Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • Brad Eden

      WELCOME NEW UJ MEMBERS   06/25/2017

      It seems the word is out and UJ is enjoying a steady stream of newly Registered Members. Welcome to all of you, and we are all looking forward to your positive participation. I strongly suggest you review the Board Guidelines that have been in place since 2002. The most significant thing being that UJ is a NO POLITICS BOARD. LInk:  UJ BOARD GUIDELINES   Also UJ stays afloat mainly through Member Donations. Once a Donation is made you are placed in the Contributing Member Group with extra Priviliges. I am getting very few new Donations so hopefully this will spur that on a bit. Link:  New Members/Donations/Priviliges

Leaderboard

  1. dogrunner

    dogrunner

    2017 CONTRIBUTING MEMBER


    • Likes

      250

    • Content count

      6,415


  2. Greg Hartman

    Greg Hartman

    2017 CONTRIBUTING MEMBER


    • Likes

      194

    • Content count

      14,733


  3. Brad Eden

    Brad Eden

    Administrators


    • Likes

      179

    • Content count

      40,590


  4. Kansas Big Dog

    Kansas Big Dog

    2017 CONTRIBUTING MEMBER


    • Likes

      176

    • Content count

      6,704



Popular Content

Showing most liked content since 10/23/2017 in all areas

  1. 37 likes
    Music if you like
  2. 32 likes
    It's a weird time of the Fall for me. Last Sunday the gun deer season was running full tilt in Northern MN and Wisconsin, but with all the unseasonably warm and rainy weather early on plus other family commitments I haven't really fully scratched my grouse hunting itch. I was lamenting not being able to grouse hunt when my 9 year old suggested another course of action. "We haven't been pheasant hunting yet this year!" was his shared realization. I typically collapse all my pheasant hunting into a few late season Dakota trip now days, but sometimes we do sneak out around Thanksgiving to stretch our legs. I have heard some pretty dismal reports on bird numbers, but figured a day spent on the prairie with my son would be fun with or without birds. In MN I'm a public land only pheasant hunter. There are tons of nice little WMA's and WPA's to explore. Our first stop I hadn't been to before and it looked more like a good duck hunting destination, but I wanted to take a little steam off the dogs before we got to the places that have been good producers historically. We probably only went 200 yards before I had broke through the skim ice in the cattails and soaked both my boots. Luckily my spare pair of socks and boots were a few hundred miles away in my garage. My son was tickled pink reminding me that his feet were 'Still Nice and Dry!'. What an ingrate. The second spot was also a place I'd never been. This one looked dynamite though. A mix of prairie grass, staghorn sumac, an unpicked corn food plot all surrounded by cattail sloughs. We spent over an hour picking our way through the cover and didn't move a single bird, not even a hen. It was heading back towards the truck crisscrossing our entry path that we finally saw our first pheasant of the day. He flushed wild and by the time I got on him he was crossing near the edge of my effective range. At the shot he was absolutely stoned in the air. He hadn't even hit the ground before my son let out a large 'YES!!!!!!'. I was pretty happy not to get skunked and remain a crack shot in my sons eyes. With a bird in the bag I down shifted a bit. We found a small sporting goods store selling socks so dad could have dry feet and we made a stop at the local dairy queen for an ice cream cone to prepare us for one last push at dusk. My son has been working on his trap shooting, but was a little too slow in the grouse woods this year. I was hoping to find him a cooperative pheasant on a long thin stretch of public land bordering a slough. It was his first time carrying the gun for the duration of the hunt and there was a lot of, 'Don't shoot me in the head' talk coming from me. We talked a lot about muzzle control (even if you stumble), what an acceptable height to shoot over dogs is, and the fact that once you pull a trigger there is no taking it back. He got a chance to walk in on a few points, but we were hunting some late season public land running roosters and we didn't have any luck getting them up in front of him. My favorite part was when he told me, 'Hunting is a lot more fun when I am the guy carrying the gun. It feels like there is electricity in my chest when I walk in on a point.' That one choked me up a bit. I still feel that electricity myself and hope I always do. What you can see in the picture above is my big working shorthair on point without a collar. I got so darn excited to get my boy out I didn't even get the dogs collared up. We made do, but when we got back to truck and and unloaded the guns the old dog was nowhere to be found. I whistled and hollered until I was blue in he face. I finally loaded up the gun and walked close to where I'd last seen him. I fired into the ground hoping to bring him running, but instead it rousted a bird not 15 yards in front of me that he'd been pointing steadily the whole time. I still had a round in the chamber as I watched it fly off thinking it was a hen.....it started cackling at about 40 yards. DOHH!!! The one that got away. My son's next question was whether we could come out next weekend.
  3. 30 likes
    Today was a cold, raw day in Massachusetts, with a steady rain falling. But, nevertheless, the two nimrods strode afield in search of worthy pa'tridge to bring to hand. The trusty Springer was true to his breeding. The pa'tridge whirred overhead in an arc. "Pow!" The first barrel was way behind.... "Pow!" With the second barrel the bird somersaulted, wings and legs akimbo, crashing in a heap into a thicket on the edge of a large hemlock tract some distance away. "Dead bird Baxter! Fetch it up!" Not needing any prompting, he was there in a flash. Suddenly, before he could grab it, the "dead bird" leaped to life, thundering aloft, albeit clearly fluttering oddly, yet still strongly. "No! No! No! No! NO! NO! NO!" I yelled in disbelief, not even having had time to insert fresh shells. Baxter added his frustrated, angry barking as the bird fluttered out of sight high and into thick cover. We looked for close to an hour. Nothing. Not a feather, not a scent. I was heartbroken. Nothing like wounded and unrecovered game to haunt one's dreams for months to come.... Dejected, Baxter and I puttered off to hunt more of the cover, but my heart wasn't in it. On our way out of the cover about half and hour later I looked at Baxter and said "You know what buddy? Let's go look for that bird one more time. Sometimes...." Trudging our way back, we approached the area where we had lost sight of the bird. "Whirrrr!" The clearly impaired pa'tridge burst off a tree branch right in front of us, exhibiting the same abnormal, but still strong, flutter. "Pow!" And with that, joy reigned and Baxter had his mouthful of feathers.
