Saturday was opening day for Pheasant season and I headed out with Doc before dawn’s early light. My plan was to get in on some early morning duck and goose shooting during their morning flights and later hunt the river bottoms for Pheasants.
There were a number of ducks and geese in the air when we began looking for a blind about 7:30. All the blinds had long since been claimed, so Doc and I hunted the bluffs for partridge and then the river bottoms for Pheasants without seeing anything but high-flying ducks.
After a quick lunch that I’d packed, I drove to a Wildlife Management Area (WMA) where we hunted for several hours. I was surprised to find so few hunters, and no one else was parked at the area I chose. Either no one else had hunted that area or if so, they were so focused on Pheasants that they didn’t see the pair of ducks in a small stream.
I went after them and dropped a greenhead but Doc wouldn’t retrieve it. He later did a nice job of retrieving the Pheasant so I think that he was confused about retrieving a duck on dry land – all of his other ducks have been water retrieves.
Even though the temperature was in the mid 60’s and partly cloudy, the heat was beginning to sap Doc’s energy. We hunted awhile before Doc went on a solid point and I saw about 100 feet ahead of him, two rooster Pheasants trying to sneak away in the grass. I moved in and flushed them, dropping one rooster but missing the second.
I had to help Doc through the fence and he made a nice retrieve. We then hunted our way back to the truck without seeing any more birds, ending the day successful but tired.