Saturday was the pheasant opener in NE. Had several relatives back for it, an uncle and cousin from IL, and 2 cousins and an uncle from Nevada, along with a brother and my dad. I got to play guide for the first day, then Sunday and Monday it was dad's turn (he lives in another small town 30 miles away). We started on my brother-in-law's farm and saw and shot a fair # of birds (I had my limit in the first 1/2hour 3 roosters with 3 shots) and I really worked at getting the other guys into good positions, I've hunted this farm for about 12 years so I have a pretty good idea of where the birds will be. We then hit a couple of other small patches, and in the afternoon, I took them to a 1/4 section of CRP land, big rolling hills covered with chest high switchgrass, small scattered patches of sunflower, tumbleweeds, and thistle, smartweed,cattails and rushes down in the draws, and a couple of nice wild plum thickets along the fenceline. I told them that even though the place had probably been hunted by a couple of other groups before we got there, it would be damn near impossible to chase all of the birds out. We got a few more, and then watched another group go in and cross an area we thought we covered only fifteen minutes before and take several more birds(I guess their having 6 dogs to our two helped a little.)
Sunday was a little tougher, it seemed that almost every field dad took us to already had someone in it (we saw several groups as large as 20, way too many for safety IMO), the birds were getting pretty wild from being chased so hard and running and flushing way out of range. Dad and the uncles (along with the dogs) were getting pretty tired so that cut our group down a little and we hunted some small secluded patches and salvaged the day.
Monday was downright miserable. When I got out of bed at 5:00 I could hear the wind howling and it picked up as the day went on. A constant 30 mph was the base with gusts up into the 45 mph range. How fast can a pheasant fly with a 40 mph tailwind? Having had no measurable rain for over 2 months the blowing dust burned your eyes nose and throat and made it almost impossible for the dogs to get enough scent. We did manage to find some birds but we worked our butts off to get them.
boy am I glad to be back at work, I need the rest.