  4. 28 likes
    Nelly my beloved Pointer passed this last December. We learned to hunt wild pheasants in WI. WI is not a destination state for pheasants. But will be driving from Missouri back to the badger state before WI deer hunters take over the state. Im going to take some of Nelly’s ashes back to the field where my Dad and I bagged our first ever pheasants. The field I dubbed little Iowa. It will be a very quick weekend trip. Retta has never been to WI so we shall see if she can find a rooster. However that is not what this trip is about. Gotta take my old girl back home
  5. 25 likes
    After horrible losses in the recent past I truly was not ready for a new pup. I think that is why I neglected to post puppy pictures in a more timely manner. Now it's time. Meet Captain. He was a cute little guy And a busy little guy He grew and learned things Time for his first hunt We drove twenty hours to find his first woodcock. Hunted two hours and he came up lame when we got to the motel room. Exam and x-rays showed nothing and diagnosis was growing pains.Turned around and drove twenty hours home. Thankfully it was never an issue again. Captain is now 1.5 years old. He liked his recent trip to Maine.(Pics to follow) He did very well considering his poor trainer.
  6. 24 likes
    His Maine hunt. A learning experience for both of us. We are really enjoying Captain.
  7. 23 likes
    As most know, in September I lost my sweet ESS, Piper, unexpectedly. In looking for a suitable urn for her ashes, I remembered that UJ Member Cooter Brown offers exquisite handmade urns in the Upland Artisans forum. But, his photo hosting links are broken. So, I messaged him for pictures to see what the choices are. As we were corresponding, it seems that Cooter and UJ Member GB Jack were conspiring.... You see, in a UJ auction some time ago GB Jack was the high bidder on a Cooter made urn and had never collected. In an act of generosity that floored me, GB Jack requested that Cooter make the urn for Piper. It arrived a day ago; Cooter is a master craftsman. I cannot express my gratitude to both gentlemen enough. Thank you. A more fitting final resting place for Piper simply does not exist.
  8. 22 likes
  9. 21 likes
    Sometimes it's not so much about the hunting as the going hunting
  10. 20 likes
    I have always been a fan of the movie Ferris Bueller's day off. Specifically the line: How can I possibly be expected to handle school on a day like this? A quick look at the weather report for the Berkshires--30 degrees, sunny and no wind! How can I be expected to work on a day like that? So I took a vacation day and headed out to western Massachusetts. Boo and Jem were happy to come too. I felt bad leaving Scout, who is semi retired, but she had the house to herself and didn't have to deal with the boys. The woods were beautiful with a light dusting of snow As expected, it was a spectacular day We tried a new spot we have been watching for a few years. It was empty of birds but looked very promising We also visited several of our usual spots--in these we found a few grouse and woodcock. I've never been able to figure out what this pool is. Its always filled with water, is cement and located on an old farm next to the road An old dam on a small brook "Bridge Out" cover was the last stop of the day Jem nailed a grouse here. I missed an open L-R crosser with both barrels and laughed--Jem seemed to laugh at me too.... No birds came home and we only found a few, but it was a great day in the field. Remember, Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
  11. 20 likes
    There are a lot of things I love about the upland life; the dogs, the guns, the places, but in the end it's the people I've met and the friendships I've formed that carry the most meaning. One of those people is Bill Bozwell aka Boz 03. Bill's gone through more in the past ten years or so than most of us do in a lifetime, but he's still putting one foot in front of the other. Stopped in to see him today as we passed through Ann Arbor. He was so happy to see us and hear our tales from the prairies that he was nearly in tears. He says he can't get out there anymore but our being there, and recounting our adventures made him feel like he'd made the trip himself! He says he's going grouse hunting next week, even though he can only walk a couple hundred yards! It'll mark his 59th consecutive season! He couldn't wait to show Judy his collection of mounted game birds, a couple of which he shot in Russia, of all places. Bill considers himself a pretty good bird hunter but says that in every other facet of life he's been " a little below average". If he really believes that he's an extremely poor judge of character! I think of Bill, and I do so often, and I think of one word...gentleman! He and so many others here on the UJ have enriched my life beyond measure and I thank the good Lord.....and Brad....for introducing us! My only regret is that I don't see some of my friends often enough, so next year, if we're both still tramping on the right side of the sod, I plan to spend a couple days with Bill both coming and going and I'll do my best to pretend I'm doing it for him.
  12. 19 likes
    I had not hunted the KS opening weekend out in W KS since the drought but I got a wild hair and got up early Saturday about 2 am and drove 4 hours to hunt with the orange masses. Had 2 different groups come up behind me. But, no one is finding many roosters. I did not even take a shot at a rooster. Worst I have ever seen where I hunt. Worse than the drought. What made the day was the quail which were about average. We found 5 coveys and took a bird from each covey. Both my 6 month old pups got shot over yesterday and are starting to figure it out. I'm going to go mainly for quail and work the pups. My year and a half old female Rip did well pointing and holding to my flushing 3 coveys. I hunted Jack on pheasant most of the morning, but he still found 2 coveys. Jack on a covey. Bumper picture.
  13. 19 likes
    This is Aspen, my first pup in 10 years. She’s a busy little girl, I’d forgot about how active they can be and how they need the midnight potty trips. My last two were Gordon Setters, I switched back to the English this time. I’ve got high hopes for her.
  14. 19 likes
