Tag Archives: Rural Photography

Another Great ND Hunt!

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.

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A picture perfect lay-up.

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Colorado Aspens

Since Tex is in traction there is no point in hunting just yet. So we took a weekend and went to Aspen to see the fall colors and hit them near their peak. Beautiful stuff!

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Wild Quail . . . Finally!

The biblical drought that tormented the western quail country for the past decade has subsided for now. The moisture provided the basic life elements (water, plants and bugs) allowing the quail to return to areas where they seemingly were gone forever. This is a wonderful testimony to nature’s amazing ability to recover when given a chance. We took advantage of the bird rebound with an end of season hunt.

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A beautiful cock and hen

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Fair Weather Pheasant Hunt

What a difference a year makes . . . .

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Our annual North Dakota pheasant hunt last year, sub-zero temps and blowing snow. Not so fun!

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This year was sipping beer in short sleeved shirts! Much more fun!!

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Montana Sharptails

DSC_5340Neither Tex or I had ever set foot in Montana until this trip so we were excited about hunting a new state. We made it up to the Hi-Line area near Hinsdale in search of sharptail grouse, hungarian partridge and hopefully some sage grouse. “Hi-Line” refers to rail line that runs through the area. It is the northernmost rail line in the country and is only 42 miles south of Canada.

We ran into birds every day, but not nearly as many as we expected especially given the great weather this year and rosy bird hunting forecasts. Maybe we need to realign our expectations when chasing grouse on the Great Plains!  All things considered we had a great time. A terrific bunch of guys, nice  weather (but a bit too warm), and an impressive amount of open country for the dogs to hunt and run made this worth the 13 hour drive from Denver.

One thing about these prairie birds, once they have been hunted it is tough to get close to them. They vacate quickly and typically leave no one behind. We found sage grouse by glassing the country with binoculars. That was a first for me and I was amazed that we spotted them.

These vast, empty plains are quite beautiful and you have to respect the folks who call this home.
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A Hot Time in South Dakota

The bird counts were way up over last year but so was the temperature. We had terrific weather with blue skies and temps pushing into the low 80’s. The unseasonably warm weather was great for the hunters, but pretty hard on the dogs. We had to keep a close watch on them to be sure they did not overheat.

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Missouri Turkey

We went to northern Missouri to hunt Eastern Turkeys last weekend. The weather was near perfect but the turkeys were not as plentiful as in years past and those that we did find were not very cooperative. Though not as successful as we would have liked, it was a very good time. The folks in Missouri are about as nice as you will find.

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Locating gobblers.

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Random Shots From the Dakotas

Here are some random pictures from this year’s hunts in the Dakotas.

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This a genuine North Dakota farm truck.

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2013 North Dakota Pheasant Hunt

This year we enjoyed 2 great hunts in the Dakotas. This 2nd hunt is our standing hunt with Cannonball Company out of Regent, North Dakota. We always have a terrific time with these fine folks.

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South Dakota Pheasant

Tex and I took advantage of an invite to the opening weekend in South Dakota. We had the pleasure of joining a terrific group of guys from Michigan on their annual pheasant hunt. Some of these fellows have been hunting together for 30 plus years and a number of these guys have grown up making the annual pilgrimage to Pierre for the big hunt. We enjoyed a classic wild bird hunt of the best sort.

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A great old truck with great old hunters!

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Stoned in Texas

This 9 banded Armadillo was most likely headed to Colorado.

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Texas Dove 2013

This year we had the great fortune to hunt the opening day of the Texas dove season.
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White House on The Rail Line

I have seen a few of these one room, white cinder-block houses next to the railroad tracks in Colorado and Wyoming. No windows, a fireplace and a nice outhouse out back. Anyone know what they were built for? Maybe a shelter for rail workers or storage?

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North Dakota Roosters

Hunting North Dakota in the middle of November can be a weather crap shoot. The week before we arrived the highs were in the teens with half a foot of snow on the ground but we lucked out with absolutely perfect weather. We had the blue skies behind this handsome rooster, highs in the upper 40’s and calm wind with an occasional light breeze for our four day hunt. There were plenty of birds but, as you would expect, the hunting is more challenging on these later hunts than what you find in October.  This hunt was a perfect introduction for Tex to wild birds. Each day he improved exponentially and by the last day he was working the wind and reliably sticking birds with solid points. At nine months old we are delighted with his performance.

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Beautiful Colorado Sage

The two day Colorado Sage Grouse season is almost upon us. Last year we were skunked but with the 2012 drought in full swing and the dwindling bird numbers, I am sure we will all limit by brunch. We are OK with the poor odds, it is great to get the dogs out and hunt after a long hot summer. Not to mention that we have a new puppy to break in! Here are some of the better pictures from past seasons.

Sage, and lots of it. We love the desolate, lonely places of the bird hunt.

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Remembering Texas Quail

There was no Texas quail hunt this year for us. A 100 year drought, a new job and the bird dog up and dying kept us home. Here are a few pictures of the good old days.

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Old North Dakota Farm Truck

Sitting with the other detritus of long gone lives on a North Dakota farm is this lonely pick up truck.

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Pheasant Hunting in Regent, ND

Regent, North Dakota is a favorite pheasant hunting destination. We hunt with Cannonball Company who always does a terrific job. Pheasant numbers were down this year, as they are everywhere, but there were plenty of birds to go around.

Here is an amazing pheasant sculpture just outside of town. These are huge, the cock’s legs are probably 12 feet tall.

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Windmills on the Great Plains

Ubiquitous  on the western landscape of the bird hunter is the lonely windmill. These were silent witness to hunts in Texas, Colorado and North Dakota.

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North Dakota Schoolin’

North Dakota is our state of choice for pheasant hunting. The wonderfully desolate landscape is dotted with remnants of past lives – abandoned homesteads, equipment and my favorite . . . old school houses.

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