As good as it gets!!!

KBell

New member
Hunting solo with Sophie today and what a day it was!:)

This morning was perfect with no wind, sunshine and a light frost on the crp. I am at one of my honey holes today. Didn't want to take any chances as our 8-0 Hawkeyes play at 2:30.

We went to work at 8:05 in the a.m. Our first three points are hens, up close and quiet. Sophie is working well today I thought to myself. Our next point is a rooster. He is a cackler and heading out from right to left. One load of Prairie Storm and he is to the bag. This year's hatch and an early hatch as he has full color and feathers to match. We complete pass one and are turning back into the wind when point two occurs. No flush? I withdraw Sophie and have her re-align. Same spot no flush? Sophie has learned early in her life to not rush in on the point. She has had a wing beat or two to her face in the past. She knows her movement is enough to create the flush I thought. As I close in to sweep the grass rooster two flushes and cackles loudly. He is a previous wing-shot and unable to take flight. He is off in the crp in an instant and I know we have a runner on our hands. Did I mention we are in 80+ plus acres? Sophie scans the immediate area but I fear our encounter with him is lost. We continue on. Our second pass yields one more point at the edge--a hen and time to take some water.

Our third pass is now near the middle of the cover. Nice in here I thought to myself as the two cattail patches appear thick and undisturbed. Our next point and flush is a young hen and she elevates to a couple of feet over the cover. I see several cattails wiggle at the hens route and know we have runners to contend with. The wind is picking up now and I feel the sweat starting to run in my heavy jacket. We finish the pass with no points or flushes. I realize it is time to change up the game and head back to the adjacent side of the field and come back to the cattail patch. It proves to be a good move as Sophie circles and slams hard on point at the edge. I move in for the flush and encounter the wing-tipped rooster from earlier. Sophie sees him this time and closes the distance quickly. Bird two is delivered to hand without firing a shot. As I realign to the chosen route Sophie has earned a point just inside the cattails. Rooster three to air on a straight away route. He is cackling and I recognize from tail and body that he is a previous season bird. A burst of prairie storm halts his route and ends our day. It is 9:51 a.m.

I heard three other shots this morning and saw one other single hunter. I am in a heavily pressured area. It was at this moment I realized I had plenty of time to get back to my room, settle in and get ready for another Hawkeye win!:)
 
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Kevin W

Member
Nice job......

Nice job!!!! My 14 yr old son and I find hope in your posts. We are going to change it up and go east tomorrow morning rather than go north again.
 

KBell

New member
Thanks Kevin!

As you already know and I have been stating for the last several years, we continue to have areas in Iowa that are void of birds. Cover and habitat may be present but the birds have yet to recover from our previous weather.

I have a shelterbelt that received a serious hailstorm five years ago. This belt used to hold 50 to 60 birds each fall and into winter. I videoed the area for several years because it was just amazing to see that many birds in the area take flight. After the spring hailstorms the hens were found injured or dead by several area farmers during re-planting and the most I have seen since in the shelterbelt was a single rooster.

We have many counties that for one reason or another are similar to the situation I described above. I would suggest the Spencer and Emmetsburg areas for your next trip. I do quite well there on public and private.:)
 
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