Fall in the Midwest

October 7, 2019 Comments Off on Macie and a Successful Pheasant Hunt Hunting, Outside

Macie and a Successful Pheasant Hunt

There were five pheasants flushed, five shots and five birds harvested. About as good as it gets as my dad and I really did a nice job pheasant hunting this weekend at Brier Oak Hunt Club in Bellevue, Ohio.

Saturday was the first cool morning of this fall with overnight temperatures in the low 40’s. Macie, our German Shorthaired Pointer, lives for weather like this. She also enjoys hunting birds more than anything else. When we got into the field around 9:15 a.m. the temperatures were still in the upper 40’s. The sun was higher in the sky than when hitting the field for an early morning hunt, eliminating the odds of shooting birds in direct sunlight.

High grass and the field we went hunting in
Early season hunting provides high grass and a lot of cover for the birds to hide

We can usually get Macie out in September at Brier Oak. However, with temperatures consistently in the 80’s throughout the last month, that’s not exactly “hunting” weather.

But through the field we went, and Macie wasted no time getting on point. By the time I had flushed the first two birds and they took flight, my dad was dialed in and took down the first two with one shot each. With some good retrieving, we had two birds in the vest within just a few minutes.

Macie retrieves a pheasant while hunting
Macie retrieving a pheasant

Seeing how effective we were shooting, all signs pointed to a good morning. Macie quartered well and her points were spot on amid a calm and peaceful morning.

Upon walking up and flushing the first two birds, they flew right into my dad’s lane of shooting. With two killing shots, he had confidence to start the morning. I’m not sure how he feels about it, but when we hunt, I usually end up flushing the bird. Being 30 years younger than him, I keep pace with Macie better than he does, so naturally flushing becomes my job.

Feeling guilty, he told me to take a few shots at the next couple of birds we flushed. Personally, I didn’t care in fact, I was a bit worried because I hadn’t fired a shot at a flying bird in quite some time.

I had no need to worry though as the next bird was a perfect shot. Macie was right on it and the bird fell. She was hesitant to retrieve the bird though as it was bloodied. Many dogs do not retrieve a bloodied bird, but luckily it was in an accessible spot.

The day marched on very quickly as we were on birds almost immediately. Macie was using the cooler temperatures and light wind to her advantage. As I approached the bird to flush it, this one heard me as it flew before I could get up on it. Still dialed in, I raised my gun and had the bird lined up and down within one squeeze of the trigger. This time, Macie having not had to retrieve the previous kill, didn’t want to bring this bird back. Not falling for her antics, my dad and I refused to pick it up and move on with the hunt until she brought us the bird. Eventually she complied and on with the hunt we went.

Macie with the day's harvest
Macie and the day’s harvest of five birds

With the last bird, Macie was locked in and on point. The wind picked up and Macie was a little off on her point. But, nonetheless gave us the location of where the bird was. When flushed, the rooster flew to my right and with one shot, dropped to the ground. Five birds and five shots between my dad and I. Unlike the last time, Macie brought this bird right to my feet.

The success in the field probably won’t happen again. We were all in sync and the conditions were ideal for October hunting. Macie wasn’t overworked and overheated as the hunt lasted about 30 to 40 minutes.

Fall is still in the early going and lets hope it stays around a while longer. Getting out with my dad and the dog is always a good thing. But the success of the hunt, made it that much sweeter.

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