Another year of great weather! This makes two in a row. We have been hunting ND pheasants for 15 years and this annual event is like a dear old friend. We can’t wait to get back every year and are always a bit sad when the hunt is over. This is one of those things that you know, at some point, will come to an end so we savor every minute, every bird, every point, every step in the field and every moment of comradery with our friends and fellow hunters. As we grow older, the hunt is cherished simply because we are here, in the vast openness of North Dakota – away from the grind, away from the responsibility, away from the noise. This time afield, immersed in God’s creation, is our connection with what is real and what matters. I hope you enjoy these pictures from a perfect hunt.
A picture perfect lay-up.
Never hurry a clean shot.
Oak is loving his first wild bird hunt . . .
Buck and Dick. These guys love to hunt.
Great bird guns – all Spanish doubles.
The Indians call this Maize. We call it corn.
Roux, the serious GSP.
Bird in the bag.
Our good friend Peder.
Mitzi, the guide’s bad-ass bird dog. My grandmother’s poodle is named Mitzi!
One nice limit of roosters.
These shorthairs are ready to hunt!
Beaver dam crossing! I was ready with the camera for the splash that thankfully did not happen.
Buck fetches a cock to Dick . . . what?
A limit of roosters in the air.
This is one great group of guys. Some have been hunting together for well over a decade.
Wyoming homestead. You wonder about the lives and fate of those who lived here. Maybe they hit oil and are now douche-bags living in LA . . . I doubt it.
Regent ND is a 10 hour drive from Denver. This is the stretch from Belle Fourche SD to the ND state line. This is one long, straight and lonely road.
6 responses to “Another Great ND Hunt!”
Great photos. How do you persuade yourself to leave the double gun in the truck and take the camera?
A battered old Ithaca Model 37. Brings back memories of hunts with my father.
Thanks Jerry! The photography is great fun and I can’t hit anything with that gun anyway!
Poor Tex was missing this one!
Yes, that is a total bummer! He will back in action soon. I hope you are doing well.
Just came across this post and wanted to put in my two cents. I started hunting at Cannonball in 2000 when it was just a fledgling operation. $120 per day, and that included a day’s hunt, lodging, and a great breakfast (usually cooked by one of the guides wives). Pheasant numbers were ridiculous and we were often done by 1000, leaving us nothing to do but visit the local watering holes. Over the years we went back many times, often in a group of ten. While that’s a large number, it was rarely crowded since we’d frequently push a half-section or more, with a few of us posted at the far corners.
Time passed and costs increased to the point that at about $250 total cost per bird (fees, license, food, booze, tips, and fuel) we gave up. Note that we didn’t hunt until mid-November when the costs (and temperatures) went down.
I remember those years fondly, and with some sorrow as my Springer and Boykin dogs we hunted with have all passed. Maybe one day I’ll head back to Regent just for old time’s sake, cost be damned.
Also note that another group and I hunted pheasants for many years with friends (farmers) outside of Waverly, Iowa. It was a wonderful hunt, beautiful country, and dinner with a different family every night. The terrain and cover was usually tough, but plenty of smart birds, and dead tired dogs at the end of the day. All that ended with the surge in ethanol production. Prior to the advent of that boondoggle all the corn would be picked by the end of the last weekend in October. Now, the last corn standing isn’t picked until early December, making hunting virtually impossible. So sorry to see the end of that tradition.
Now I hunt forest grouse in my home state of Montana. Success varies, and I quit a day or two before big game season starts. I miss the plains hunting, though and may try another shot at it next year. Gotta keep my hounds happy! Best wishes and good luck,
Thanks Mike! Great memories and if you can get out again! The cost is not that bad compared to a gambling, drugs or women. Also, my advice is to NEVER calculate the price per bird or per pound or per fish on any of these excursions! It leads to bad decisions . . . like staying home. Thank you for a great comment and for visiting the Birdhunter!