Be careful what you wish for – you just might get it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that and how many times it has come true. When we went hunting in November the weather was warm, too warm and dry for pheasant hunting. We still had a good time, but hoped for colder weather when we went again in December and boy did we get it. The first morning was 10 degrees with 25 mile an hour winds out of the north. Talk about brutal! After the first half hour, my fingers finally quit hurting from the cold, even though I was wearing silk glove liners under my shooting gloves. I had on so many layers, I looked like a little chunky monkey running around out in the field. I had on a turtleneck and a shirt over that. I wore a hunting vest AND a heavy field coat with an insulated liner. I wore field pants and over-pants over that. I even wore a bandana across my face to keep my face from freezing. My face and hands were the coldest. The rest wasn’t so bad. Until I faced the north, then it was misery.
The dogs worked extra hard trying to pick up a scent and nail down the bird. Pheasants would rather run than fly when it’s super cold and windy, making it really hard for the dogs to track. AJ was dead on this time. I think he is at his best when the weather is at its worst. He worked back and forth making zigzags in the tall prairie grass chasing a bird for more than a half hour. The bird finally flew when he ran out of cover. As Charlie gets older, he just gets better. At six years old, this was his best year ever. He picked up scents and would sound like a vacuum cleaner sucking up and sorting all of the smells out there. Mitch and I shot eight of the eleven birds taken. We did pretty good. As Mitch always tells anyone who asks, you get more birds when you stay with the dogs. They know where the birds are.