    So, last weekend Sharon, Ted, (TNWCC) and I were hunting the "Google House" cover in Vermont. We had Scout on the ground and it was a touch breezy. As we approached the back side of the house, Scout went on a hard point looking into a tangled old hedge. As I approached to flush it for Ted and Sharon, Scout flagged and worked off further behind the house and found nothing. it happens--even to Scout. Later, as we came back towards the front of the house, I thought I saw a grouse walk away into a tangled old apple tree with branches that reach the ground. This tree is 50 yards from where Scout was pointing earlier and maybe 10 yards from the front of the house. I called Scout over but she didn't find anything--at this point Ted and Sharon were riding me about my eyesight, ability to find birds, etc.... I walked into the tangle and started kicking around and nothing flushed out. Now I was starting to think my eyesight was going too--much to the laughter of Sharon and Ted. Still I had been sure I saw a grouse walking away. As I walked back towards Ted and Sharon, I heard the fluttering of wings--not the flushing of a grouse away from me--this sound was coming from inside the house! Everyone heard it and I went in to investigate what I was sure was an owl and there was a nice grey phase grouse fluttering around inside. It flew around the room almost hitting me in the face as I stood in the window (I did not swat this one) and eventually it flew out of a hole in the roof--much to the dismay of Sharon who saw it sail out the hole and way down into the cover. I had been right!! There was a grouse!! And he took refuge from Scout and I INSIDE the house of all places!! There was much laughter at the whole episode--something I do not expect to ever see again. We may rename the cover "Grouse house" . The scene of the action (early season photo). The grouse flew out of the holes in the roof on the right. The tangle I thought I saw him in is on the left Me walking away from the scene laughing at what we just witnessed
  15. 18 likes
    It is possible that some of the best northern bobwhite quail hunting can be found in KS this year. I have heard stories and seen pictures of the whacking and stacking of the bob. I wish to rant now about this, and maybe interject a little more conservation ethic into this windfall of birds. These are the ethics I follow, which I know may differ greatly from those that come to KS for a week or so, but keep them in mind. I never hunt quail early until after they have had a chance to feed. I never hunt quail past 3:00 pm as I give them time to feed and roost. I never kill more than 3 birds from a covey, no matter the size of the covey. If I am hunting in a group and there is covey pointed, only 2 gunners shooting 2 shots. Singles are singles and only need one gunner. Never hunt the birds intentionally during periods of ice or snow. If a covey is flushed during periods of harsh weather, pull off of them immediately. It may sound as though I am sounding either "Holier than thou," or just a d!ck, but I have been an ardent Northern Bobwhite hunter for over 30 years and really have lived amoungst them most of my bird hunting life and have come to respect and realize how fragile their little lives are. I do not expect everyone, or anyone to follow the same conservative ethics I do, but please consider them in the long term interest of the bird. So far this year, my dogs have pointed over 20 coveys of 10 to 15 birds in 5 different counties. I have killed 10 birds. Now, I realize that traveling bird hunters try to get a year full of hunting in on their trip to KS, MT or where ever, but by following some of these conservation ethics, it my more insure that there will be birds for everyone to hunt next year. Now pheasants, I consider them an invasive species and you have my blessing on killing them all.
  16. 18 likes
    Don't have a ton of problems with what you have said but as a practicing quail biologist for 15 years that does active quail research (radio telemetry and harvest impact) and an avid quail hunter for 30 years I find some of your practices a little restrictive in terms of quail science. Now, if you want to practice those I am all for it, you do you. Research from across the county has shown that annual mortality of northern bobwhite is 70%-80% irrespective of hunting pressure. They are a species that just naturally has low annual survival rates. That is why they have explosive reproduction potential. Species with higher survival rates have lower reproduction potential (i.e prairie grouse). Research in Kansas has shown that coveys maintain an optimal covey size of around 11 birds during the heart of winter. Coveys with greater than this number result in birds outside of a covey circle so those "extra" birds will seek out smaller coveys to maintain that optimal covey size. Conversely, coveys of less than 11 birds will join with other coveys to achieve that optimal covey size. This work was done around Emporia, Kansas where coveys were captured and birds were experimentally removed to simulate hunting. So, the covey of 16 birds you find today and kill 2 from may not have the same members in it when you find it a week later and now has 11 birds. And we cannot assume that 3 of the remaining 14, after the original harvest, died during the ensuing week to reach 11. Covey dynamics are more fluid than most hunters believe. I guess my point is, I don't want hunters to read your self-imposed limits of taking only 3 birds from a covey and assume that is based on what the science is telling us is best for the covey as a whole. Research has found that the most detrimental impacts of hunting come from shooting birds late in the winter. Birds killed in late January and into February are more likely to be potential breeders than those killed in December. That is why many states have a late-January closing. So, in order to manage for more breeders next spring it is better to shoot fewer birds late in the season than more birds earlier. All this said, I totally respect your thoughts about not shooting coveys down all at once to just a few birds (as surviving birds may not have time to join with another covey) and not shooting late in the afternoon in cold weather. Hunting mortality being compensatory assumes that it is being done in a manner that does not cause mortality from other factors (cold weather, vulnerability to predators). Birds can be shot down on a property and local populations may be compromised with relentless hunting so use common sense and pull off of birds after shooting a few singles. That goes for travelling and local hunters. I guess I just wanted to interject some science in the discussion of the impacts of hunting on quail survival and especially the notion of shooting only 3 birds from a covey no matter the size. Yours is a personal decision and I respect that. Others may not follow that restriction, but if they hunt responsibly and treat the coveys with respect and manage harvest, their decision should be respected, too
  17. 18 likes
    Took a short 2 hour walk in the grouse woods without seeing anything. Came out to this.
  18. 18 likes
    I am way behind on this post but wanted to just recognize one of our fellow contributors here on the UJ BB as a hero. Airmedic1 here is with an Air Force helicopter rescue task force based in Nebraska. During Hurricane Harvey his team went to Houston and rescued and evacuated 1,500 people in 5 days. They then returned home for only 48 hours until they were sent to Tallahassee for Air Support there. In doing his service he missed the opening of dove season in Nebraska. I just wanted to make a shout out about his service to our country and those people he helped who might also be one of us or someone we know. Thanks Roger for all that you do for this country. Jeff
