Opening Day Blues

tangogun

New member
Hey guys,
New member, and new hunter here. Been an avid shooter for years now, finally took the plunge into hunting with my first hunt being for pheasants on opening day.

A co-worker and friend of mine took me out and showed me the ropes. He is a casual hunter and I think all he hunts now are pheasants, although he has hunted a range of animals for most of his life.

Anyway, we decided to try Washington county as it is closest to both of us and he has had luck their before. I have three little girls, work 50-60hrs a week, and have several other hobbies, so an entire weekend trip will probably only happen once maybe twice this season. We met up in Last Chance around 4:50am loaded up and headed North to try our luck in the wheat and corn fields off 71.

I'm a pretty calm guy, but I gotta admit, I was pretty jacked up! I have gone shooting plenty, but I neither open or conceal carry (I mean I live in Boulder County, whats the worst that could happen? A hippie hold me up with a water gun full of Patchouli:laugh:) So the idea of walking on open land, shotgun in hand was fairly new and exciting to me.

We started in on a wheat field at the crack of dawn. My friend had told me there would be alot of people out, which in my head I was thinking droves of cars. But when I realized where we were and that even seeing 2-4 other people per field was actually kind of a lot. The cold, the brush, smell, the dog hopping and sniffing, the sun just peaking out behind me, it was all very surreal and exciting.

We walked for probably 3 miles circling the field. Nothing. I heard cooing, and got excited when the dog flushed a couple tiny birds, but no sight of any birds at all. We decided to try the corn/wheat field to the east. Walked another 3 miles or so, Corn is not easy to walk through haha. Again Nothing. Although we heard our first shot from our neighbors which gave me great encouragement. By the end of this it was 930 or 10 so we sat and ate a sandwich.

We decided that since we weren't having luck with the wheat and corn we would go north on 71 into morgan county and hit some of the "other" Fields see if we couldn't find some cover they would be hiding in. We found a decent grass field with some nice trees lining it. We went off the beaten path this time, thought we had found a field to our own, but by the time we started there were 4 other people at the same field. Another 1 or 2 miles and NOTHING. Not even a single rabbit.

Frustrated but not deterred we backtracked an hit a huge grass field off 36. It was mid day so we figured if nothing else we would flush a couple rabbits and head home with dinner. This field was full of thorn bushes and heavy tall grass. Walked for another 2 miles. NO SIGN OF LIFE. At this point we had been walking in mostly silence for the good part of the morning so I struck up conversation as we walked because at this point I was all but sure life could not be found in this area of CO.

As we walked I became distracted by an odd looking plant, when I hear my serbian freind shout CHOOT CHOOT! I whip around shoulder my shotun just in time to see the dog get entirely too close to the jackrabbit to shoot. Awwww my first animal ousted by my lack of attention. At this point its late afternoon and I got a 2hr drive home. We call it a day and head out.

Well, I cant say that it was the best start, but I certainly had fun. I still have yet to see a live pheasant. I mean we didn't even see them from the road, nothing. I would love to be out there today and lookin some more. I can't stop, I won't stop, till I bag me a pheasant!
Good luck out there guys
:cheers:
 
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jmac

Super Moderator
Welcome to UPH. Glade to have you join us on the boards. Keep at it there is nothing like a rooster busting out of cover, to scare he gun to your shoulder. Welcome to the addiction.:)
 

dansan

New member
better idea

for a great hunting day lets buy pheasants and release on a wia area and shoot. because I walked (logan, Phillips, Yuma counties) from 7 am to 4.30 pm and I didn't see any pheasants. what do you think?
 

tangogun

New member
for a great hunting day lets buy pheasants and release on a wia area and shoot. because I walked (logan, Phillips, Yuma counties) from 7 am to 4.30 pm and I didn't see any pheasants. what do you think?
:laugh: Haha that's one way to get it done!
 

