16 Feb | Posted by Mark
The next day we started off farther east in another large ravine and immediately flushed a large covey of sharp-tails. We chased these for about a mile but couldn’t corner them before they headed off into the uncut corn. We did point a nice rooster, but missed the shot and decided to regroup to chase the pheasants again. This time we dropped into a narrow but deep ravine. I lost sight of Rosie, but my Garmin went off and told me she was on point directly in front of me 20 yards away! Unfortunately, she was at the bottom of the 50-foot-tall ridge and I was on top of it. The whole hill side was a plumb thicket and it was loaded with birds. I moved forward and got them to flush and made a good shot on one to the front that Rosie retrieved. We moved on down the ravine and got them pushed into a corner and moved off into the grass. Rosie had two more points and I got another shot under a tree limb. Rosie made the retrieve to hand. This was only her tenth day of hunting wild Dakota birds and she’s starting to shine. Holding points solid, retrieve birds to hand, and standing at wild flushed. It’s amazing to see a young 7-month-old dog come along this quickly.
From the ravine, we moved down the waterway and the timbered area widened out. We got separated, Bill and Dustin on the left with his dogs, and Rosie and I on the right. I worked an area behind a large pond dam, but birds were flushing to the front and flying out of the field. Bill got some good shots over point and scored his first rooster of the day, after a long chase by Dustin and his lab. Continuing through the ravine, Rosie and I got another point and shot on the hill side, with another nice retrieve. Bill and Dustin came over to my side and we worked to the south. I lost Rosie, but found her on the Garmin pointing about 100 yards down the hill from us, crouched under a tree on point. I flushed 3 roosters, made the shot under a tree limb, and again she retrieved to hand.
We spent day three with Mark as our guide. He has a pair of energetic German Wired Haired Pointers, Beretta and Benelli. We went even farther west to hunt an area called the snake pit; a large wheat field with a myriad of prairie pot holes filled with cattails. We hunted the first pothole by the old farmhouse and scratched a couple or roosters flushing on the wild, but out away from the cattails so we could make the retrieves easily.
After a bit, we relocated to a second larger cattail marsh, but it was tall cover and impossible to work inside it. We did flush plenty of birds but they had no intention of leaving the marsh and only moved further into the cover. We missed a few opportunities, but moved on. The third marsh was more dog-friendly with lower edge cover and Bill got a rooster that he shot to the front with a nice retrieve by Beretta.
Our fourth stop was a large watershed with cattail marsh and native grass cover. Bill got a nice roster over a point by Rosie and I got one on a wild flush. We worked the grass a quarter mile further and finished our rooster limit up. On the way back to the truck, Rosie had 2 more nice points, both roosters she reexamined steady to flush. We stopped for lunch at the edge of a corn field by an old combine, making a nice place for an ending picture with Bill, Rosie and our pheasants. It was a great ending to a great three days at Brown’s Hunting Ranch!