|The Merkel 147SL With A Very Appropriate Sidelock Engraving.|
This is the last weekend for the pheasant and dove season so I wanted to take my last shot at a rooster. Despite his hectic schedule, Ed finally made it afield with me and Kaiser. He arrived at my place just after 4am and we made our mad dash south. We made it just before legal shooting time and prepared for the day. Within the first few minutes we flush with the Rover a couple quail along the river. There was no sense in pursuing them as they ran into a impenetrable fortress of brush. A good sign.
We worked several fields with Kaiser giving us two points but produced no flushes. The birds must have run on him. Driving to some new areas for me, I was beginning to see more hunters in this area than I have ever seen. With the mercury rising we found a field of shallow alfalfa around 11am. Within this area were a flock of large unidentified shorebirds, Kaiser began to get bridy, thinking that these were the cause I half assed my way toward him. As the large flock flushed so did a cock pheasant. It took a few moments for my brain to process the information and finally took the first shot at about 40 yards. In all the excitement I miss about two feet behind the bird. This caused me to overcompensate with the second and the bird flew never to be seen again.
With the heat increasing we took a siesta and had lunch which allowed Kaiser to cool down and rest. I really can't stand this SoCal weather. Its December and it feels like the opener for dove season. After lunch we worked the other side of the same field that the rooster flushed. As Kaiser started to slow down and work more methodically a hen flushed before me. As we watched to fly away, we began to walk further and a rooster flushed to the right of Ed and he took his first shot. I saw the bird buckle and appeared to start gliding downward only for a moment and the bird began to lift again. Ed took another shot but failed to bring the bird down. As I watched that bird fly away another rooster took flight in front of me and in a panic I wildly shot my first barrel. I calmed myself and took a proper bead on the bird and took him down with the second shot. Kaiser gave chase. It was fun to see the bird and Kaiser play cat and mouse as the cock tried to elude him. But eventually Kaiser gets his man.
|Kaiser's First Pheasant Retrieve.|
This is Kaiser's first taste of pheasant and I'm sure it was sweet. He has been on pheasants several times but I've never been able to connect with them. I've always felt guilty about it but I finally got him his bird. While Kaiser was retrieving the pheasant two hens flushed in front of Ed but of course he had no shot.
|The One Inch Spurs.|
We worked another nearby field without any success. This was the field that the hens that flushed in front of Ed landed but even these birds seemed to have disappeared.
|Just Some of the Magnificent Feathers of this Asian Import.|
Most of the day proved difficult. We tried our luck on ducks, quail and doves. We saw all of them but proved difficult. We managed to see a widgeon in a canal and after giving Ed some bismuth rounds he made a stalk. Unfortunately the area proved a poor area to make a stalk and the bird flushed out of shotgun range.
|We Wait For Dove.|
Convinced I could get some doves for Ed, we worked a few productive areas. The first was a bust. The second was already occupied and we needed to work in a nearby area. While there were several doves in the area none were within the shotgun range of Ed's Browning. I had one which I hit, creating a big puff of feathers. Despite this, the bird only flinched turned around and kept flying. That was it for us and in typical fashion with us while we were packing up several ducks and doves flew overhead. Typical. These roosters are now safe from Kaiser and I until next year.