September has been good

Hit  spot this morning I’ve never been to on a whim, hoping I might find some birds. I sincerely hope my luck in September carries over to October and the chukar/hun season. About an hour into the hike after we turned to go with the wind (like the first sharptail hunt of the year) we found a large covey. Unfortunately no points came off of this covey as they flushed wild about 40yds in front of both Ace and Molly (who were up wind), but I was able to knock down a single the flushed wild after the covey. Saw about ten birds, shot at four, and got one. The new Franchi Instinct L has some good mojo, even if I should’ve had an easy limit with my first three shots. I will gladly take a bird in the hand after a fine morning afield. I love the high plains.

After seeing this little fella on the side of the road as I turned off the hwy, I had a good feeling.

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Turnabout is fair play

Well after riding the high of my last three sharptail hunts where I actually got into birds, I knew reality was eventually going to catch up to me. That reality usually always hits when I go sage grouse hunting. Once again I pointed the U.A.V. (Upland Assault Vehicle) westward and headed to the sea of sage. The hounds hit the ground just after sunrise and we hunted hard until the temps got too warm. Nada. Not a feather, not a piece of grouse poop, not even an old track. I did see plenty of wildlife including approximately 200 antelope, mule deer, jack rabbits, cottontails, the biggest coyote I’ve ever seen and probably 30 elk (two 6×6 bulls). I was also scouting for antelope, the season opens on the 25th and I’ll be there in hopes of tagging out on opening morning. Then the weekend after that is the glorious first weekend of October……look out Chukar and Hungarian Partridge.

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When The Planets Align

I went in search of a native bird that is over looked in these parts, a bird that has eluded me on multiple occasions. I arrived as the sun was peaking over the horizon and cut the hounds loose. After a single flushed wild I was concerned that my only opportunity for the day was gone but I was wrong. Molly’s body language told me birds were out in front of us, running, refusing to hold for point. After all these birds are wild and fight for their life every single day, and 9-11-16 was no different than any other day. As we continued to work into the wind we came to a choke point, where the cover gave way to a cut wheat field. Ace slammed on point, reading him I knew without a doubt there was a bird there. Molly to my surprise honored his point perfectly. I walked in, the sharptail flushed, and I did my part with the IC barrel of my Franchi Instinct 20ga. Time to head home and be grateful of a perfect day afield.

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Spoiled on the first day

I usually never find birds, its just a reality I’ve come to accept. However today was not like most days. I found (well the dogs did really) a group of sharptails right out of the truck. The conditions were crap though, no wind, hot, and the grass was tall. We only got a bit of a flash point as by the time the dogs got scent of the birds (which were up wind) they were smack dab in the middle of the group. I pulled my usually and wiffed on the first bird with the IC barrel, and dusted some tail feathers with the second MOD barrel. We were unable to locate any singles and the temps only increased. We pulled out after about an hour and a half of hunting (0800hrs). I most definitely should have been parking the pickup about 45mins earlier. This is my lucky year. I drew a public land Auodad hunt at the Palo Dura Canyon State Park in January of 2017. I only had two preference points and drew on the second drawing. The odds are about 10% chance of drawing. Hopefully I’ll get to include a quail hunt while I’m back in the homeland.

 

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