2021 Fall Hunting has Started

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Re: 2021 Fall Hunting has Started

Postby AverageGuy » Mon Oct 04, 2021 3:39 pm

orhunter wrote:Thanks for all the photos. How far did you have to go to get out of drought conditions.


My new base camp was about 225 miles away from where I normally hunt out of. It was still drought where I was but the birds had a hatch and I shot more young birds than mature adults.
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Re: 2021 Fall Hunting has Started

Postby AverageGuy » Thu Oct 28, 2021 2:34 pm

The Wife, Spud, Tess and I went way West in search of Chukars and Huns. Trip was challenging. Starter went out on the Truck and both dogs came down sick. But we had some great moments in the field and got back home safe.

First Day Dawning as we drove up into the mountains
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Lady's First so Tess got the first drop of the trip. She pointed a covey of Huns in short order, the first ones she had ever smelled. The drought had cover low and thin and the Huns flushed long as I approached Tess on point. That was the trend for the whole trip. I fired once and downed a bird. Tess bringing in her first Hun.
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On the Board with Tess's Hun.
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Spud in his 6th season hunted hard on every drop, found lots of birds, handled them with skill and intensity, pointing and relocating many times as the wary birds ran in thin cover. He has a covey of Chukars here.
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Spud retrieving a Chukar
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Spud pointing some running Huns
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The birds were most often 50 yards or more ahead of the dogs on point.
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Spud bringing in a Hun
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Spud had yet another point up and over a mountain out of sight. I chugged up the steep slope and found him on point well below me. I approached the point, a covey of Huns flushed long, I fired once and did not see a bird drop. But Spud did and this is him as he gets towards the top bringing me another hard won Hun.
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Good Boy Spud!
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Spud Relocating on what turned out be a covey of Chukars
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Spud pointing another covey of Chukars
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Spud retrieving the first of two Chukars off of one of his covey points.
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Second Chukar I spied while Spud was retrieving the first one.
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We earned everyone of them
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Beautiful Mature Chukar
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Shot the new A5 16gauge on this trip and liked it. Took this limit with 8 shells out of 3 covey points on Chukars and 2 covey points on Huns by Spud. Birds all left early as I approached Spud on point. Cover was low and thin due to the drought.
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Spud got sick and so it was Tess and I on the last day of hunting. Dawn coming over the mountains.
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Tess pointed 4 coveys of Huns and one covey of Chukars on our last day. Only one of them held long enough for me to be in long range when they flushed as I approached her points. Here she is with one of her points on Huns. They left early and I got no shooting to reward Tess.
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Tess pointing her last covey of Huns on the last day. She pointed that covey several hundred yards out, of course up and over a steep mountain ridge from me. I was exhausted and completely winded when I found her standing her birds. I was in no shape for accurate shooting so I stood panting for air, fished out my point and shoot camera and took this photo before walking into flush. I walked at an angle 50 yards in front of Tess and then walked out to 100 yards without having flushed a bird. Tess remained intense on point as I turned and walked back towards her. 50 yards ahead of Tess two Huns flushed and I grassed one with one shot.
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Tess scooping up her hard won Hun on the last day. Good Girl Tess!
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Beautiful Country
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Re: 2021 Fall Hunting has Started

Postby Willie T » Thu Oct 28, 2021 8:29 pm

Great pics as usual AG. Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed them. Cricket and I have been kicking up our heels too.
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Re: 2021 Fall Hunting has Started

