***October 24, 2021- October October 31, 2021 Weekly Show, Tell, and Critique***

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
Birddogman
Birddogman Veteran Member • Posts: 8,042
Final Update to Nancy and Greg's Excellent Adventure
3

After a grueling 5 day drive pushing the big rig across the country, we finally arrived home late last night - to find nine weeks worth of accumulated undone work at home, plus unpacking and shutting down the MH for the winter, etc, etc. It was all worth every dollar and every hour of effort - probably the best best trip to date. We got to see spectacularly beautiful wilderness lands, countless critters (from grizzly bears to gray owls), made new friends and spent time with old friends, good food, hundreds of miles of upland hunting on foot in pristine wild places, more birds than I can count, and adventure galore. All, rather surprisingly, without any really serious injuries to people, dogs or equipment.

The last week or so was quite cold and windy - temps in the 20's. too cold for Nancy. Bliss was still in her "cone of shame" after my field surgery on her barbwire slash, so it was just Joy (freshly of the IR) and me. Joy pointing a rooster for me.

Artsy late day roosters in a fence row:

Hunter's Moon over a typical tiny northern Montana town:

A Montana "trifecta" - a pheasant (two, actually) a Hungarian partridge (left) and a sharptail grouse (right) all in one day over my dear gal Joy.

The water was turned off at the rodeo grounds where we were camping. It was getting very cold - time to go. For our last hunt of the year in Montana, I wanted to hunt a particular long butte that is very difficult to access. There are sharptails high up on top on the flats, pheasants in the thick moose cover in the steep draws on the sides and Huns in between. There are no roads to this butte , not even any rough two-tracks, so (with the landowner's kind permission) we drove the trusty truck straight cross-country over miles of harvested durum fields to get there.

By this time in the season, the birds are VERY jumpy and it is very hard to get the birds to hold for a point to allow a hunter to get within shotgun range. The last day Joy produced about 15 pheasants, 25 sharptails and 30 Huns for me. Amazing! Here she is pushing along a moose trail in heavy cover on the butte:

Sometimes she would work an individual bird for a couple hundred yards to try to get it to hold for a point - all without causing it to flush. "Am I doing OK, Boss?"   Canada in the distance.

Only two pheasants and one Hun were bagged on the final day - the rooster on the left was our last bird of the year in Montana.

That's it for the west for this year. At age 75, I'm very glad I can still do the things I love that require a decent amount of physical effort. I'm a very lucky guy in many ways!

Driving home was exhausting and horrible, as usual Have I ever mentioned how much I HATE driving a 60+ foot 30,000 pound rig through Chicago?

So, we are happily back at Windsong now. When we left it was high summer. Now it's late fall and the trees have spectacular colors on our place.

First thing, we took Bliss to our vet, who re-did my surgery. Bliss will be on the IR now for another 14 days, but she will be fine. The vet didn't offer me a job as a travelling surgeon, but did praise getting the wound properly closed in the field and preventing infection with the fish antibiotic. Both dogs were ecstatic to be home - it was funny to watch.

Nancy finally gets to pick up her brand new Ford Bronco tomorrow, She ordered it back in early March and has been waiting ever since due to the chip shortage, etc. She is excited about that.

Pennsylvania's pheasant season is open now, so as soon as we get the most urgent things done, Joy and I will be hitting the uplands here. Poor Bliss will need to sit out the first half of the season here, but she got a ton of time afield in Montana while Joy was on the IR.

I'll pick up my duties as host on this thread starting Sunday (or late Saturday). It's nice to be home again.

Greg

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