Got a chance to spend the day hunting ringnecks with Gary, Russ and Mike Penrose and Russ' English Setter "Jake." What started out as a very slow day, turned in the afternoon. The first 3 places we hit, we got skunked. The cover was there and the nice lady at the park office said they had just stocked but we were unable to locate any birds. Before we got to the parking area, I spotted a nice cockbird in an area that was closed to hunting. I thought we were going to have an outstanding day. After covering about 3 fields with no birds we decided to move to the other side of the lake. That side proved fruitless as well so back in the vehicles.
After a good lunch, we tried another spot that supposedly held birds. We saw a few feathers but no birds so we headed to a state game lands that we had hunted 2 years ago.
Gary connected on a rooster first. According to my pedometer we had covered 4.8 miles before flushing our first bird. He made a nice shot on a bird that didn't want to hold and Jake ran him down. We continued uphill and saw pheasant tracks all over. Also saw coyote scat full of hair in a number of spots. As we headed back down the hill, a rooster crowed, so we headed in that direction. Jake got "birdy" right away and was working some pines in a field. A grouse took off through the hardwoods but Jake stayed on point. Russ told Mike to keep going and a nice rooster flew out of a pine and went straight up and toward the woods. After 9 shots, the pheasant continued on over the tree tops and headed toward the next county without losing a feather.
As we worked back to the vehicles, Jake got birdy again and we all lined up and headed down the hill. Jake locked up on point and it was a picture of beauty. He actually layed down, still on point but Russ couldn't find the bird. Gary came in and the rooster was hunkered down in a little patch of briars. Gary called me over and let me take a crack. I stepped in and the bird flushed and I fired twice. Missing on the first and possibly hitting on the second shot. Mike was there to back me up and bird number 2 was down.
Jake worked hard all day and covered a lot of ground. He is a beautiful dog that just glides across the fields. I wish I got a picture of him locked on point on the last bird.
I like to hunt deer and squirrel and of course bunnies, but I really like to shoot pheasants and hunt over a good bird dog.
Overall it was a good day for me. I got the opportunity to hunt with my friends, watch some good dog work, and spend a beautiful, warm day in the fields of PA. I logged 7.1 miles total on my pedometer and my legs are beat.
Thanks guys, for taking me out and I hope I get to do it again.
from left: Mike Penrose, Gary Penrose, Russ Penrose with English Setter "Jake" and myself (I love Mike's shirt)