  19. 18 likes
    Two 14.5 year old Cockers, brothers from the same litter, flushed 3 pheasants for us yesterday. I bagged one, missed one. These guys have hunted together for 14 years!
  20. 17 likes
    Another grouse camp has come and gone. I managed to squirrel away 11 days in the last part of October and I had myself a ball. It started off with just my son and I. We didn't go at it as hard as usual. On our first Friday it was 78 degrees and the following day was a total washout. I drenched Clyde with the hose and even soaking wet he was hanging tongue a half mile in and my son and I weren't doing much better. Clyde managed to get two woodcock and a grouse pointed, but my son was on the trigger and they all lived to see another day. The rain delay did give me some time to putter around my Shack. I finally got around to hanging some coat hooks that have been sitting in a box gathering dust for some time now. We had a rotating cast of characters come through. Some old faces and some new. CalebJ of UJ fame also put in an appearance, but typical of me in my first time ever meeting up with UJ'er live in the flesh for some hunting (like 17 years worth), I didn't take a single picture of him and my battery must have died when I took the time to film his nice little pointer Pearl work. She was as fast as a bottle rocket without a stick and absolutely stuck grouse. I was trying to figure out a way to keep Pearl. All agreed that the bird numbers seemed to be down some in the heart of the season compared to last year, but there was still more than enough to keep a guy interested. The Woodcock were flying hard. I don't specifically focus on Woodcock cover, but they overlap in many of my grouse spots. I only shot a single Woodcock this year over my boy Clyde. This year I have saved the lions share of the shooting for his young protege Butch. Butch did not disappoint. One afternoon this little pup pointed 20 Woodcock and 8 grouse and held steady through wing shot and Fall (I did whiff manfully on all of the grouse I shot at over him that day though). If I didn't have countless rolls of video to back me up I wouldn't brag this little numb skull because I can scarcely believe it myself. If you look carefully at this shot you can see the woodcock 8 feet in front of him. Clyde is still my brag dog though. 'The Butcher' still has a long way to go even though we had a lot of fun together. One afternoon while running my old boy Clyde I crossed a beaver dam 3 miles deep into a cover and got all sorts of turned around. To tell the truth I don't know if I could even get back to the exact spot I was. What I found was something special though. Tight mixed hazel brush lining the edge of a river never getting more than head high and it was absolutely teaming with grouse. Clyde would pin them dead to rights and this is what they looked like trying to escape when I walked in on point...WHERE THE HELL IS THE COVER? I can't think of too many times where I have put a limit of grouse on the ground in such a short amount of time. I spent a lot longer just trying to find my way back to the truck with a full game bag. Remember how I said the first Friday it was darn near 80 degrees and I had hose down my dog in order to hunt? Welcome to Minnesota because this is what it looked like the following Friday when I woke up and looked outside. 6"-8" of the sticky wet stuff and 30 degrees (CalebJ's dog gus is sniffing the pee tree) A smart guy would have packed it up at this point. My high school buddy did just that. Calebj, my friend Brad and myself aren't all that smart though. We headed to a cover that you need to drive about 3 miles by 4-wheeler to get to. On the way to the cover towing trailers we got first hand views of people wiping out into the snow filled ditches. Pretty exciting. After 4-wheeling into middle of a god forsaken blizzard, we managed to get soaked to the bone in about 5 minutes of walking because every tree looked like what was pictured above. We were convinced that all the woodcock were gone, but wouldn't you know it we probably moved a dozen in the white stuff. I shot my last woodcock of the season and the first over Clyde this year that day. No pictures were taken, you'll have to take my word on it. The flat tire on the ATV at least held off until we got back to the trucks. I only spent two hours blowing frozen mud off the wheelers with my heated hose. The snow was a buzzkill. It was so heavy and sticky that it bent all the trees over snapping many of them and making the woods hard to navigate without taking loads of snow down your neck. I was hoping for a warm up. By Saturday afternoon I had the Shack back to myself and my dogs. All my buddies had headed for home. I decided I would get one last real big push in....snow be damned. I saddled up my young protege, and took him for big walk. The 15 mile kind. I never heard him yelp or complain, but about half way through he just wasn't hunting with the same enthusiasm. It wasn't even until I got home Sunday night when I felt a small lump on his chest and found a small hole. It didn't take me too much feeling around to figure out he had a stick or something in there. A $1500 surgery later he is healing up fine It was the worst of times (ok...maybe not the worst, but it did suck) Agghh....close up gore of 'The Butcher Of St. Louis County" Here is what they ended up pulling out of him....lucky it didn't penetrate the chest cavity but it was 6" from the entry hole. Thinking it was part of a big stick that snapped off. The vet thinks Butch will be back in action by the time the deer hunters are out of the woods. Besides having to wear the 'Cone of Shame' or the 'Donut of Despair' he doesn't even seem to mind.
  21. 17 likes
    The kindest two months of the season are past. Carly and pup Max in better September days on the sharp-tail country. And October. A late hatch. They might be walking south. Jailbreak on the pheasant opener morning, 10/9. Jump out of the truck and it's catch us if you can. A kocha wall. It is the Hilton of housing for pheasants. The dog's eye view. At the gunner's level. And the pay off. The benefits of the public trust. The phragmites beds that are loud and noisy for dogs and men but perfect escape cover for roosters. Cat-walking a running rooster. And the lock down. The end of October. Now they have shifted from birds to trophies. And the storms of November are coming.
  22. 17 likes