Postby orhunter » Fri Oct 29, 2021 9:04 am

Kent: Glad you had a nice trip. Dunno where you’re hunting but that cover looks pretty darn good when compared to where I am. Places that have always had birds in the past are almost barren. I’ve been in Richland OR for at least ten days and have not seen a single Chukar. A few huns around and tons of quail. Have killed three Huns in the time I’ve been here. Getting a few out of range flushes but haven’t seen a single one the past four days. Seeing a little sign. An older, more experienced dog would be finding some but not a lot. Younger guys who are getting into rougher country are seeing a few Chukars but it’s pretty dismal for everyone. Lots of pressure, spooky birds. I know where there’s a good number of birds but it’s private, only open to kids. There’s a youth elk hunt going on in there right now and they’re seeing lots of birds. A boy a few doors down from me at the motel got a small 5 pt .yesterday. Smallest bull elk I’ve ever seen. Quartered out body looks like a big deer. Nothing compared to our coastal Roosevelt Elk. Same age bull on the coast would have been over 700 lbs, this little guy might have gone 425. I drove up to a place a couple days ago that usually contains lots of birds and the cover was almost bare dirt. The locals kill a lot of birds there in good years. The place I hunted yesterday had great cover but didn’t find any birds and little sign. I’ve taken one day off because of rain since I’ve been here. Don’t want to wear out the pup’s feet so keeping hunts to two or three hours a day. This is the first test of my leg after the injury so I’m being a bit cautions and avoiding real steep rocky areas. Going down steep hills is spooky. Going up is fine.... but slow. Leg feels fine but I’m a bit unsteady. The area you were in looks very huntable. Tough trying to turn a pup into a bird dog under these conditions, not going to happen. Certainly isn’t like the good old days where bagging a limit every day was a piece of cake.
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Re: 2021 Fall Hunting has Started

Postby AverageGuy » Fri Oct 29, 2021 10:06 am

Harvey, glad to hear you are in the field with your pup.

I have hunted this area before and it is most definitely showing the effects of the drought in terms of lower, less dense cover and jumpy birds because of it. There were pockets of better cover scattered in a sea of low cover, which is where some birds held long enough to get some shot, and hence in my photos. I estimate 75% of the coveys the dogs pointed flew early and out of range as I approached their staunch points 50 yards of more off the birds.

Take a close look at my vest in the photo where I am walking into Spud's point on chukars way below me. I am carrying a telescoping graphite Trekking pole. It came into excellent use in the rough stuff which there is plenty of around. I do not chase the flushed birds into the canyons, but instead keep rolling on the side hills and tops looking for the next covey. It is an approach which allows me to continue hunting in that country and elsewhere. I took a lot of photos of spectacular rugged rock formations and canyons, just did not post them on a public forum ...

Tess ranged in the 4-500 yard range and Spud ranged 5-600 yards, which was key to finding birds in big country under these conditions and bird numbers. I saw both dogs wind birds at 200 yards from the birds and then follow their noses cautiously into the birds.

The drought is very wide spread across the MW and West. I have already been exploring new territories and will be through the rest of the season. Studying the drought monitor map for a given state, county, and then matching it up to OnX for public lands in the areas with the lesser drought is how I am going about it.
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Re: 2021 Fall Hunting has Started

Postby jlw034 » Fri Oct 29, 2021 12:39 pm

It looks like you wore your nice gloves for this trip :lol:

Another stunner of a trip AG. Thanks for taking us along.

Just got back from 5 days in SD. 3 limits of ducks and 4 limits of Phez. Blown sidewall on truck tire. Rain. Snow. Endless fun.
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Re: 2021 Fall Hunting has Started

Postby AverageGuy » Fri Oct 29, 2021 2:35 pm

jlw034 wrote:It looks like you wore your nice gloves for this trip :lol:


I'm starting a GoFundMe page for some new gloves. Spent all my money on $4 a gallon gasoline getting there and back ...

Sounds like a great trip to SD. Do you get the lottery waterfowl license?
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Re: 2021 Fall Hunting has Started

Postby AverageGuy » Mon Nov 01, 2021 8:55 pm

Getting the dogs healed up from the last trip gave me a chance to get in a stand Saturday evening for my first bowhunt of the season. Went pretty well.

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Watched him run with an arrow in his heart 70 yards, stop and fall to the ground dead faster than you can read this.

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Re: 2021 Fall Hunting has Started

Postby jlw034 » Tue Nov 02, 2021 8:13 am

AverageGuy wrote:
jlw034 wrote:It looks like you wore your nice gloves for this trip :lol:


I'm starting a GoFundMe page for some new gloves. Spent all my money on $4 a gallon gasoline getting there and back ...

