Brute’s Bleat October 21, 2015

Tuesday Vanna and I headed toward Litchfield on a pheasant scouting mission. We didn’t come across any birds until we crossed over into Renville County. We spotted two pheasants on the edge of a standing cornfield and chose a Wildlife Management Area (WMA). We flushed a hen, and later, shot at one rooster which flushed ahead of Vanna. I missed and to add insult to injury the rooster flew into a tree. We started walking toward the tree line with an attempt to get into range, but hadn’t taken ten steps when the wily cock flew out of the tree into the swamp. Later in the day we flushed 7-8 hens out of a WMA during the ‘golden hour’, but no roosters. . . On Wednesday we teamed up with Daryl Hennen and Coco for an afternoon hunt west of Madison. We didn’t find very many birds which leads us to believe there just aren’t very many. Toward evening Hennen and Coco put up a pheasant which flew behind me. I couldn’t see any color and didn’t shoot, but he said it was a rooster. Later Daryl had a chance for a double and connected on the first bird. Again we saw far more hens than roosters which bodes well for next year, but didn’t help us now. Vanna had a dandy point at the end of a weedy strip at day’s end when Daryl and I were walking towards each other. The pheasant was determined to stay hidden and I figured rooster, but that wasn’t the case when the hen finally took flight. On Friday afternoon 7th grader Evan Hennen and his black and white 2-year old Springer, Bella, went with me on another pheasant quest. We ended up down in Renville County and both dogs put up some hens, but only one rooster which neither of us got a shot at. Evan saw a 4-point buck and he was amazed at the number of rubs he came across in a patch of willows. Evan and Bella are shown with a Canvasback he shot out in North Dakota several weeks ago. He was hunting with his dad, Brad, and Grandpa Daryl; and relatives Eric and Noah Froehling who live in Wishek, ND. They had a good duck and goose hunt and were checked by a Federal Game Warden. Daryl said it was a good experience as the warden checked their licenses and shotguns for plugs and seemed to make a special effort to be helpful. . . Mike Muller got back from Canada last week where they were hunting geese, ducks and ruffed grouse with the Rawluks and Jim Baker. He said he and his son Ken bagged 30 geese (That’s a lot of goose sausage!), 38 ducks, 13 ruffed grouse and one sharptail grouse. . . . He felt the ruffed grouse are in an up-cycle. . . I joined Daryl Hennen Sunday for a half-day trip northwest of Morris where we came across some pheasants, both hens and roosters, in a WMA. Hennen backed me up and shot the two pheasants he’s holding and I missed one other one. It was an extremely windy day, something over 20 mph, but the birds held well. Bella made the day for us when she found one of Daryl’s birds in the dense cattails. Ironically the area we hunted was in the poor area on the DNR map. . . The Marshall area was good for some local pheasant hunters and the grapevine says the grouse numbers are up in northeast Minnesota. . . More on that next week!

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