It was November 2, 2010 when I took Bo to west central Minnesota to hunt pheasants. This was a three day scouting trip to see if I thought a double limit of pheasants in Minnesota and North Dakota would be possible. I had ten vacation days just ahead and was trying to decide if they should be spent up here for pheasants or in Kansas for chickens and quail. So far, "up here" was looking pretty good. WE were ten minutes into our hunt when I shot Bo's first Minnesota pheasant and I was pretty certain that we would make it to North Dakota before long to see what the S.E. corner held for pheasants.
Her second, and limit pheasant, was running in front of me as I stepped around a plum thicket in the fence line dividing public from private. I started with permission on the private side and cleaned all the lead loads out of my vest and loaded my Superposed with Steel 3's. I had no idea if non-tox was required as I intended to shoot steel on anything but private.
Bo caught scent or sight of the rooster that couldn't seem to find an opening to flush trough in the dense plum thicket. When Bo was just a few feet behind he tried to fly again and crashed back down still running. He jumped again and made it through, but not through the load of steel 3's. Bo was having a hard time wrestling him through the brush, so I crossed back to the private side to make the retrieve easier for her.
It was 9:30 when we arrived back at the truck. Just an hour and a half to take the Minnesota limit the first time I had hunted the area and we were off to thanks the landowner and head for North Dakota.
I'd talked with then Upland Bird Biologist, Stan Kohn about attempting to take this double limit and he suggested that I drive at least 60 miles west in North Dakota before starting to hunt. After seeing the Red River valley I understood why.
I don't know how far I drove after picking up a non-resident license and Plots Guide but it was far enough. I found a farmer out mending fence and he said he held his ground for his grandkids, but if I was willing to drive a few miles south he knew some ground that he was certain I could do well on.
At 1:30 Bo and I were back at the truck with the three bird North Dakota limit. We circled the base of a hill in the middle of a 40 acre CRP patch that Dave said his party had hunted opening weekend without seeing any birds but they didn't have a dog and he was certain there were birds that they had walked past.
Bo weaved along the path of a runner for about 50 yards before he flushed. I just love the hurry up and wait, oh no! there she goes again, then just catch up in time for the flush. I missed with my first shot but hit him hard with the improved modified choke for an easy but roundabout puppy retrieve.
This was young Bo's third state to hunt pheasants in as many half days and she already had 9 roosters under her belt.
On the bottom side there was a marsh with several plumb thickets along the far side. I knew it was likely that there would be birds loafing in the plumb thickets at mid-day. AS soon as Bo committed to entering the first thicket, I ran to the far side to block any runners. That didn't work so well, with several birds flying out Bo's side that I couldn't see. I ran back to get behind Bo like any dog respecting hunter would just as a pair of juvenile roosters flushed to cross the marsh. I shot quickly at both birds intending to make sure they fell dead as at only 7 months Bo had no ecxperience retrieving pheasants from water and cattails.
i slogged out with her looking for feathers where the nearer bird fell, but Bo already had him. Then again, as I was searching for the fall of the second bird, Bo was splashing her way back with that rooster to!
Two state daily bag limits, five roosters, in less than five hours! And we still had two days left to try to take another double limit of three roosters in South Dakota and two roosters in Minnesota.