HeavyC

New member
Great story!...stick with it, things will eventually pay off when you're willing to work that hard...but especially when you already appreciate all those little things you listed!...for me, I do not think there is much in life that is better than watching bird dogs do what they love most!!
 

tangogun

New member
Great story!...stick with it, things will eventually pay off when you're willing to work that hard...but especially when you already appreciate all those little things you listed!...for me, I do not think there is much in life that is better than watching bird dogs do what they love most!!
Thanks for the kind words HeavyC. I was completely enthralled by my friends bird dog (Springer Spaniel I believe) Guy was 9 years old and the moment he was let out was all business. He eagerly searched and easily covered 10 times the ground we did. You could tell his heart was in it! Poor guy by the end was lookin at us like what the hell guys, where's all the birds?

Had me missing my dog like crazy and questioning my next choice in a dog. My dog died a little more than a month ago in a tragic freak accident. She was one of the smartest dogs I had ever known. And although she was not a hunting dog by breed (a stafford bull terrier mix) she would have done amazing hunting as I had taken her camping many times and she would spend hours in the woods flushing anything that moves.

Her only downfall was she was a conisor of foods :D meaning anything she could get her paws on. I came home one day to find her dead on the floor with a doritos bag she had stolen stuck on her head. One of the worst experiences of my life.

I immediately wanted to re-place her with an exact same type. But as time goes on and my heart heals I begin to feel that I may want a new friend not one that reminds me of the one I lost. This new found love for hunting has me looking at many breeds. Welcome to input.

Thanks guys
 

Automaan

New member
Sorry to hear about your dog. Glad to hear you enjoyed yourself just being there. We don't always have to have a rooster in the game bag to have a great day. Bob
 
Thanks for the kind words HeavyC. I was completely enthralled by my friends bird dog (Springer Spaniel I believe) Guy was 9 years old and the moment he was let out was all business. He eagerly searched and easily covered 10 times the ground we did. You could tell his heart was in it! Poor guy by the end was lookin at us like what the hell guys, where's all the birds?

Had me missing my dog like crazy and questioning my next choice in a dog. My dog died a little more than a month ago in a tragic freak accident. She was one of the smartest dogs I had ever known. And although she was not a hunting dog by breed (a stafford bull terrier mix) she would have done amazing hunting as I had taken her camping many times and she would spend hours in the woods flushing anything that moves.

Her only downfall was she was a conisor of foods :D meaning anything she could get her paws on. I came home one day to find her dead on the floor with a doritos bag she had stolen stuck on her head. One of the worst experiences of my life.

I immediately wanted to re-place her with an exact same type. But as time goes on and my heart heals I begin to feel that I may want a new friend not one that reminds me of the one I lost. This new found love for hunting has me looking at many breeds. Welcome to input.

Thanks guys
Good story keep at it but next time you go with your friends and say lets hit a milo field during mid day or cut corn field mid day you wouldn't catch me pounding crp in the middle of the day unless it was really cold, see what they say :) You know I went quail hunting last year about 6 times straight before I finally found a covey of birds just stayed around close to home, you keep going you will eventually trip over one :)
 

tangogun

New member
Good story keep at it but next time you go with your friends and say lets hit a milo field during mid day or cut corn field mid day you wouldn't catch me pounding crp in the middle of the day unless it was really cold, see what they say :) You know I went quail hunting last year about 6 times straight before I finally found a covey of birds just stayed around close to home, you keep going you will eventually trip over one :)
Milo field? crp field? Still new to these expressions.
All wheat and corn were hit before 10am, doesn't seem quite mid day to me, but maybe to some. Seems we hit as many as we could giving the dawn restrictions.
 

retrvrman

New member
Thanks for sharing your opening day hunt. This past weekend wasn't all that for sure. The mild/warm weather didn't help. I am sure some of the "other" guys on here with access to some good private stuff had luck.

My son and I are heading to Kansas in two weeks. It is going to take several years for the Colorado pheasants to come back....

