Saturday, November 14, 2009

Pheasant hunt opening day

Davis, California - 8am Saturday, November 14th. Weather clear with a gentle easterly wind blowing across the fields.

Opening day of pheasant hunting season in


Eight local folk and I gathered around our pick up trucks at one of the farm houses outside this Central California town at 7:30 am. There was an anticipation of what kind of hunt was to be on this crisp fall morning.

I won't try and explain hunting a field for upland birds in this post.

This was my first time ever of actual wild bird hunting. I was following the lead of my friend Ken on what to expect and how the hunt was run.

Team effort of men and dogs to hunt pheasant in these large fields makes it work.

Over the last two years I have envisioned this day. When we got Chloe in late summer of 2007, the breeder and I talked about hunting upland birds.

It was not until this morning that I got to experience a wild pheasant hunt.

Very seldom in life does reality and a vision of what something will be like match.

This morning with the warm sun on my face and wind blowing the fresh scents of the fields to me, I felt very comfortable in this environment. Something genetic must reawaken from hunting.

The dogs running back and forth looking for birds in a open field while men whose ages covered several generations walked and talked. The rest of life was put on hold for those few hours.
No one brought back a bird to feed the family, but that is not important in this modern world.

What was important to me was that I felt the soil beneath my boots and that I found that connection to the hunter that is in most of us.

Bailey couldn't join in the group hunt. He is too young and inexperienced to help. Next year, I had to tell him. After the hunt, we did work Bailey in some fields. He flushed a pheasant in an alfafa field too far away.

It was a great morning. One I will always remember.


Radar Red Dog said...

Sounds like you had a fantastic time. I loved your descriptions...just like I was there! Looking forward to meeting you next weekend - what a shame Radar can't come too! Juliet

mthomas said...

Nice duds, Rod.