Knocking around on the prairie

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Knocking around on the prairie

Postby Willie T » Wed Oct 23, 2019 12:57 am

My long time hunting buddy and his GSP along with my Pudelpointer Cricket and I are on a road trip, freelance knocking around on the prairie. Today was our first day hunting and we hit the ground running. Every year is different and we covered a lot of ground today. The already wet northern prairie got socked hard with an October blizzard that has left things a muddy mess. Getting a vehicle off the road is not an option and good waterproof footwear is a plus. The harvest is way behind this year with a large portion of the crops still standing, and putting a lot of farmers in a tough way. A lot of prime habit has also been rendered inaccessible to avoid damaging roads the farmers will need to get their crops out when it either dries or freezes. The two dogs work well together and back one another which made for some spectacular work on running roosters today. After a two day drive and another day of scouting to get the lay of things this year, they were both happy to be kicking up their heels on the prairie. The shorthair is six now. He is well seasoned and in his prime. Cricket is 3 years and 4 months. This is his fourth hunting season and I sure like the way he gets after it. In the course of the morning they managed to put us both on a limit of pointed wild roosters. I did not take any pics while we were hunting but I did manage to take a shot after we finished. That left us time to cover country and put in more scouting. Tomorrow morning we plan to get out early and set some decoys to take a crack at some geese in a field feed.
Encounters with three separate porkys added some excitement to the day. We were fortunate to quickly read the situation and were able to jackknife the dogs off the porkys each time and all escaped unscathed.

God blessed us today!
Willie

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Re: Knocking around on the prairie

Postby AverageGuy » Wed Oct 23, 2019 7:45 am

Man does that sound wonderful!
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Re: Knocking around on the prairie

Postby orhunter » Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:40 am

Thanks for posting. Wish I was there. Going to send you a PM.
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Re: Knocking around on the prairie

Postby Willie T » Wed Oct 23, 2019 12:42 pm

The lord continues to smile on us! Limit of honkers and a bonus snow goose on a brisk 25 degree morning with a stiff and consistent NW wind. Cricket got to tackle 3 runners this morning which amps him up. Birds responding to the call and finishing on the decoys. A stellar morning!
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Re: Knocking around on the prairie

Postby orhunter » Wed Oct 23, 2019 12:48 pm

WOW!....
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Re: Knocking around on the prairie

Postby AverageGuy » Wed Oct 23, 2019 6:01 pm

Nice Job! Guess it is Sharpies and Huns tomorrow :).
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Re: Knocking around on the prairie

Postby Willie T » Wed Oct 23, 2019 6:36 pm

AverageGuy wrote:Nice Job! Guess it is Sharpies and Huns tomorrow :).


We are making a bit of a drive tomorrow. I lost my old dog this year. The old girl showed me a lot of good times in a lot of good places. I had her body cremated and I plan to liberate her ashes tomorrow in a special place where the two of us shared some large times. After that is done, we may try to put the dogs in some grouse cover but a big chunk of tomorrow is going to be bidding farewell to an old friend.

I’m sure there are a lot of birds where she is running now.
Willie
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Re: Knocking around on the prairie

Postby AverageGuy » Wed Oct 23, 2019 9:51 pm

That will be a special day with many great memories brought to mind.
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Re: Knocking around on the prairie

Postby Willie T » Thu Oct 24, 2019 10:03 pm

AverageGuy wrote:That will be a special day with many great memories brought to mind.


Yes sir, it felt like the right way. When I was done reminiscing, I put cricket on the ground and let him run a little bit of the cover before heading back. Although remote and hard to get to, the place proved once again to be special with a quick limit and over 30 wild birds pointed before getting back to the truck.
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It was a fitting tribute to an old friend that included a 300 yard retrieve on a cripple that ran like a greyhound.

Hopefully Sharptails next.
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Re: Knocking around on the prairie

Postby AverageGuy » Fri Oct 25, 2019 8:07 am

Another day in Paradise. Nice Job Cricket!

Willie T, You did your old Dog Proud today.
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Re: Knocking around on the prairie

Postby RowdyGSP » Sun Oct 27, 2019 6:48 pm

You are having waaaay too much fun. Better send a couple of us over there to relieve you!
You have to be smarter than the dog to train it.
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Re: Knocking around on the prairie

Postby Drahthaar1108 » Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:35 am

Willie T , great hunting, and yes the Lord is shinning on you.
I don't think you could have picked a better way to put your old friend to rest. Forrest
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Re: Knocking around on the prairie

Postby J D Patrick » Mon Oct 28, 2019 2:35 pm

oh man,,,excellent - and here I am working!!
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Re: Knocking around on the prairie

Postby Willie T » Wed Oct 30, 2019 7:37 am

Our plans for sharpies and Huns got put on hold for a few days. A stiff cold front kicked the waterfowl migration into high gear, bringing a tremendous influx of birds and we have been waterfowl hunting.
Yesterday we went upland hunting with Grouse and Huns as our objective. We had quite a day that came to an early and unexpected end.
After waterfowl hunting for a few days the dogs were gassed up and ready to go. Our day was the kind of day a bird hunter from Texas dreams about, until it came to an abrupt halt. When we got out of the truck it was downright nippy. 14 degrees, with 25 mph wind out of the NW and snowing sideways. Our concern about the scenting conditions were unwarranted. Today the dogs were like a pair of sharks in a swimming pool. The weather put the birds in predictable locations, and those were the type of locations we put the dogs on the ground. In the howling wind and snow they held better than usual for the dogs. Although we were not shooting pheasant and they were 2/3 hens, the dogs pointed 23 of them. We let them fly today and stayed after the Sharpies and Huns. Six large coveys of Huns were pointed. An estimated 15-20 birds were in each covey. The dogs also managed to point 4 coveys of sharpies and numerous singles.
We were having a hell of a good time till my buddies shorthair went through the ice on a small pond and could not get out. My hunting partner broke ice out to him in navel deep water and drug his ass to where he could get his feet under him. The dog was fine. My hunting partner on the other hand was damn cold. Thankfully we were only about a mile from the truck. In the time it took to get back to the truck his clothes froze solid. After about 10 minutes with the truck running, his britches thawed enough that he could get at his boot laces and get out of the frozen clothes. We both had an extra set of clothes in the truck and everyone was ok, but we called it a day. We ended up taking 5 Huns and 4 sharpies between the two of us. The first bird of the day was a hun on the first drop of the day. As an afterthought we took a cell pic of the hun before driving to another location. As it turned out, it was the only pic we took. It is a low quality photo but will always remind us of the day he went in belly button deep in 14 degrees to get his dog. Asking my half frozen hunting buddy to get back out of the truck for a photo shoot would most likely have resulted in severely burning my ears....,so this pic of me at the truck without my gear or dog is a sobering reminder of a near miss on an otherwise quite memorable day.
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Re: Knocking around on the prairie

Postby orhunter » Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:00 am

That’s a lot of Huns. Cool ya found them.

I’ve hunted Chukars in 50 mph wind thinking the dog would have trouble but everything was normal except the shooting. Birds stayed so close to the ground and was tough to pick up a target.

Glad your buddy made it back to the truck. That’s a long time to sit there waiting for the heater to kick in.
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