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Ouch! It is a January Pheasant Hunt

What made this a successful hunt was the dog



 

One big snow with a good coating of ice hit in early January.  This followed by some unseasonably warm weather which melted most of it.  Then came the severe cold and severe wind chills.  If you live in Iowa or Nebraska, once a year you are going to get it.

 

It is no problem.  You just have to dress a little warmer and be prepared for some biting winds and cold temps.  Having said all that, the phone rang and it was my good friend John.  He wanted head up to Arlington, Nebraska and hunt some pheasants.  We hunt at the Little Creek Game Bird Farm owned by Dalvin and Betty Scheer, (402 478-4450). These are two of the nicest people I have ever met.  I always recommend their business to pheasant hunters who do not want to stomp around all day long on local farms without seeing anything.  This year the price was $75.00 for three roosters or for six hens.  Dalvin also raises chuckers.  They are a great bird to hunt.  With a big breast, they make excellent dining.



 

Bass Pro Shops Electric Smokehouse Smoker

I am planning to smoke some pheasant in this smoker from Bass Pro.  Click on the link above or the picture to price and buy.

Checking ammunition, it was discovered that there was no ammo to go pheasant hunting.  All of my rounds were for ducks and geese.  I made a quick trip to the Bass Pro store.  One of their sales people made a recommendation that proved to be outstanding.  I now recommend these shells.

Click on the link above or the picture.  I recommend this shell for upland game.


We waited until the temperature was above 10 degrees and then headed to the farm.  The sun came out and that provided some additional warmth.  Dalvin had sold out of all his birds except for six roosters.   John and I bought them to be placed out in one of their fields.

We always have coffee and visit in their game room before we hit the fields.  This also gives us more time for the sun to warm things up a little.

 

 

 

Inside the Little Creek Game Bird Farm Lodge.

In the field by 2 PM, we started working our way along a creek that goes through the farm.  With heavy weed patches on each side,  the bird will hunker down in a tall stand of grass.  With the cold, they will hold tight.  This is where John's chocolate lab Junior comes into his own.  He is an excellent upland game bird dog.  He works quickly back and forth not more than twenty feet in front of us. If Junior gets out a little too far, John just whistles and he comes right back working back and forth.  We watch his tail.  When he gets on a scent, the tail really starts to wag.  When he goes on point he may stand dead still, but eventually that tail really starts to move.

 

Looking straight east, the creek runs where the small trees are standing.  We walk west to east, cross the creek, and come back to the vehicle.  Without a dog a hunter will have a hard time finding and spooking up a bird.  They sit and hunker down into the standing grass.

 

 

The first two birds jumped and were hit, but not knocked down.  Flying across the creek, they flew into a weed patch.  We marked the spot knowing we would walk back up the opposite side on our way back.  The next two birds were dropped with Junior moving into the retreive mode.  he picked one up immediately.  The second went down into the creek that was frozen with a coating of snow over the top of the ice.  This made for easy tracking.  We sent the dog down to grab him.

 

RedHead Blaze Fleece Cap

This is the hat I am wearing. I like it because it is warm, and it has a small bill just big enough to block the sun glare.

Click on the link or the picture to price and buy from Bass Pro.


Walking further, Junior kept moving back and forth and locked up on a bird that jumped immediately.  The shot was a little long, but the new shells proved their effectiveness and it was harvested.  Shortly after that, we each totally missed a couple of birds.  What was really interesting was they flew back to the pen where they were raised.

Crossing to the south side of the creek, we picked up the other two birds that were crippled, thanks to the dog finding them.  Each one flew, but was dispatched within short order.  We had picked up our birds plus one that Dalvan had put out the day before for a group of hunters that did not get all of theirs.

 

 

What made this a successful hunt was the dog.  Without Junior working the field, we never would have flushed the birds we did, and never would have found all the ones we knocked down.

The harvest for the day with Junior on point in the background.  I wonder what he is looking at.

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Good hunting, good fishing, and good luck.  Hank




 

 

More Stories By Hank Huntington

Hank Huntington, Esq., is a native of southwest Iowa, healthcare professional, entrepreneur, accomplished pilot, hunting and fishing enthusiast, connoisseur, father and husband. He developed this web site for people to share their fun and excitement about the great outdoors. The best part of this hobby is, after a successful hunting or fishing trip, you are able to dine on fresh game or fish, after all, “ How do you eat a golf ball?” asks Hank. Hanks father and grandfather were both avid outdoorsmen so Hank learned his hunting and fishing skills from them and has passed the tradition down to the fourth generation. Plus the love of the outdoors, and a craving for exquisite dinning, would round out the package.

As a small boy, he fished a local oxbow lake formed by the Missouri River. The lake is primarily old river bottom mud, is not real clear, and has a lot of vegetation. The southeast corner holds a huge lily pad bed, and it was there Hank learned to drag through the water and across the tops of the pads, a Johnson Silver Minnow, with a pork rind attached. This was the place for big mouth bass, and there were lots of them, and young Hank loved to catch them.

At age of 12 Hank started going with his Dad hunting, and by age 14 he was an accomplished shooter with a 12-gauge pump. Shortly after that he was given his first shotgun a Winchester Model 12 pump; he still has it today. It looks like almost new, but the gun is never to be hunted again. Duck hunting in the late 50’s had little pressure after the first two weeks of the season, and when the north wind blew and it got really damp and cold, the big Canada Mallards came.

After graduation from high school, Hank attended Midland College in Fremont, Nebraska. There he met a fellow outdoorsman, and their friendship developed in the fields and streams of central Nebraska.

Hank had little time for hunting and fishing while attending professional school at Creighton University. After graduation he married his college sweetheart and they settled down to career, family, and as often as possible, hunting and fishing.

Hank and his family frequently flew their plane north to Canada to the legendary Canadian fly in lodges to fish for Northern and Walleye. Here he taught his son all the things his father had taught him about fishing. Most of the time the two went alone to the north woods, but when camping was not involved, his wife Pam went along. She always enjoys the fact that she has caught a bigger Northern Pike than Hank, and he has been fishing for 60 years. Today along the Missouri River valley, the deer population increased to the point that in many areas they are a nuisance. The duck, goose, and turkey has also population have also soared.

Area lakes have been well stocked. Many even have a walleye stocking program that makes outstanding fishing. Several are within easy driving distance of Hank’s lodge-like lakeside home. All packaged together is great dining. By the way, Hank harvests only what he will share at a table with family or friends.

Hank says, “Whenever I am on a lake, in the woods, or in the blind, I am always reminded of God’s great bounty and His constant presence. And whether in the great outdoors or at home with my wife, I strive to be a good steward of nature and all that God has given us.”

Good hunting! Good fishing! Good day!