Sounds like a great trip to SD. Do you get the lottery waterfowl license?


I did get the lottery after missing it last year. Two 5 days hunts this year, which is nice.

Congrats on the buck! He's what I'd call a "shooter"!

Deer hunting is the next three days for me. Need to get back to bird hunting, so I won't be picky!
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Re: 2021 Fall Hunting has Started

Postby orhunter » Tue Nov 02, 2021 9:06 am

Nice buck!!!! He looks like a fattie.
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Re: 2021 Fall Hunting has Started

Postby AverageGuy » Thu Nov 11, 2021 3:35 pm

Dogs and I are staying in the field.

Spud and I took an afternoon duck hunt last week. I unloaded my jet sled with gear at the edge of the marsh we were going to walk into. Drove the truck back up the two track, put on my waders, dropped Spud and walked back. Spud spied his dog platform and promptly took his place. Got a chuckle out of that.
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Spud took it upon himself to do a duck search while I was putting out the decoys, mojo and dog platform. Here he is bringing me someone else's live pintail.
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Keeping watch for Ducks.
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Been hunting some low population pheasant spots close to home. Tess got this one cornered and pointed long enough for a meatball shot and retrieve. It was a pretty one.
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Spud bringing in one of his own.
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Explored some new public areas further north this week. Gave Tess the first drop of the day Tuesday. Wasn't long and she was on point, then she broke, tracked, pointed again, broke again, tracked again and then broke into a run. A rooster sprang into the air but had a shot wing, Tess leaped up and snatched it out of the air. Here she is bringing us someone else's cripple for our first bird of the day.
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We hunted on, Tess pointed several hens along the way and then she went on point again. Several birds flushed as I approached her in the heavy cover, a cackling rooster crossing shot caught my eye and we scored our second bird of the day. Some time and several hen points later, Tess went on point by a grove of tall saplings in heavy cover all around. I approached using the Garmin GPS to guide me and a rooster flushed up through the saplings going straight away as I did. I snapped the A5 16 up, shot through the tree tops and dropped the rooster into the heavy marsh cover on the other side. I worked my way through to trees and found Tess bouncing around in the heavy cover. She hit the track of the escaping rooster and disappeared tracking immediately. I stood and waited. In a bit I heard Tess returning through the cover and was thrilled when I could see she was carrying the live crippled rooster to fill our limit.
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Trumpter Swans on the Marsh Yesterday morning.
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Spud with a rooster he got pointed for a close range flush and shot.
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Spud teaching Tess how to tree squirrels
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Re: 2021 Fall Hunting has Started

Postby Willie T » Fri Nov 12, 2021 9:17 pm

Good stuff AG! I still like Tess!
Cricket and I have been busy too… trip up north was good. Really good! I’m liking my new pup! Cross Timbers Diesel. I call him “Moon”. Sunday will mark two weeks I’ve had the little hellion and he will be 10 weeks old. He likes birds and things are progressing well. He is retrieving bumpers and frozen teal and is already showing me a few flash points when I started getting him acquainted with birds. No water yet but I like what I see. I think he is gonna be a bird dog. Tomorrow morning Cricket and me are duck hunting with my son.

That was a good buck!

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Re: 2021 Fall Hunting has Started

Postby orhunter » Sat Nov 13, 2021 8:45 am

Great stuff.... Thanks for the photos and text.

Willie.... Gave you my cell number.... Photos?
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Re: 2021 Fall Hunting has Started

Postby Willie T » Sun Nov 14, 2021 1:49 pm

orhunter wrote:Great stuff.... Thanks for the photos and text.

Willie.... Gave you my cell number.... Photos?


Texted you a couple videos. Check and see if you got them. If not maybe I mixed up the numbers…
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Re: 2021 Fall Hunting has Started

Postby AverageGuy » Tue Nov 16, 2021 9:40 am

Willie T,

Thank You.

Sounds like you have another good one on your hands. Not surprised. Talented puppies are so fun.
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