North Dakota Pheasant and Duck Hunting
Greta & Ian (13 Yrs Old -2008) Youth Hunting Weekend in North Dakota
Hunting has been a tradition in our family every since I can remember. Growing up in central Minnesota on a small dairy farm allowed our family to hunt waterfowl and upland game every fall.
Hunting is just not about shooting, but the whole experience such as: nature, friends, dogs, laughter, and enjoying the great outdoors sometimes against the elements.
This picture shows my 13 year old son Ian and Greta the yellow lab during the ND Youth Hunting Weekend. Ian is pictured with a mallard that he shot with his 20 guage and Greta retrieved for him. Ian was able to hunt both ducks and pheasant during the Youth Pheasant season.
2010 15 Yr Old Ian - Last Youth ND Pheasant Season
During the last 4 years, Ian has participated in the Youth Hunting season in N.D. As he has turned 15, this was his last year.
Our goal was to get him his first pheasant. He has had opportunities over the years, but the smart upland game bird as always eluded him. He found it easier to shoot ducks when you can see them coming into the decoys or pothole jumping. I kept reminding Ian that it isn't all about the kill. He has gotten much better at learning some of the subtle tricks and working/watching a dog. Ian was able to go by himself part of the time while I drove the truck around and then would walk out to meet him halfway. I sat on a hill watching him working the edge of a picked bean field along a swamp. He was not just walkiing, but hunting which included directing the dog. Ian really enjoyed "going solo" with the dog. What a big difference it is from a 12 year old to a 15 year old.
We had seen birds that night before in this bean field, so I knew they would be on the edge eating beans the next morning.
After walking for about 15 minutes, Greta the dog flushed 3 birds and Ian shot 3 birds in 3 shots in about 10 minutes. Finally the slump was over. Plus all 3 birds landed in the cattails/weeds and Greta found them all. Brought them back out to us, sat, and then dropped the birds into our hands. Ian had a big smile on his face and one proud papa. Just what being a dad is all about.
I tell Ian to unload his gun. He says why? He forgot that the daily limit was 3. Done after a 25 minute walk, but 4 years in the making.
Even 80 Year Olds Can Still Shoot
Pictured is my Dad Ralph who got my brother and I involved in hunting as a young boy. As we grew older, he would volunteer to milk the cows and do the chores so that we could go hunting.
Even though his body does not move like in his younger years, he was still able to shoot a couple of birds as an 80 year old. Just don't ask him to walk in the cattails or swamps. He says that is what young people are for. He does the easy posting from the gravel road while we walk the cattails near the road.
Raph is currently 85 and still makes a regular trip up to North Dakota even though he no longer hunts.
Thanksgiving Day Roosters
Thankfully our wonderful brides understand that Thanksgiving week is for hunting and enjoying the bounties of the land.
Back at camp after an afternoon of Pheasant Rooster hunting. Beautiful weather, great dogs, excellent hunting partners, and some good shooting allowed us to enjoying Thanksgiving Turkey (pheasant).
Pictured left to right: Wiley the dog, Brian, Todd, Bob, Tom, Brady, & Dennis.
Hunting with the "Young Bucks"
Beautiful day of pheasant hunting with the "Young Bucks" Ages 50 - 81. Even though the eyes and legs might get a little weak with age, they can still shoot accurately at a cock rooster in full color.
Back Row: Phil and my Dad Ralph (81)
Fron Row: Dennis, Ken, Don
Late Season Pheasant Hunting - Watch out for the deep snow.
Snow blows and blows across the open land in the Dakotas. It seems to only stop in groves, ditches, towns, and swamps.
Pictured below Gunner the dog (on left) and hunting partner Dave who decided to walk across a ditch without knowing how deep it was. You will notice that Gunner is having a tough time getting out even though he is a large yellow lab.
See the Video: Dave in the Ditch Pheasant Hunting
Don "Can you see me?"
Every hunting group needs at least one member who can really "talk the bull" and that would be Don the native North Dakotan. Don is pictured in a ND pothole with a couple of mallards that he "uglied" as he would say.
Mallards, Mallards, Everywhere
Don, Tom, and Dennis are pictured after a succussful day hunting mallards in late October. The mallards where shot from a variety of potholes in the middle of harvested fields.
Red Sky in the Morning Means the Ducks Must Fly
Early morning in North Dakota field hunting for ducks. This picture was taken about 10 minutes before sunrise.
Field Hunting for Ducks
A beautiful picture with Tom retrieving a mallard that he shot as the sun was rising in the east. This picture has been lightened.
A Successful Hunt for Canada Geese
A successful morning field hunting with decoys for Canada Geese. Expert calling (?) brought in 6 groups of geese into our decoys in the middle of a picked cornfield.
Pheasant Scratch Pile and Pheasant Tracks
Life is hard on the North Dakota prairie in the winter. Pictured above is an area in a picked bean field where the pheasants have scratched away the snow in their search for food. Where there is food & cover, there will be pheasants found in the winter time. All of the marks in the snow are pheasant tracks that were made in 3 days since the last snow fall.
The Long Walk Back to the Truck in Late December
Pictured in the lower left of the picture (dots in white field under the horizon) is my brother Dennis and friend Bob along with their two dogs (Wiley & Molly). They have just finished hunting a cattail swamp on the lower right and now must walk across a snow covered field back to the road to be picked up.
Greta Retrieving a Duck
Greta is retrieving a green wing teal for Ian from a pothole in North Dakota. It was a shallow pothole located beside a field road in the prairie pothole region of North Dakota.
If you would, please do a quick log or rating in my guestbook. Thanks, Anthony