Opening day

tomt

Member
I didnt go out but out of curiosity I wonder how the crowds were. Did the low pheasant predictions (or CoVid) result in fewer people? I hunted one opener a few yrs back and couldnt believe the numbers of other hunters
 
I drove home from Kansas on Sunday mid day. I spotted only one group of hunters in the field. Driving out on Friday I didn’t pass any bird hunters or see any campers in the usual places. Looked like turn out might have been light off of Highway 36.
 

JHoch00

Member
I like to go out and hit walk ins mid week after opening weekend. Last season, 4 of us got 14 birds in 2 days of bad shooting. This season, in the same fields we jumped 1 rooster and 3 hens in a hard day of hunting. Not even any dumping out the end of the field. We gave up and headed home after the first day.

Tough year... covid sucks, and this drought is the icing on the cake. Think I'm gonna just let the birds off the hook the rest of this year and maybe go chase coyotes instead. The "prey" needs all the help they can get this year.

Hope you all do better than me!
 
I like to go out and hit walk ins mid week after opening weekend. Last season, 4 of us got 14 birds in 2 days of bad shooting. This season, in the same fields we jumped 1 rooster and 3 hens in a hard day of hunting. Not even any dumping out the end of the field. We gave up and headed home after the first day.

Tough year... covid sucks, and this drought is the icing on the cake. Think I'm gonna just let the birds off the hook the rest of this year and maybe go chase coyotes instead. The "prey" needs all the help they can get this year.

Hope you all do better than me!
Thanks for your report - it sounds like you gave it a good go. I haven’t even been out yet in CO and may not even go. I’ve heard a few reports and they range from poor to piss poor....
 

JBaltazar

New member
I like to go out and hit walk ins mid week after opening weekend. Last season, 4 of us got 14 birds in 2 days of bad shooting. This season, in the same fields we jumped 1 rooster and 3 hens in a hard day of hunting. Not even any dumping out the end of the field. We gave up and headed home after the first day.

Tough year... covid sucks, and this drought is the icing on the cake. Think I'm gonna just let the birds off the hook the rest of this year and maybe go chase coyotes instead. The "prey" needs all the help they can get this year.

Hope you all do better than me!
I was thinking the same thing. I am really hesitant to go take any birds. It seems like it would be working against what we are hoping for which is the population to return to greater numbers. It will be even harder for that to happen if we take the ones that have survived so far.
 

Logical

Member
I went out around Wray on Opening Weekend. Three of us, with one so-so dog. Saturday was some missed opportunities, but also bagged a total of three. All private access that I have worked to acquire for the last 15 seasons. Sunday was just two of us, and no dog. We each got one, and missed a few more.

While I expected the Walk-in areas to be hard-hit, I saw few hunters in the Walk-ins. The cover in them is very poor, due to the dry summer, and this being the third season (I think) for the corners. Grass has not really established, and the original cane crop is still loud to walk on. But, I saw lots of others with private access, with many in large groups. We were getting ready for our second pass at a quarter-section (can't cover it all in one pass with three of us), and a truck drove up and asked if we wanted to hunt the field with them. Hmmm. We were there first, but I'll listen. He then said they had about 25 hunters, and have been hunting together for over 20 years. When he said 25 hunters were wanting to walk the field, I held my tongue. I wanted to say "that's pretty irresponsible out here, where there are so few birds. You want to slaughter as many as you can with that many people?!?!?!?" Instead, I said "No, thanks. We'll do this pass, then you can walk it". I hope they made lots of noise, so the birds got out the end or sides, avoiding any blockers. Sorry, but I don't see the sportsmanship in that many people walking through and surrounding a field in Yuma County. South Dakota? Maybe.

I went out again this past weekend, and there were a couple other large groups buzzing around. I hope they get tired of walking grassless fields, and stay home.

On a bright side, on Sunday I was hunting alone, so I was doing some off-the-wall spots. I got to the center of a section (SW/4 is corn circle, and Walk-in, SE/4 is sunflower stalks and weeds, NE/4 is winter wheat, and NW/4 is wheat stubble) after walking the seam between corn field and sunflower stalks. I happened to see about 8 pheasant get up from the east edge of the wheat stubble, and fly to the center of the quarter. Hmmm! I was pleased. I then observed two coyotes loping away to the east, across the winter wheat field. I figure the pheasant heard them coming, and got out of there. I figured I'd walk the east edge of the field up to the middle of the quarter-section line, then head to the middle of the field. I knew I would not see those birds again, as they never stay where they land. But, while moseying along the edge (wanted to give them an opportunity to settle, maybe), I saw other flights of pheasant going towards the center of the field from other fields. I watched, and about 40 birds flew into that center. I walked down-and-back, and most birds that I saw were 75-100 yards in front of me. I walked down-and-back in a different area of the field, and managed to get a rooster, and saw a few more birds get up further out.

The appearance of all those birds made me think that maybe, just maybe, there are still some birds in other parts of the area I hunt. My observation from hunting both days both weekends is, the birds seem to be primarily in the wheat stubble, if they are not in the cornfields where they can see us coming from 200 yards away. There is hope!

Happy hunting to all!
 
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