Opinion: Wanted: A hunt with a good dogThough I may get blasted for saying this — no pun intended — many pheasant hunters are lazy hunters. South Dakota is the pheasant capital of the world, and I wouldn’t dream of offending numerous readers who spend countless hours walking fields for roosters with their well-trained dogs. But compared to many other sorts of hunting, pheasant hunting has to be toward the bottom of the barrel in toughness.
By: Luke Hagen, The Daily Republic
Though I may get blasted for saying this — no pun intended — many pheasant hunters are lazy hunters.
South Dakota is the pheasant capital of the world, and I wouldn’t dream of offending numerous readers who spend countless hours walking fields for roosters with their well-trained dogs. But compared to many other sorts of hunting, pheasant hunting has to be toward the bottom of the barrel in toughness.
What true hunter gets up at 9:30 a.m. to stalk their prey? Many of the pheasant hunters are also the party-hard stay up late and get up late people.
Honestly, how hard is it for those groggy hunters to drive around and hop out of their warm vehicles and shoot a pheasant sitting along side the road? Yes, there are those who walk fields watching their dogs work, and I fully support you out there. And to be honest, I want in on that action.
Up until lately, pheasant hunting has been something I just shake off and laugh. Those who flock to local sporting goods retail stores in their blaze orange ready to buy the newest warm hunting coat and high-priced merchandise are comical. Many times those same “hunters” wouldn’t be caught dead getting any blood or mud on their brand new stuff.
But now that waterfowl season is over — real hunting in my eyes — I’ve found something to practice my shooting and keep in touch with the wild. Although duck doesn’t taste nearly as good as pheasant, which is why many people shy away from waterfowl hunting, I’ve enjoyed the last weekend shooting three limits of pheasants in three days just west of Mitchell.
My brother-in-law, Mark, and I walked railroad lines just north of I-90 and a few walk-in areas Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Tons of birds flushed from the tall grass, as they were sitting alongside picked crop fields. Each day, the hunting was over quicker and quicker as more birds presented themselves, preparing and filling their gizzards before the blizzard-like storm that poured down on the area.
Unfortunately, neither Mark nor I own a hunting dog. My three-year-old rat terrier, Lilly, tries her best to show interest when I bring home any sort of dead game, but I just don’t think her 15-pound stature would cut it in the open cold fields.
So, since I’ve never seen a great dog work, and my dog is out of the question to teach, I’d really love to watch a well-trained hunting dog in action.
But here’s a request to the many dog-oriented hunters out there. I don’t go into work until roughly 3 p.m. daily, so I would love a trip to hunt and watch your dog in action. While living in Minnesota, I went on a few game-farm hunts with my high-school buddies. But I never saw a really good dog in action. So please, prove to me pheasant hunting can be more interesting and especially with a good dog.
With the thousands of pheasant hunters in the area, there have to be some people who feel their dog tops above all others. Please, show them to me.
It will be a two week contest of the area’s best dog. In the contest, there will be no trophies for top dog, just a story in the Dec. 31 outdoors section with a photo of you and the area’s best dog.
So whether is be a Brittany, a Springer or any mutt you claim to be yours, send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office at 996-5516 and introduce yourself.
I invite anyone interested and legal to hunt and look forward to meeting anyone who steps up for the challenge.