    Made my first trip to the Up of Michigan this year. My usual hunting partner could not make it this year, Montana was off the table solo and the areas I have good access in suffered from the fires. Love Maine but was itching to try somewhere new. Had some generous help from board members in general areas to explore so I felt I was was not stumbling around in the dark. My goal was to hunt an area for a cpl of days and move on to explore as much of the country as possible. I took my 4 years old Setter, 7 year old lab and my 6 month old lab. For the pup it was about learning to travel and exposing her to different types of cover. Happily it turned into more than that. I started near Newberry and had reasonable success but not the storied 5-6 flushes an hour of Michigan lore. I was a little disappointed how much leaf cover was still up and how thick and green ground cover was in most places. It was well into 60's by mid day. Walking in on points was a touchy affair and had a lot of birds go early. From Newberry headed to the Gwinn area. Was mid week and saw only a cpl of other hunters all locals. The numbers in Gwinn were better with a fair number of woodcock around as well. that may be because the covers I hit initially were pretty young and tough to hunt so I worked the edges and found birds in older evergreen at the edge of aspen or just into the aspen 10-15 yards. From Gwinn I pushed on to Felch. It was the weekend and there were a fair number of others around, though enough ground to find a place to hunt. It was near 70 again and I guess that brought out the ORV crowd as they were charging all over the place. Was a bit unnerving and had to keep close eye on the dogs. By Monday had the place to myself and started making good number of birds. Most I found were again near green in older cover esp wet cover. Trixie enjoying what appears to be UP regional favorite, such a gorgeous place why can't people pick up their trash! Chloe resting from the heat After Felch I hit the Witch Lake to Sagola area. Not many lodging options so was making the drive from Iron Mountain. I saw other hunters in town but only ran into one other while hunting. There were more Woodcock in the area than I had seen in the others and they were fun though i was pretty focused on Grouse. Not a snob about it but we have plenty of Woodcock in Va. The Woodcock were a good opportunity for some bird exposure for the pup though and there were a few wet covers where they were thick. I did not shoot any birds she did not seem to be actively scenting and that were flushing wild as she romped. She did finally seem to be really working scent and when bird flushed I shot it for her. Her first wild bird unfortunately she looked back at me after the shot and I had to encourage her into to the area of the fall it took her a bit but she did come up with it. The game of keep away followed for a few minutes but all good force fetching will tidy that up, for now it was about contact. I won't say much more about this areas as I had help from members on getting into productive areas and don't want to betray that confidence. Its a big area and if you cover the miles you will find them. Typical crop I was considering pushing further West but I had good numbers where I was and I assumed the cover would be similar and I wanted to see more of the UP variety so I headed towards Rapid River. Found some great covers there with good bird numbers. Check out this crop! Met a young guy hunting with his girlfriend and a very handsome GSP. He was traveling around and suggested I not over look the Mid Eastern area of the UP. If your reading this thanks for that hint. My contact rate in the East was much higher and allowed me to get the pup quite a lot of exposure. It really got her working cover hard. She is so young her stamina is not great yet and that along with the heat made me keep it to short sessions but they were very productive. The goofy puppy look. And her big sister All in all a great trip met some nice folks, explored some cool covers. I was surprised how low lying and boggy much of the UP is. I don't find it is as scenic as Maine but my legs appreciated the relatively flat land especially in the heat. Though along the lakes the views are amazing. Took me a while to get on to birds in consistent way. Always takes me a few days to remember that if your not making birds its time to work different cover, the Aspen stands in the UP are so beautiful was hard to get myself out of them, but for me at least they were not so productive. If the stories of this being less than great year are true Id love to be there in a truly great year. Thanks to those who helped make this a success.
  23. 16 likes
    I posted these in the upland photography forum, but I figured I would drop them here also. Here are a few pics from my recent trip west. We have a good time, some pheasants, a ton of quail. If you look close, you might see a UplandJurnal make a few appearances...
  24. 16 likes
    Unfortunately I walk away from this mid season review feeling a little cheated. October, normally my favorite month of the year was unusually hot and the lack of rain kept the leaves on the trees until late into the month. October Jungle Despite the summer temperatures and heavy cover we carried on and on occasion was rewarded for all the blood, and sweat. FieldGrade and Chloe with a hard earned Ruff Finally in early November the cold wind and rain transformed the coverts into something more enjoyable to hunt. The old farms exposed themselves again reminding me of the stout folk that tried to make a living on these old mountains. We took advantage of these precious days as much as possible not knowing when the snows will come and end our season. This spot always seems to hold a ruff or two. The spoil pile is large and shaped in an oval very unusual in this area. due to various commitments I often have to stay close to home so do take some time to chase the stocked pheasants in PA. The birds seem quite spread out with the abundant food and we cover allot of ground for just a glimpse of ole ruff. On occasion, bird, dog and gun come together and complete the circle To be continued I hope.
  25. 16 likes
    Spent the day in the New England uplands with this riffraff. Shot two woodcock and a pa'tridge.
  26. 15 likes
    I told my 16 year old son last evening that deer are in full rut and if he wants one he better leave the girl down the road alone and spend some time in the field. I have only got him to go out a couple times this season, without even seeing a deer. I get home from work after dark now so I told him he should be hunting our river bottom after school. Technically he's still not supposed to hunt without an adult, but how many of us oldsters hunted alone and with friends as teens? He took his first deer at 7 and I feel comfortable with him hunting 100 yards from the house. But being a teen he took it a step further and hunted one of our stands in an in-laws river bottom after school today. About dark-thirty I get his text pic of a buck down. I was almost home and got there in a few minutes. He had went all in: put two doe in rut scent sticks out, sprinkled a half bottle of hot scrape on a faux scrape, and put out a brick of acorn rage. He said this buck was with 7 doe and he called him away with a doe bleat. Once he caught scent of all the crap he spread he came right to the faux scrape, and he shot him over it. He only went about 40 yards. He would have been a 9 point but one was broken off, a full bodied deer. He field dressed it himself and we hung it in the deer cooler. With my buck weekend before last, it's been a good hunting season for our family. I even saw our cat caught a mouse tonight.
