Despite everyone saying the pheasant numbers are dwindling, the field staff of the Minnesota Sporting Journal could beg to differ after hunting North Dakota, our sister-state, last weekend.  Although birds were bagged, miles were walked; many of them. 

The excitement of day 1 led to sore legs, limping knees and tired dogs.  With adrenaline running, we hit the native prairie hard causing flushes to show for it.  All that was lacking was  shooting acumen. 

As time wore on, we caught our second wind, and the barrels started getting ahead and swinging through.  Pheasants are a beautiful bird with their multitude of feathers flashing in the sun.   It is quite a sight to see everyone with longtails sticking out their vests, considering the negative reports before we left.  Soon many “top shooters” were getting hoots, hollars and back slaps. 

It is another sight to see a young dog lock up for the first time.  One fenceline drive led to a point and flush that I will never forget.  My Brittany leapt in the air as the bird went airborn.  My buddy downed the bird with his 16 gauge.  It is a vivid memory.  

As if due to superior training (which was really natural instinct and not a product of my training), it makes an owner proud.  Going from playing in the field as a pup to figuring out why we were afield was worth the trip.  Now the taste of pheasant feathers on the tongue is something my yound dog loves. 

Notwithstanding some barbed wire scratches and aging hunters, we got back to Minnesota unscathed, thinking how lucky we were to enjoy the trip of a lifetime. 

Copyright 2011 Backwoods Revolution

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