“More pheasant hunting,” you say?  I know.  I know.  It has been one of those pheasant-filled years.  I need to broaden my horizons a bit, but I couldn’t help but take advantage of this year’s abnormally warm winter and the liberal length of the pheasant season.

“Head west young man.”  I love that phrase, and I try to do that as much as I can.  I did it again for the final push of the North Dakota pheasant hunt.  The last weekend ended full of sunshine, sweatshirts and shooting.

Those individuals relaying horrid pheasant reports in Western Minnesota and the Dakotas have reason to cheer, as the feet of snow of past years are a distant memory.  Plenty of breeding stock and the presently mild winter should treat the pheasant numbers just fine.

Let’s all pray for a reasonably dry spring.  If that comes to fruition, the longtails should see a significant uptick.

Scattered and showing no signs of wintering, we found the birds in their regular fall routines.  My Brittany was bouncing back and forth constantly with a point here and flush there.  It is extremely enjoyable to see a two year old dog finally figure out why we were in the field.  It is not just play anymore!

I wish my shooting skills could reward her for all the hard work.  You’d think all the practice would help me “knock ’em down.”  Admittedly after a point, flush and clean miss, my dog would look back at me in disgust.  “How could you.”  I could clearly see it in her face.

Like a true companion, she would go back to work giving me another shot at a last chance longtail.

As the Sunday sun slowly went down, it was a sad day for all who love wingshooting.  The end of the season means a long winter to reflect on the good times and anticipate new ones for next year.  Often times grueling, we are lucky for the mild start to this winter.

“Till next year, my feathered friends.  Have a good spring.  Get ready for an eager hunter, a panting dog and more fun next season!”

By Matt Soberg

Copyright 2012 Backwoods Revolution

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