|Caught by surprise|
I had a really good set of guys for the last Upland hunt of the season. We haven’t been doing much bird hunting the last few months due to the weather so it was great to see Billy Gerwin and all his dogs at Shags Run. I hope Ryan and Ray enjoyed the day as much as I did. I have been quite fortunate to hunt with some really good people over the years, these two were about as good as they get.
Per our usual routine we arrived about 8:30 and were welcomed by hot coffee and steaming sausage biscuits. This quick bite is always welcome prior to a day in the field. This time also gives me time to learn a bit more about everyone’s experience levels and answer any last minute questions they might have.
Soon we climbed aboard wagons and headed into the fields.
Today Dwayne and his son Colton guided us. Dwayne and Colton are Billy’s right hand men. Shags Run wouldn’t be what it is today without these guys. With that in mind, it is only appropriate they have their own “shag” off the farm. They have an energetic and super athletic female named Sally. Today Sallly was the first dog we put on the ground. She was on birds in short order.
Ryan had done a bit of bird hunting before but for Ray this was a new experience. I know the first few flushes surprised the heck out of him. But, they do that to everybody. After few flushes he started shooting pretty well. It is always fun to watch someone enjoy the dog work and birds for the first time.
It didn’t take us long to kill our first bird. I think Ryan shot it. We took a moment to admire the first pheasant of the day.
Soon it was time for a water break. Sally decided take a bit of dip in the pond.
We had a beautiful day to hunt. The warmer weather was kinda nice. It was definitely a bit harder on the dogs but I appreciated not having to wear long underwear, sweater, hats, and gloves.
The rest of the hunt went very well. One of the highlights for me was watching Ray make some very successful shots and collect his first pheasant and quail.
We hunted over Voodoo for a while and as usual that dog did great. But soon it was time for a break.
On the final section Billy and I decided to let my pup, Rye run alongside her mother, Dottie for a bit. I loved watching my dog work alongside an older dog. I was pleased to see Rye do pretty good. She backed points and found several “dead” birds. Sometimes dogs have a hard time with this aspect of the hunt but it is so important. I hate wasting game because I can’t find it after the shot.
|A little water break|
We finished up shortly thereafter. The birds were a bit challenging today but overall, I think we had a great time. Both guys got several shots. As always, lunch was a welcome part of the day.
It was a pleasure to share the day with these two guys. As much as I look forward to the summer and fishing seasons, a huge part of me can’t wait to for September 1st when we get to overtake Billy’s farm for another year of great dove shooting. Hope to see you there. Thanks to all the guys that participated in the upland hunts this year. We appreciate it.