Story Time


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Rusty got birdy as hell in front of us and took off in a straight line dead ahead of us, about 100 yds out he turned back and was heading back to us. As he got closer G took off his hat to discipline the dog (Rusty at this point was about 20 yds out) and said "God dang it Rusty get your ass back here" The next sequence happened a microsecond after G yelled and only took 1.78 seconds to complete. A rooster flushed at Rusty's nose, G dropped his hat, raised his gun, killed the bird and said "good boy"
I've learned to ALWAYS trust the dog... Even when in 97% doubt.


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Glad I found this thread. The stories are a big reason I visit. The map above is impressive, and I have many walks mapped in my memory.

I have an 11 year old english setter, Macey. I have been begging to add a new dog for a couple of years, but.... I won't go into that. Last year was my 6th year hunting Kansas. My buddy and I made our first trip out in 2012, and that trip is a story on its own.

In October last year, 2 weeks before our annual Michigan grouse hunting trip, Macey decided to take an extra long walk at my mom's place in southern Indiana. I have always let her run free at my mom's when we visit. For some reason she got lost this morning. I went home from mom's that weekend without her in tears. I had several people around town keeping an eye out for her. After a couple of false reports of seeing her, a co-worker of brother-in-law was certain he saw a setter about 3 miles from my mom's. In full faith that this report was accurate, I left to make the 2 hour drive back to mom's to look for her. She was reported running off into a soybean field. I looked for her that Friday evening along a creek and an old fallen barn and did not see her. I went back to the same spot again the next morning feeling like she had to be around this creek and barn. I walked by the barn twice again, and the last time I stopped feeling like she had to be close and hollered for her to get in like I would when out hunting. It was as if the grasses were parted and she walked out. She was almost scared of me when she saw me at first. After moment she ran to me and laid in my lap. You're hunting dog is never just a dog. Even though that is what I was telling myself and others all week just so I could move on when I thought she was gone. That was a Saturday when I found her, and we were grouse hunting in norther Michigan the following Friday.

Needless to say I was a little apprehensive how Macey would do last year, but she may have had her best year ever. We are from Indiana, where there are very few isolated pockets of wild pheasants. However, this girl tracked down and pinned under point 4 wild roosters in early season on public ground.

The roosters in Kansas always seem a bit tougher both for dog and shooter. One afternoon this last December, Macey gave us multiple consecutive opportunities that took us a while to capitalize on. My brother-in-law, his dad and another buddy stayed back after lunch to rest up, while 3 of us took a walk. Right after lunch is rarely a productive time it seems. The moment we hit a fallow field Macey locks up in a corner. Before I can get to her 6 or 8 roosters jump out in front of her. A couple of long shots come up empty. We continue to the end of the field at a gravel road, and she slams hard again along the road. Foolishly thinking it was a hen with how close it felt she was to the bird, a rooster takes off running catching both myself and my buddy off guard. Multiple shots again, and no reward for Macey. We turn to take the opposite end of this field back, and Macey locks up on a hen in a little finger. We walk past the finger with Macey reluctant to leave(Trust the Dog should become a memory verse...). We had walked away from Macey about 50 yds only to look back to see her frozen on the edge of this finger. We were able to walk in on this point, which was not normal, to find that a rooster had sat tight as we had just walked through. We rewarded ourselves and Macey on this flush with one in the bag. Turning back again to head to the house, we are almost out of the field, when I see Macey doing the point and stalk. Knowing we had recently flushed a rooster to this end of the field, I am thinking pheasant. With my buddies following close behind Macey, I swing wide to the corner of the field thinking I might cut off a running rooster. Once to the end of the field she locks solid and the guys walk in to put up a 20+ bird covey of quail. All 3 of us drop birds on this rise, giving Macey plenty of clean up work to do. She proceeds after this to nail multiple singles as we make our way back. What makes this great is that this 10+ year old dog produced all of this in under 2 hours with retrieves. When we got back to the other guys, they asked if anyone limited out with all the shooting. I always laugh when I hear a hunting group around me doing a lot of shooting because I am sure it amounts to a lot of missing.... the same holds true for everyone.

I have added another member to my hunting family this spring. I new setter named, Gus. I can't wait to get him on some birds I have coming this August. He is showing off a lot in the backyard, but I know it can be a long first season. Even with the excitement of a new pup, I look forward to short walks with Macey this season. Tried to attach a picture of Macey, but not sure if it worked.

