Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Kansas 2011

I wish that I had better news from the great state of Kansas, but the truth of the matter is that we just did not see many birds.  We were told before making the trip that bird numbers were down due to unusual weather in the part of the state that we were hunting which caused an early wheat harvest.  This activity did not allow for a proper hatch and therefore the pheasant was dealt an uphill battle as nest were destroyed by way of the tractor.  They may have had a chance to have a second nesting, but 13 inches of rain in two days washed those chances right down the creek.  We knew what we were facing, but chose to face it anyway.

Our first morning started out at a crisp 21 degrees with sunny skies and wind in the forecast.  Temps were supposed to reach into the high 40's by the end of the day.  As we made our first push through a CRP grass field I allowed myself to think that this was going to be a pleasant day where only a light jacket would be needed, but I soon learned the errors of my ways for allowing myself to have such thoughts.  In the movie Lonesome Dove, Gus and Call are moving their heard north when they encounter a sand storm.  The scene shows a huge cloud of dust moving in their direction that can be seen from a mile away.  That scene popped in my mind as we crested the rise in the field and looked to the west.  A dark grey cloud hung low to the ground and was moving in our direction at a rapid pace.  It swallowed our group of 28 hunters and left us reaching for warmer garments for our chilled faces and ears.  That was the last that we would see of the sun that day and the temps never got out of the 30's.  The wind eventually pushed the dark cloud to the east, but the strong breeze decided to stay with us all day making things very chilly.  At the end of the day, our bird count stood at only 9.

Our second day started out a little better.  At least the 30 mph winds were no longer with us and the sun was out in spurts.  The temps were in the low 20's, but without gale force winds to deal with, hunting was fairly comfortable.  We were still having trouble finding birds though.  This was my 8th trip to Kansas and I can honestly say that this was the most unproductive trip that we have had.  Our group, ranging in size, has killed as many as 250 in a three day hunt and as little as 108 in a two day hunt.  None of us had ever seen anything like this.  The hunting, or should I say killing, was still slow.  We did manage to find one field that reminded us why we keep coming back.  As the walkers topped the hill, birds started flushing one by one and the blockers were ready.  We managed to take about 12 birds from this one grass patch and kept hopes and spirits high for the afternoon hunt.

At the end of the day and the end of our hunting time together, our group managed a two day total of 30 pheasant, 2 prairie chickens, and 3 quail.  Not real good.  But I will say that I had a great time spending time with my Dad and seeing the friends that I have made over the years on this trip.  So here's to you Gary, Swilley, A.G., Chad, Shane, Mark, Cheerio, Bill, Josh, Drew, Alf, Mike, Chitty, Guy, Captain Henry, TJ, George, and many others!  I'm already ready for next year!!

I just hope the birds will be back!


TexWisGirl said...

gotta keep the tough years in there to keep the 'sport' in things. :)

LB @ Bullets And Biscuits said...

Ok, you are excused ;)

Sorry to hear it was a slow trip. Atleast it sounds like you got some good fellowship time in!

Main Line Sportsman said...

We all have to be persistent when chasing birds...field or marsh...