|Erdos pointing a pheasant the first morning.|
|Oscar the nine month old Drathar is ready to go.|
In the first area we hunted the dogs were on scent almost right away. Erdos was ecstatic. Carlos and Oscar flushed some birds about 150 yards diagonally to my right and then they bumped two more. Erdos and I kept hunting parallel to a fence line next to a corn field that had recently been harvested. I heard shots ahead and Carlos had killed a rooster. Erdos was on a trail of scent and I followed him as he carefully followed the birds for a good distance, more than a 100 yards. And then he went on point and would not move. I stepped forward and a pheasant flushed just behind me. I turned, raised my shotgun and pulled the trigger and nothing happened. Much of the fall I've been hunting my single trigger 20 gauge O/U and, like a fool, I did think to pull the other trigger on the Jeffery. As I struggled to reload (an unfired shell will not cock the ejectors and hence will not eject) I realized I'd had a misfire. And then, another cock went up right in front of me. I got off a late shot, a feather flew, but the bird did not seem phased and disappeared over the next ridge. Typical. And then, in a few more minutes, Erdos was on fresh scent again. This time I was ready and when the pheasant flushed I fired once and again. On the second shot the bird tumbled into the tall grass. I marked it down and ran to the spot but did not see it. I looked and looked and looked some more -- with no help from Erdos who was off on more scent. Carlos came by with Oscar, and we all hunted for the downed bird, but still we did not find it. A bitter disappointment. I regret not having worked with Erdos on retrieving.
|The dogs get a drink and cool off.|
|Carlos and Oscar with the first pheasant of the trip.|
|Oscar, Lola and Carlos.|
|Sitting in the shade eating lunch.|
|A brace of quail from my game bag.|
It turned out we were in the Republican (river) region that Nebraska Game and Parks had reported as having good Northern Bobwhite Quail populations this year. Quail populations are estimated by whistle counts and by interviews with rural mail carriers.
|A great day in the field.|
A day like this one makes it almost seem easy. Good dogs, good guns, good company, lots of birds. Our next day was to prove that good days like this do not come for free.
|The bag from an exceptional day.|