Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Power of Positive Thinking


If waking up to Kansas winds of 25 - 30 gusting to 50 was not enough, then the cold from hell that descended upon me overnight should have certainly stuck a fork in me. Don't get me wrong, I did lay around a little later than normal but at 6:30 I could not stand it anymore. In spite of the deck being stacked against me I was determined to make a go of it.

My plan to explore new country was devised the night before, a result of the slow hunting I had experienced that day. I had gotten into a few Pheasants but overall the bird numbers were disappointing. So the maps were examined and the plan was set. I decided to concentrate on Gentleman Bob today since the Pheasants had obviously been pounded and were almost unapproachable.

Now I have to admit that I am usually in position at my chosen hunting location waiting for the sun to rise in the morning, But given the challenges of the day and the late start I decided to stop by the hotel buffet and whip up a sausage and egg biscuit for the ride. My first sign of the eminent disaster should have been that my Pointer refused her share of the biscuit when it was offered. Sabrina is my favorite hunting partner and always rides shotgun on these trips and I had not noticed any unusual behavior until this refusal. "Quite unlike you not to have your breakfast Sabrina" I thought to myself. Little did I know that the cause of the rejection was forthcoming. We had been on the road for about 45 minutes when Sabrina decided to expel the demon that had curbed her breakfast appetite. Needless to say at that point I began questioning my decision to get out of bed. Fortunately I was close to a rest stop with an outdoor hose bib, and after cleaning up the rig and chasing my hat to the county line we were ready to roll again.


Upon arrival to the designated spot determined the night before I was skeptical about our luck changing. This instinct was confirmed when stepping from the truck my hat wind launched off and skirted along the prairie like a sail boat on the open ocean. Always the optimist, I decided that a toboggan would fit the bill nicely today. To add insult to injury, when Sabrina was released for her cast, she immediately went into the "cat on a hot tin roof routine" - sand spurs! I had come prepared and in a few minutes the dog boots were applied and we were off.

There was a fresh picked corn field bounded by a fence and adjacent to the big plum thicket draw we wanted to hunt. I decided to work the fence line in hopes of catching a covey coming back from their morning feeding session to loaf in the scattered brush. We were not 25 yards from the truck working into the 30 MPH wind when Sabrina went on point over a small plum thicket. One kick and a covey of 20 bobs came out the other side. I missed on the first barrel but connected on the second. In the blink of an eye our luck had changed! We marked the birds down and subsequent singles held as tight as you could ever ask for and made for some dandy dog work. After taking 4 birds from the covey we left them to find another.

Although we did not find another covey of birds we we fortunate to take two tight holding roosters off of beautiful points in habitat you would not expect to find Pheasants in. The day turned out to be our best day in Kansas on this trip and brought back old memories of my adventures with Gentleman Bob down South in the Carolinas. There is nothing like good dog work on tight holding Quail and as I write this I am getting excited about my next opportunity to hunt them - Arizona Mearns 23 days and counting!

1 comment:

  1. Tim, my wife and I were leaving Kansas that same morning. We and our 3 setters had spent the Thanksgiving holiday hunting pheasant and quail. We had a good hunt, great dog work and miracle of miracles I actually shot well. We will be going back next year