I really enjoy the traditions that Hunting in the outdoors brings. Whether they be family traditions, or historical traditions it really doesn't matter to me as long as it feels like you are carrying on something passed down to you by someone in your past. Upland hunting carries a long history of traditions and I think that is why I enjoy it so. Now you may ask yourself how a South Georgia boy knows anything about upland hunting? The truth is that I really do not know all that much about "true" upland hunting, but I think blaze orange is a beautiful color and love to put it on as I chase bobwhite quail through the Georgia pines and brier patches. For "true" upland hunting, I go to Kansas!
Daddy and I flew out to Kansas on Friday morning. The weather was beautiful and the long range forecast promised sunny days with the high in the upper 50's. Perfect for chasing ring necks! We arrived in Beloit, Kansas Friday afternoon and was able to attend the local Pheasants Forever banquet. Daddy and I are probably the only two PF members in this part of the state of Georgia. After catching up with old friends and hunting partners, we went back to the motel to rest up for the next days hunt.
It was cold! I was prepared for the weather and had all of the correct gear, but it was cold and you could tell that there would be no sunshine that morning. Even though it was a little chilly, I couldn't wait to hit that first patch of CRP grass and flush some roosters. It did not disappoint. We killed a good many birds as we pushed this field and I killed my limit in the first hour of the hunt. Even with my limit reached, you keep hunting to try and help your neighbor reach his limit. I helped him too as I killed two more before lunch. It was a good day so far. The afternoon was not as productive as the weather held true and the sun never made an appearance. The temperature never rose above 34 for the day and birds did not seem to be very active as we were having trouble finding birds in feed. We headed in with 46 roosters for the day!
The weather man said it would be in the 60's on Sunday with plenty of sunshine! He is smoking crack!! We woke up on Sunday morning to wet conditions and no sunshine. It was also cold! The days hunt did not produce as many birds. We tried to stick to CRP grass, but we just couldn't find many birds. I think the final count was 27. We did get to see two Boone and Crockett white-tails though. They were massive!
Monday morning promised warmer weather and sunshine! Wrong! What we got was rain! We made a group decision and decided against hunting our third day. We were only hunting a half day anyway, so we decided to change our flight plans and fly out that afternoon instead of Tuesday morning. Instead of traveling all day yesterday, I was able to put out all of the Christmas decorations while the kids were at school. No small task as we are now up to six Christmas trees at out house!!
I have often wondered if my South Georgia buddies would enjoy this trip. It can be an awful lot of walking with not much shooting if the birds are not cooperating. I like the trip for several reasons. Reason number one is that I get to spend time with my Dad. Not everyone gets to chase Pheasants with their Dad! The other reasons are time spent with new friends, watching the dogs work, the beautiful landscapes, the huge farms that feed the heartland, the deer that you flush as you walk a field, the beating of wings as your instincts kick in and you swing on the bird as you determine rooster or hen, and carrying that rooster out of the field as his tail feathers stick out of your blaze orange vest!
Here's to looking forward to next year!!