  27. 15 likes
    Hit the hills with a fellow UJer! Hit and miss at time.... sure hard to catch all the right stuff with a camera! Enjoy!
  28. 15 likes
    So late yesterday I decided I'd try one last hunt before the deer season starts Saturday. I've made some bad decisions in my life. This was NOT one of them. I took Betty to work with me and headed out to the closest cover I could hit. It just so happened it was the best cover this year in terms of holding birds. It didn't hold the most but we always flushed birds there. I entered the cover differently then the few times I hunted it prior. I decided I'd wait to see how many Doodles we'd flush before shooting at any. If I moved 3 or 4 and still had some cover available I'd shoot at a few. I didn't want to be the guy that shot the last bird in MN for the year. Betty was a total rock star. She finally did what I knew she could all along. She wasn't perfect but she was close. She has always found birds but hasn't found a lot in a relatively short period of time. In 1.5 hours she had 10 points. Most of them happened in the last 30-40 minutes of the hunt. It was fast, furious, and awesome. Two were grouse and I did my part on both. She pointed 6 Doodles and I only bagged one but the first three got a free pass. She did have 2 unproductives. We flushed another 5 or 6 Doodles wild. I was a little surprised to move that many Doodles given we've had some snow lately and a little colder weather. MY shooting was far from perfect on the Doodles but going 2 for 2 on pointed grouse felt pretty darn good. Both birds were red phase. One was a male and the other a female. The male is a big, big, bird. The female was as well. I aged her as a juvenile but her size made me think maybe I was wrong. I am so proud of her and happy for Betty. She hunts hard every time out and given Chip's injury she was the main dog but it's been a hard year to find birds. I was so happy see her put it all together. It may be our last hunt of the year as there are no guarantees after deer season that we can get out. If not it's OK because it was easily the best hunt of the year. Here are a few pics: A few WC points: The fruits of her labor: A Female (left) and male (right). The male is big: Head shots: My beautiful setter girl: Crop contents (female): crop contents (male): I found this on my way into a WC point. Is this a hazelnut?
  29. 15 likes
    Well, I finished on a high note to a really dismal weather season, and with all the loss due to rain, WNV, and the impending snow starting tonight , I think I’m gonna call it a season. It’s the fewest birds I’ve ever shot in a season, did t even pull the trigger on a woodcock ( just didn’t need to this year for some odd reason), but I walked further than I was able to the last two seasons. Dropping weight getting ready for my hiP replacements this coming spring.managed to shoot a massive bronze grouse tail and ruff , last Saturday, been exactly seven years since that has happened. I think next season will be better , but I think I paused a lot more this year, appreciated more, bitched less, and I’ll have a new dog in two weeks to work next season. Here’s some shots from the year.
  30. 14 likes
    Luna came to me last December. For the kennel that owned her she wasn't maturing fast enough and had some quirks. It was a kind gesture to replace a tragic loss of my dog. She had almost zero training, had never been shot over, etc. This year we've worked on obedience, pattern, and steady to flush, shot, and fall. She has an excellent nose, good flush, and strong drive. She is a TERRIBLE marker. She watches me not the bird, which I believe will be corrected in time with more bird contacts. When she does retrieve she has a nice mouth and delivery. Upland season opened in Illinois today. Normally I would have hunted my top dog Web today but he's prepping for the National Open Championship in a couple of weeks. Which meant Luna was up. We hit the field and she was off. The cover was THICK, she found a hen fairly quickly which she really liked. About 40 yards later a rooster flushed ahead, folded it with the first shot. On the shot a wild flush to my right and behind. I missed. Sent Luna on the retrieve of the first bird. She couldn't find it. We looked for quite awhile but nothing. I figured it was wounded and dug into the thick cover and this inexperienced dog had no idea where to look. Crossed the creek, Luna worked cover but still wasn't sure what she was looking for. She flushed a rooster, I hit him lightly, he went down at the end of the cover. Time for Luna to go to school. And schooled she was. Went to the area, she made game a few times but didn't trust her nose. The bird was running back where we came from near the edge. She made game several times but he flushed wild far out of range. We walked cover along the creek so I switched to steel shot just in case we jumped some ducks off of the creek. Sure enough a group of Woodies went up. Scratched one done that landed across the creek behind thick cover. Luna crossed the creek on a blind retrieve. She searched but came up with nothing, I knew it was down. We found a place to cross the creek. About 50 yards from where the duck went down, Luna snapped to the left and pulled him out of the cover. He ran up the treeline and she found him even though she was downwind. Working back through the cover I wanted to look one more time for the downed rooster. Luna was busting through the thick cover and then came out and acted like "Look what I found". Being that I had another commitment at a field trial I had to call it a day. But it was the first opening day that I had a duck thrown in for a mixed bag. With more exposure I think Luna will work out just fine.
  31. 14 likes
    We just got home from a long journey to chase my first grouse in the great state of Maine. Months ahead of the trip I poured over this forum for old posts that might point me in the right direction. I was very fortunate. I corresponded with a few members who offered up valuable help.. I found out we would be in the same area as Bmeador. We wrote back and forth and made plans to meet up.Very lucky for me. Bmeador had been to this area before and was willing to get me pointed in the right direction..On his second or third day he invited me to hunt with him and did not mind walking behind my young, inexperienced flushing dog.On his first spot my pup had put up three grouse in the first 10-15 minutes. My pup Captain and I collected our first with Bmeador's help and I admit I enjoyed having a witness to the event. Later in the day we had some beautiful woodcock points from Bmeador's pointer.It had been a few years since I had shot a pointed bird.. The day flew by..We swapped war stories of our Alaska guiding days and walked till we had enough. A very enjoyable day and much appreciated. Thank you Bmeador. Also want to thank NW River Mac. He graciously got on the phone with me and we talked about areas and went over some maps. His valuable advice of 'just keep walking' was spot on. Salmontogue offered up help but the hurricane threw my timing off and I never got back in touch with him. Hopefully his assistance will still be available for future trips. UJ was a valuable resource for making this trip a success. Some great people on this site. Thank You , Dave