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this was last fall, first snow in december. southern iowa. i invited a friend who is becoming quite the bird hunter. he had not shot a quail in 5 years, and wated to get his 13 year old boy on some birds if me could. my 9 year old yellow lab did her job thats for sure because we moved 2 coveys in the am (kinda slow). we ate lunch, then proceeded to move an additional 6 coveys in the afternoon. it was so awesome to watch that kid experience such a site. i have seen him since then and he is hooked for life. too bad i believe the quail took a hit late winter.


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"Bull Calf in a Swimming Pool" (one from a few years back)

Six of us from all over the west were taking a line through some milo stalks when the farmer's son came along the road honking and waving us in. We turned out of the field and asked him what was up. "We need help. We got a calf in a swimming pool over here." A bit bewildered, we loaded up and went to the abandoned farmstead in the next section. There was an in-ground concrete pool with deep and shallow ends and, sure enough, there was a black bull calf standing in a foot of green slime in the deep end. Apparently he had fallen in in the dark of night. We scrounged up a rope, threw it around the critter's neck, and got him out of the deep end into the dry shallow end. Then we pushed him over into corner -- he was docile, maybe worn out, a good thing since he had some sharp little horns. We put his front hooves over the edge of the pool and put a post under his hind quarters, fulcrumed it on the edge of the pool and gave the heave-ho to lift him. When his hind quarters were high enough we shoved him over onto the ground. Then he became the ornery critter he really was, taking two hunters for a heel skate as they tried to hang on to the rope around his neck. We finally got the rope off him and he hopped over the hot wire to rejoin his herd.
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When hunting becomes a passion you try to remember some of the best hunts, miserable hunts, the busts, and your firsts. Oct 1994, the first time I was able to join the ranks of men...3 months prior Dad had come home from one of his work trips to Mankato to get some special lumber that they didnt carry in Sanborn. He made a pit stop at Scheels and picked up my first shotgun, Browning BPS with ducks engraved on one side and pheasants on the other. This gun would serve me well to harvest my first duck, deer, goose, pheasant, squirrel, rabbit etc for the next 14 years until I would get into the left handed semiauto market. I smiled from ear to ear the day he brought it home for my 12th birthday. A few days laterThe brothers would take me out to the city dump to shoot clays and allow me to get massive bruises on my puny arms. I learned then a padded camo shooting vest would serve me well.

The first day of duck opener 1994. The day I had been looking forward to since being allowed to follow along on the duck hunts for the last 2 years. Dad and I had spent the month before walking creeks and jumping sloughs finding birds for the opener. We had went to Frenchs sloughs with very little luck at noon, yep noon opener. On our way back into town we saw well over 100 geese land on the sewer ponds. We got a good look at them and made a game plan. This was nearly everyones first experience with geese and I seeing them on the pond in my mind I had already killed one. I had yet to fire my gun and was getting pretty itchy. With a plan in place dad would head down into the SW corner and stand up and or shoot his gun. they would with any luck fly east over the sewer ponds embankment where we would be waiting. The plan worked perfectly....they flew over us I shot 3 times and wondered in astonishment as no birds hit the ground. We would later find a goose that Uncle Terry had shot and landed in tall grass of pond #2. The day would end with me missing an entire box of shells, well they were missing every bird I shot at.

The next day found us walking rivers and creeks. Dad and I broke off from the group and went on a short walk of the cottonwood river on Norman Batzloffs. The other group would walk the Cottonwood to the west from the bridge. So dad and I ventured off to the east. Our first sneak up to the edge of the river yielded us no ducks. The 2nd one was a different story. There was a small hair pin in the river and on the outside bend of the river was a large mud flat. Dad and I slowly walked up to the edge of the tall grass. Dad immediately grabbed me and we tucked down into the grass. Dad whispered to me “theres teal sitting on the shoreline” take a quick look. So i popped my head over the grass and saw a figure in the waters edge. Those must be what dad saw. Dad said on the count of 3 we will stand up and shoot em on the ground. I turned my hat around backwards so I could get a better look down my barrel. Dad saw me do this and grabbed it and put it on correctly. I think he secretly wanted to shoot all the ducks. As it would turn out he may have. When dad got to 3 we stood up. I saw one on the water and fired at it. I then caught motion 6 feet to the right of it on land. More teal were taking off from the dry land. I fired another shot at the group of birds but am unsure if i hit one. There must have been nearly 30 birds in the group. After we had finished shooting there were 2 dead teal. Dad yelled you got one! I was still confused because the duck i had shot at was still in the same place. As we came upon the dead ducks floating down stream I also saw what I had shot at...a dead carp!! I said dad I shot at the fish on the water i thought it was the teal you had seen. So there ya have it my first duck.