Opener-that is more like it!


New member
Phone call this morning at 6:30 a.m. The usual suspect called to tell me he just pulled up to the farm house and wanted in on the action. After breakfast and early service we hit the fields at just after 10 a.m.

Glorious weather to start our hunt. We are at the slough and weedy draw where we observed many birds last season. It was evident from the start this day would be different. Bird one, a hen holds tight to Sophie's point. The next point yields rooster one. He chooses a straight-up escape route cackling all the way. My son makes short work of him. I look at 10:11 a.m. as we continue on. My son motions to me as two roosters are observed flying back into the slough about 40 yards ahead. Sophie's next point is the stuff I dream of all off-season. A sharp turn and chomping sound as her nose is overcome with scent. Her head tilt lets me know the bird is moving. Four hens and two roosters take to the air simultaneously. My rooster is low and left. My son's bird is higher and to the right. Two shots put us halfway there.

After water and encouragement we press on. The next three points yield hens with the last being a very small hen with limited flight abilities. Our next point yields a hen-wait was that some attempt at a cackle and my son dumps him on the straight away shot. A new record:p--I age this bird at six to seven weeks old and recall the two youngsters I harvested last year here. Our next point is a straight up and reverse direction rooster that I claim once he levels off.

Our day ends when five does erupt from a willow thicket. A hen and rooster wild flush from the commotion and my son makes a nice left to right crossing shot.

We summoned a atv ride back to the homestead. It is 12:43 and warm--71 degrees. We did not hunt the remaining cover but I believe bird numbers are similar to last year. Less shooting today in the surrounding areas than yesterday but the shooting lasted longer into the afternoon.

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New member
A good day indeed!

My buddy and I only managed a couple hours afield yesterday, electing to go in the afternoon (extended church in the AM) and it was too hot. Bagged three, one quite young, but at least 2-3 weeks older than the one you've pictured.

Congrats on the successful outing!


New member
Good to hear from you friend and thank you for the kind words!:)

I am going to pour over my journals to see how many of my forty seven years of openers were 70 degrees or warmer. I can see a hard-working dog like Gunner getting over-heated quite easily. I don't think I will go the next three days as they all appear to be very warm.


IA at heart

New member
Kbell - Nice to see you and Sophie survived another off season. Sounds like a great couple of days for you and especially nice with your son joining you yesterday. Those are the hunts that both of you will hold close for many years!

Ranger Rick

We had a good opening weekend, too. Shot 4 guys' limits both days. We saw excellent numbers of birds. Where there's good cover, there's birds. I profusely thank my buddy's father in law for his conservation efforts over the years.

Our finishing off the limits both days was in a flurry of activity. On Saturday, my setter points at the end of a red maple thicket. I go through the cover, one buddy on my right, two on the left. As I hit the end, a rooster flushed right and buddy #1 downs it. Another step and rooster flush left, buddy #2 same result. Another step and one goes out straight away and I hammer that one. All of us going to downed birds, I take about ten steps and another I walked right by flushes behind me. I turn and drop it, too. That's great stuff.

We saw a lot of hens and got into concentrations of birds flushing out ahead, etc.. Good work for the young Griffon in our group. I could see the light coming on for him over the two days. He's going to be a fine bird dog.

We finished Sunday before it got too warm. Monday I visited a customer in the morning, then hunted a piece of public land in a T shirt. The dog really got winded fast, too and thankfully there was plenty of water amongst the cattails in that spot.

My buddies have been hunting together for a while. The first time I came out with my last setter [in my avatar], we shot an opening day limit, which was the first time they ever had a limit, but were a half limit the second day. We've shot limits the first day the last couple years with my current setter, same results second day. This is the first time they've shot a two day limit.
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