We did the Rooster roundup and saw one bird flush wild, heard a few shots....but by far not good :confused::(:eek:

Greg
 

tangogun

New member
Thanks for sharing your opening day hunt. This past weekend wasn't all that for sure. The mild/warm weather didn't help. I am sure some of the "other" guys on here with access to some good private stuff had luck.

My son and I are heading to Kansas in two weeks. It is going to take several years for the Colorado pheasants to come back....

We did the Rooster roundup and saw one bird flush wild, heard a few shots....but by far not good :confused::(:eek:

Greg
What exactly do you need to hunt in another state? Do you just buy a day pass liscence or what?
 

retrvrman

New member
You can buy a non-resident small game license via the internet and print it out at home for Kansas. Price is around $75....

Greg
 

retrvrman

New member
Well, now that is all relative, isn't it:rolleyes:

I do not have access to any type of private land in Colorado. I have tried, however I do not, I have hunted here since 1995.

I do have access to private land and a lot of it in Kansas. I have been hunting there since 1996. Every year I have gone, I have come back with birds....so the three day trip out there is worth it.

Also, the people are awesome and it is a nice break from work and stuff around the house.

In the really good years, the WIHA that Kansas has usually provides decent hunting to folks who do not have access to private land.

That is my .02cts....do with it what you wish....:cool:;)

Greg
 
Milo field? crp field? Still new to these expressions.
All wheat and corn were hit before 10am, doesn't seem quite mid day to me, but maybe to some. Seems we hit as many as we could giving the dawn restrictions.
no no hit the crp early and the feed mid day from 10 on stay in the milo, cut corn then back to crp closer to dark where you from I am coming out there:D I love the short wheat stubble in mild temps
 
where the birds are

if the birds are being hunted, just hunt someplace as they will be scattered just about everywhere. if they have been left alone for awhile, hit the cover early, mid morning the birds will go to feed, there usually is no feed in the crp stuff. they then will return to cover to loaf and dust thru mid day and then late afternoon will return to feed and then go to roost, usually in heavy cover for the night. another thing to keep in mind with pheasants, if the birds have a choice after they have been bothered in a particular field several times, it may be days before they return to use it again, same for small batches of heavy cover unless weather forces them to come back into it. you might also try and park you vehicle at the other end of the property and come at it from a different direction, sometimes, that can be a big deal. the birds don't really disappear, it just seems that way

cheers
 

retrvrman

New member
if the birds are being hunted, just hunt someplace as they will be scattered just about everywhere. if they have been left alone for awhile, hit the cover early, mid morning the birds will go to feed, there usually is no feed in the crp stuff. they then will return to cover to loaf and dust thru mid day and then late afternoon will return to feed and then go to roost, usually in heavy cover for the night. another thing to keep in mind with pheasants, if the birds have a choice after they have been bothered in a particular field several times, it may be days before they return to use it again, same for small batches of heavy cover unless weather forces them to come back into it. you might also try and park you vehicle at the other end of the property and come at it from a different direction, sometimes, that can be a big deal. the birds don't really disappear, it just seems that way

cheers
Excellent advice :thumbsup:

However, there has to be birds for that advice to take effect :eek:;)

I know when I hunt Kansas, most of what you said has occured or worked. Especially the heavy cover for the night....I have watched with my own two eyes in years past of flights (and I mean hundreds of birds) of pheasants come from a feed lot or some type of food (milo, wheat, corn) to the CRP or cover late, late in the evening....it was amazing to watch. Like something out of a Pheasants Forever TV show in South Dakota:eek:

Greg
 

tangogun

New member
Excellent advice :thumbsup:

However, there has to be birds for that advice to take effect :eek:;)

I know when I hunt Kansas, most of what you said has occured or worked. Especially the heavy cover for the night....I have watched with my own two eyes in years past of flights (and I mean hundreds of birds) of pheasants come from a feed lot or some type of food (milo, wheat, corn) to the CRP or cover late, late in the evening....it was amazing to watch. Like something out of a Pheasants Forever TV show in South Dakota:eek:

Greg
That would be quite the sight to behold! Hope I get to see something similar some day
 
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