December 6, 2008, 09:23 PM
My son got the OK from the MD last week so today we went pheasant hunting. It is a state area, which in Il, means pen raised birds. The temp was 36, snow showers, and 15-25 mph wind WSW. Not ideal but the area we wanted drops down to the Kankakee river and we hunted a flat before the final river bank. First the important parts. My brother and I never had to tell him to watch his muzzle, he was rather paranoid about it which is a good start. The shotgun never went boom unless it was supposed to. He had a orange knit hat with face mask, orange baseball style hat, and orange watchcap. He carried all three and switched between them depending on wind exposure, how hard he was working and the weed hight, the tall ones tended to pull the knit hats off. With the wind and the snow I thought the birds would hold tight, the birds,however, thought they were wide receivers. You could see the things sprinting. We kept the dogs, labs, tight and eventually the birds ran out of cover one rooster jumped about 15 yds from my son, wings popping and cackling like Hillary. The rooster went up and did the pheasant pause before leveling off. My son, Alex, shot just as it leveled off and there was a puff of feathers and the bird went head first into a tree. He was happy he got his first bird. Unfortunately being a pen raised bird this one had a bad tail. Bad news for Alex he wanted to mount his first bird but this one was not "pretty enough" for him. Good news for me I have more time to save for that expense. Pheasant fajitas tomorrow during the Bears game. We wound up with three birds and then my brother slipped on ice and didn't bounce too good we left soon after that. My son was cold but happy.