  32. 14 likes
  33. 14 likes
    Kate's done with trials until spring and we'll be trying to let her see some wild birds soon. I'm ecstatic with the results from her short rookie season. Only two puppy stakes this fall but she won both of them. Rocky Mountain Springer Spaniel Association and Sportsmen's Spaniel Club of Illinois were the trials she entered this year. Todd Agnew of Craney Hill Kennels and his lovely wife Chris of Christina Power Photography get all the thanks and credit for her new hardware collection.......oh, and my wife, Pat, for picking the one with the blue eyes and white tip on her tail......
  34. 14 likes
    Best "high end" equipment I ever bought was two new legs for my little boy we adopted from China. $30k worth of aluminum, titanium, fiber glass, and $25 pair of shoes. But my formerly crippled boy can do cool things like this. Yep that's the best $$$ I ever spent.
  35. 13 likes
    "Yes! One shot and down".
  36. 13 likes
    This morning was my 12 year old daughter's second deer hunt. She had a doe tag for the Kaibab in northern Arizona. Most people road hunt up there, but I really don't like road hunting especially with kids. It hasn't rained in about 2 months so I planned on putting her on a trick tank, where I know that she would have done quite well. However we got away from the house about 20 minutes late so it was already light by the time we got to the field. About a half-mile from the trick tank, out in the middle of nowhere, a big old doe stood on the side of the hill. We stopped and quietly got out and set up. I adjusted the bipod height so that she could scope the deer properly, then told her to take her time and shoot when ready. I guess she didn't hear the last part, because about a minute later, she tapped my leg and quietly asked if she could shoot. She squeezed of the shot and then it was photo time! She said that she was trying to smile without freezing to death.
  37. 13 likes
    Niki and Nate are almost 6 months and I have been having a good time with them. I usually don't get my pups into birds until they are at least 6 months. I work on socialization, obedience, kennel and crate training, house breaking and basically let them be pups. This is this afternoon, Nate in the front, his mom Lass and my weiner dog Worf on the floor. Niki is across the room on a dog bed chewing on a kong. . Niki Nate Got Nate into a covey of wild birds yesterday, he had no idea and when they flushed, it startled him. But he came back and got a snootful where they had been coveyed up.
  38. 13 likes
    Thanks to all for the advice on taking the untrained, young bird dog out in field despite her lack of bird exposure. Being a year old setter that has been exposed only to wild birds and flushes, yet to find her point and a far cry from being steady, this guy takes his pup out as i always have done, only carrying his new gun hoping for the best. Now one month later, the seasoned bird dog is gone, a pup has entered the woods and emerged a well started Gundog. Tess has found her point, runs with head high and will hold a point long enough to get a shot. Sometimes we'll just let her hold it until she breaks, usually about 30ish seconds before she wants a closer look. She even retrieves woodcock. I couldn't be prouder. The prospect of a lost season has been salvaged by a young dog with desire to hunt and your advise to get that dog out, and start bonding. For those that find themselves in a similar situation, don't underestimate the power of good breeding and letting your dog do what it was born to do. Thanks again.
  39. 13 likes
    First off, thank you to everyone who has been helping me along as I've worked to train my FBECS Scout over this past year. Some of the poor recall that I was dealing with earlier this summer has been largely resolved. His prey drive is strong and he is eager to please. Over the past two weeks I've had Scout out for a few hunts near home with a few flushes but, I've been rather selective on my shots to try ensure that he is connecting the excitement of the flush with a bird in his mouth. Well yesterday evening I took him out for a couple hours to see what we could push up. 30 minutes in, we jumped a woodcock but it flew to close to the dog for a shot. We bumped it again and I connected. Scout quickly got to work finding it...it took him a few passes to find it but he did. What a thrill to take our first bird together! You can see the bird next to him in the grass: After placing the little bird in my bag, I started the 40 or so yards toward the trail, where just before reaching it the unmistakable thunder of a grouse launching came from right above my head giving a straight away shot. Bird fell and Scout was right on it. First grouse in the bag! 20 minutes later another grouse exploded from under a spruce tree giving a nice open shot which connected. Shortly thereafter I missed one at which point it was time to head down the trail back toward the car. Just as I started on to the trail, I heard the rustle of a grouse getting out from under some brush before launching. Shot connected followed by Scout finding the bird quickly. With four birds in the bag, half hour of daylight left and a mile to the car, we started happily walking back together. What a thrilling day to be working a young, learning dog!
  40. 13 likes
    I'm glad I'm not a working biologist responsible for reporting bird population predictions. The biologist made some interesting observations at end of the article. Basically that as a resident hunter himself, there were plenty of bird to hunt if you put in the time. That reminds me of a point I've made time and time again when someone asks me about bird numbers in Maine; that expectations are much different for a traveling hunter spending vacation time, a lot of money on food and lodging etc., than a resident bird hunter.
  41. 12 likes
    After about 15 or 20 hours spread out over the past few weeks sitting in a stand watching his does and waiting for him, look who decided to show up this afternoon! Not my heaviest deer (I think he'll go 165) but certainly my nicest rack and first wall hanger!
  42. 12 likes
    I went to work this morning.Heard there was snow on the mountain. Work can wait.
  43. 12 likes
