Mark Mitchell and Gary Dodillet started their week of a right with a pheasant hunt on a gorgeous Monday morning. Mac and Sol got first crack at the birds in the Clubhouse Field, but had a tough time holding down the running fowl. The hunters picked up a few pheasants and I headed back to get Hildy and Ava. With some extra walking the girls were able to find and point the rest of the pheasant, including a triple rooster rise, where two roosters dropped.
Les Lamont set up a quail hunt for his buddies, Cody Comstock, Chuck Byers, and Roger Kingery. Les brought along his german shorthair, Ben to find the coveys of quail hidden around the Cabin Field. They hunted the north edge of the timber finger to hide from the gusty south wind. They had some nice rises and started to knock down 3 or 4 on the flush toward the end. They got back to their trucks just as it started to downpour ending their hunt just in time.
Mike and Greg Johnson came down for their annual upland bird hunting trip at Sandy Run. The first afternoon they hunted chukar at the Cabin Field behind Jeff Powells’ dogs. The chukar worked well in the prairie edges, but were a little tough in the milo strips. That evening I fried up some chicken and potatoes for dinner and woke them up with eggs and bacon for breakfast. Gusty winds and fast moving storm front greeted them the next morning just in time to hunt some pheasant. Colton Wilkins brought up his pair of dogs to try to herd the running pheasants into flying in the Clubhouse Field. The birds were not playing fair in the 30 mph winds, running and flushing ahead of the dogs and hunters. But they were able to harvest a few and a stray quail.
Jay Kidd set up a pheasant hunt for his family. They traveled from Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania to meet in Illinois for some small game hunting. On this Friday they decided to hunt some pheasants at Sandy Run. Steve Sanders got his two pointers and lab out of his kennel to find the big birds I set out in the milo and prairie strips in the Tinkerfarm Field. The milo strips are still overly thick and getting the birds was a challenge on the north side. The prairie strips to the south were better and the hunters cleared that field to end the hunt.
Brent Geiler, Kevin Crain and Gary Miselbrook came out with their brittanys to hunt some chukar partridge. They hunted the East Bottom where I had set out some single and double sets of chukar in the prairie strips and ditch. The dogs found all the chukar plus some extra quail .
Randy and Jody Perkins came down to run their setter, Jesse on some quail and chukar getting her tuned up for the season. Gene, Randy’s dad came along to help with the harvest. They hunted the prairie strips in the East Bottom for two mornings, giving Jesse a bunch of early season work. They had a few chances on stray pheasant and finally connected on a rooster the second morning.
Larry Jones came out with his brittany, King and pointer, Ike for their first quail hunt of the year. Jimmy Robinson brought out his two new puppies, Zeke and Pete, for their first hunt. I put some 4 and 5 bird coveys in the East Bottom Prairie strips and they took the dogs in pairs to point them. I had a chance to video one of the rises, but didn’t get to see the puppies work, next hunt.
Jack Krackenberger came down to enjoy a local dog trial and then came looking for some shooting bird action. I set out a few mini-coveys of quail in the East Bottom Field and got Hildy and Ava to find them. We had a couple of good rises and a few good shots, a bit of good dog work and fun hunt.
Mark Perkowski set up an upland bird hunt for his son, Blake Rabon and friend Michael Breen. He brought along the chocolate lab, Roy to find the pheasant, quail and chukar I hid in the South Tinkerfarm Field. This was Michael’s first upland bird hunt and he was nails on the pheasant and chukar, but the quail were a different story. They cleaned out that field and headed to the Cabin Field to try to find some of the quail they left behind two days before, but the birds were still not leaving the thick cover.
Spencer Patton came out with his young setter, Flip and his buddy Brent Geiler, who brought his Brittany, Tucker to hunt some chukar. This was Spencer’s first hunt with his new dog and she did well, both dogs working together found the chukar and a couple of stray quail. Just as his pitching season ends in game 6 of the Japan Series in less than a week his hunting season begins at Sandy Run.