Late November Report


Despite a tough opening weekend, we headed out the week of Thanksgiving to an area much further south and east than we'd hunted before. It was a gamble, and the cover was limited and thin but we managed to find roosters. The weather was great when we left home and the forecast looked good for the next several days. On the drive out it was sunny and cold.


With the three year old that knew what was happening and and the puppy, there was a lot of pent up energy in the back of the truck after the ~3.5 hr drive. We had sorted lodging and rolled in with just enough daylight left to run the dogs a bit before the sun went down.


We were treated to a beautiful Nebraska sunset.


The next morning we were up and at it early, and got into birds right away.


My son, who is quickly becoming a better shot than me, was on the board first. The older dog, Julep, had a great point, and it all just came together like you'd hope it would. Point, flush, shot, retrieve, smiles. Everyone was happy and the dog was fired up.


We made our way to another spot in the area and got into more birds. All roosters. We missed two but my son got another one after another great point, and we were feeling good.


We finally let the puppy out of the truck and kept him on a check cord, which he wasn't too happy about but he did like running in the field. We hunted most of the morning but didn't see any other birds so we took a break for lunch. Around mid-afternoon we decided to head back out to see if we could find more birds, and this time we hunted with both dogs.


The area wasn't entirely flat and had a lot of varied terrain which unlike any we'd hunted before in this part of the state. It was interesting and fun to hunt over different ground.


Given the cover and the proximity to food, I was sure we'd roust some birds that afternoon but it wasn't too be. We finally took it back to the house and started pulling a few burrs and quills out of paws, which the dogs were none too happy about. Such is life (we do run boots at times but didn't this day).


Within short order, the dogs were de-burred, birds had been cleaned, cocktails had been poured, dinner was on the stove, and we settled in for the evening.


The next morning we decided to get an earlier start, which proved productive.


Thanks to good dog work, and having a better idea of how to hunt the area based on the previous day, we got into birds almost immediately. Julep did her job and we had two roosters in hand by mid morning.




This was a great couple of days for us and for the dogs too, especially the puppy. For him to see the older dog work, point birds, hear and see the shot, watch the retrieve, and receive the praise, it was all starting to click in his brain. We still have a ways to go but it's all those little incremental steps where you see real progress. Not to mention, the weather was cherry. And, getting to spend time with family in the field is magical.


Since we'd hunted essentially the same ground for two days, we decided to make a move. We started looking at maps and notes and decided to load up and put on a few miles to a new area we'd scouted but never hunted.


The next morning dawned bright, clear, and cold, and we headed out early. We hit the field shortly after sunrise and found a lone rooster.



Despite our best efforts, this was to be the only rooster of the day. We found some hens and had a few good points but no more roosters. By early afternoon, both dogs were smoked, and we had had enough ourselves. We called it a day and made the drive home, which was uneventful. It was a great few days in the field, and we were all grateful and thankful for the time spent together.
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Looking at the thin cover in the pics, I am surprised pheasants held to be pointed or that there were even birds there. It would sure make any recovery efforts that is how some guys never loose a bird! Looks like everyone had a good time! It is great when the kids can start anchoring birds, guessing it is a bit humbling when they out shoot you at that age!! But take some pride in that you taught them how to shoot or at least gave them the opportunity.
Nice! Glad you found a few birds this time around. The drought has really taken its toll on western Nebraska and the birds are suffering a little bit. Hopefully we can get a few normal years in a row and the habitat can come back so the birds can re-populate.