    In order to allow a series of photos to more or less tell the story, I'll make this short.... I planned a hunt for Tuesday evening through Saturday morning (14th-18th). I decided to take a bird dog (Cash) with me since I'd be close to some pheasants, but I'd have to board him for a couple nights while I hunted deer. I adjusted my planned schedule around the boarding arrangements. I would hunt with Cash Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning then board him Wednesday and Thursday night so I could hunt deer Wednesday evening through Friday morning. If I managed to kill a buck, Cash and I would hunt pheasants Friday evening and Saturday morning before driving home. I knew that I probably should have just left the bird dog home since a buck in country I'd never hunted was unlikely enough without taking time out to hunt pheasants. We hunted roosters some and I deer hunted very little since I killed a buck the first evening that I hunted. I should have killed a few more roosters and maybe should have hunted deer a little longer, but my wingshooting skills suck and the buck looked good to me even if he's by no means a BIG mule deer. We came home a day early to deal with deer meat and cut back on hotel costs. Finn staying close while I load gear (he did not get to go) 20171114_065020 by riverbottomstaxidermy, on Flickr Single tailless rooster Tuesday evening 20171114_160159 by riverbottomstaxidermy, on Flickr Where's your bed Dad? 20171114_193658 by riverbottomstaxidermy, on Flickr Sunrise Wednesday morning. No roosters photos due to poor shooting skills. 20171115_065746 by riverbottomstaxidermy, on Flickr Mars or mule deer country? 20171115_150332 by riverbottomstaxidermy, on Flickr I glassed this guy chasing does at about 4:15 PM. I made a hurried dash through a couple coulees so I could come up downwind and behind a knob that I could peek over for a closer look and possible shot. I may have rushed the decision, but I was happy with the outcome. 20171115_164910 by riverbottomstaxidermy, on Flickr 20171115_165521 by riverbottomstaxidermy, on Flickr 20171115_165715 by riverbottomstaxidermy, on Flickr Cash and I back at it. Cash is pointing in there somewhere, but the hard hunted birds were running like mad. 20171116_104722 by riverbottomstaxidermy, on Flickr Cash after finding a runner that I thought we'd lost 20171116_111632 by riverbottomstaxidermy, on Flickr I'll take a break if you are taking photos, but I ain't putting this guy down Resized_20171116_111641 by riverbottomstaxidermy, on Flickr I'm pretty sure these are old planters or wheat drills 20171116_115754 by riverbottomstaxidermy, on Flickr Another rooster for Cash or should I just call him The Man. 20171116_115938 by riverbottomstaxidermy, on Flickr Thursday's two roosters 20171116_123536 by riverbottomstaxidermy, on Flickr 20171116_123640 by riverbottomstaxidermy, on Flickr Evening hunt 20171116_161850 by riverbottomstaxidermy, on Flickr 20171116_161658 by riverbottomstaxidermy, on Flickr 20171116_164929 by riverbottomstaxidermy, on Flickr Not quite a turkey spur 20171116_171835 by riverbottomstaxidermy, on Flickr Friday morning. There's a muley buck hiding in the trees there. 20171117_081555 by riverbottomstaxidermy, on Flickr 20171117_090755 by riverbottomstaxidermy, on Flickr First rooster of the morning came from this grass just the other side of the trees to the left 20171117_090801 by riverbottomstaxidermy, on Flickr Last rooster of the trip. If I'd have been prepared I could have had a double here and a limit of birds for the day. 20171117_101523 by riverbottomstaxidermy, on Flickr Two for the day 20171117_105240 by riverbottomstaxidermy, on Flickr
  44. 12 likes
  45. 12 likes
  46. 12 likes
    Picked up Bräts this weekend and couldnt be happier with him. He’s sweet, very buddy, and I think he will end up being a nice dog for my wife and I. let me preface this picture by saying no dog other than the late Dottie has ever laid in this chair, not even my current Labrador. After being in our house for two days , my wife sent me this pic. Beought back a whole lotta feelings , this was downright eerie.
  47. 12 likes
    Field trials and warm weather took up the first half of my fall, and I also had to deal with youth sports on Saturdays through October. So, I've been trying to get after it a bit more the last few weeks. I have a few young dogs that haven't gone through a hunting season yet, and I strongly believe that hunting is a huge advantage for trialing dogs. There has been a lot of talk about numbers being down, and then the snow being a negative. My experience locally has been pretty poor as well, but a bit further north it has been the opposite. My flush numbers have been about 4 birds per hour, and I've seen enough Woodcock to keep it interesting. My shooting has been suspect at times, but this past Sunday I had maybe the best hunt of my life. A little over three hours of hunting and I was walking out with a limit of Grouse and a couple of late woodcock too. I lost count of Grouse flushes, but it had to be around 20. I even flushed a couple while walking out at the end. Interestingly, three times I had group flushes of 2-3 birds. It seems awfully late in the year for that. Anyway, here are some of the pictures I've taken of this fall.
  48. 12 likes
    Opening day six coveys, wild birds and one nice shed!
  49. 12 likes
    Spike, my two year old English Cocker and my Fox I had restocked.
  50. 11 likes
    Last summer my son Ethan and I both put in for a cow elk draw in an area that has about a 3% chance of drawing. It was his first time trying to draw for elk, so of course he hits the jackpot the very first time. We spent the summer scouting the elk herds in the area, and spent the early fall hunting blue grouse while keeping an eye on the elk. His hunt opened last Tuesday, so we headed up to the hunt unit on Thursday night and set up the pop-up trailer in order to be ready first thing Friday morning. First thing Friday morning, on the way to our glassing area, we jumped five or six cows. We knew where they were heading so we moved to cut them off, when a furious blizzard rolled in. Winds were close to 40 mph on the ridges and visibility was shut down to about 25 yards. We tried to hunt the protected holes, but didn't see another elk on Friday. Saturday morning we went to a different glassing area and located three different herds before 9:30. We determined which herd Ethan wanted to try and headed out. The location of the herd required a pretty good stalk, and Ethan did great. We got to about 125-150 yards on a high knob and Ethan put a perfect shot through both lungs. The cow elk went right down, but it was on a fairly steep mountain and she rolled about 150 yards straight downhill. Ethan did his share to field dress it, bone out the hind quarters, and pack the elk out. The only downside was that the pack out was about 1.5 miles with 1,100 ft. of elevation gain. We got the first load out by 6:30 pm on Saturday before another snow storm hit. We then went back in Sunday morning to pack out the rest. All in all a very good time! Ethan preparing his shot: Ethan's first elk: Getting ready to pack out the first load:
×