We’re all moving a little slow after a long day of Pheasant hunting on Friday, the last day of Pheasant hunting in this section of the state. Starting out I had a couple of expectations: one, that there would be a lot of hunters like myself trying to get in one last hunt, and two, that I would shoot my limit. Maybe the other hunters knew something that I didn’t because I only saw about half-a-dozen the entire day.
I hit the field with Mia and Elettra about 8:00 a.m. and until we broke for lunch at 11:30, saw only one Pheasant and that was in a grove of Russian Olive trees. We did run into a parliament of about 50 owls, which was kind of neat. But that will be my last trip to the Wildlife Management Area (WMA) this year.
After lunch I drove to another section of the WMA where we hunted for another hour or so without any sign of birds, so I decided to hunt McTucker ponds on the way home. McTucker is full of Pheasants but it’s also a jungle, and keeping track of just one dog is a full time job. However I figured that after a full day of hunting, Elettra was slowing down enough that I’d take the chance.
Soon after we arrived at McTucker, I flushed a couple of big roosters that had apparently escaped from the brush Mia and Elettra were working. Unfortunately the brush and trees were too thick for a shot. We didn’t hunt too long, but while returning to the truck we met a man and his boy who ran a trap line and were setting their traps. He assured me that my dogs were in no danger, as they were trapping beaver and muskrat so the traps were set in holes underwater; the traps are also marked with red ribbons. In the course of talking to him, he offered to let me hunt his fields so I had one more chance.
His fields consisted of harvested grain and oats, as well as some sage brush weed patches. We spent the next hour hunting them and saw two roosters but I wasn’t afforded a shot; the first one headed straight towards the nearby highway and the second one flushed well range.
Given lunch and drive time, we spent about 7 hours actually hunting, and Mia really impressed me throughout the day. That Spinone endurance was evident as she was still hunting just as hard at 3:30 in the afternoon as she was at 8:00 that morning. She also showed me a tenacity that I hadn’t noticed in our short 3 and 4 hour hunts; it was as though she took ownership of the hunt and made it her personal responsibility to put birds in front of me. As for Elettra, I see her exactly where Mia was last year as far as hunting skills.