunting clothes and thee dogs would sleep on them, sommetimes for 2 days. Only getting up to eat and go to the bathroom. A good bird dog puts more into a day of hunting than we probably do all season combined, and I believe they truly love the hunts...possibly more than we do...

A_Wallace
11-30-2010, 10:32 PM
Great pictures J. Kinda wish I wish i was already back there. Now on to grouse season I gues.

JohnH0802
12-01-2010, 01:13 PM
Great report and great pictures. I haven't been pheasant hunting in a coon's age, and you have brought back some great memories of my youth!

old east tn boy
12-02-2010, 12:41 AM
Ms. Annie and I are jealous. Nice photos. Looks like you had a great time. Good for you. Wonderful memories to have for rocking chair years.

flyman
12-02-2010, 01:20 AM
Good stuff there Jason, I miss hunting when I see photos like that:biggrin:

Grannyknot
12-02-2010, 09:20 AM
Good stuff there Jason, I miss hunting when I see photos like that:biggrin:

Speaking of......how's Dillie doing? Are you going to put in that hot tub she asked for for chirstmas?

flyman
12-04-2010, 01:35 AM
Dillie is doing fine, I just bought her a new PS3 for Christmas.
http://www.ww.com/dilliecam

GrouseMan77
12-04-2010, 11:49 AM
Dillie is doing fine, I just bought her a new PS3 for Christmas.
http://www.ww.com/dilliecam

Was the PS3 on her list or yours? She is a "visually impaired domestic deer"! Disgusting that you would buy her something that she can't even use.

ChemEAngler
12-04-2010, 10:16 PM
Jason,

Excellent report, and even better photos.

GrouseMan77
12-05-2010, 12:08 AM
Jason,

Excellent report, and even better photos.

Thanks Travis. From a photographer like yourself that is a great compliment.

FishNHunt
03-06-2011, 01:47 AM
You sir do have an eye for photography. You have two pictures that I can't take my eyes off of. The first is the "road" picture between the two "farm house" pictures. I've been to Kansas and I absolutely LOVED those roads and I lost my biggest buck that I've ever took a shot on a road identical to that one minus the windmill. Thanks for bringing back that painful memory. LOL!!!
The second is the "proud dad" picture. That sir is the finest looking GSP picture that I believe I've ever layed eyes upon. I'm even partial to English but, I could easily be converted with a picture like that. You bring by my old "sport" dog and all the great memories that I had with this growing up together. Thank you sir.

GrouseMan77
03-07-2011, 07:33 PM
FishNHunt - thanks for the kind words on the photos and especially my little buddy.