Sunday, November 9, 2014

Bird Hunting Montana Style...

Clockwise from top left; CRP=great upland bird habitat; Huns and wheat go hand in hand; ditto High Plains and leanin' outhouses; full moon risin', cocktail time; wild Montana rooster; and a sharpie in hand. Like no sense askin' what's for dinner mama...

For the past week or so Gale, Annie the wirehair and your intrepid reporter, have been hunting sharptails, Huns and to a lesser extent, pheasants in the vast farm- and ranch-lands northeast of Great Falls. Major wheat growing country, thanks to the many farmers for enrolling in Montana's Block Management Program, hunter access is excellent.

While most of the land is planted in wheat and other crops there are large parcels enrolled  in the Conservation Reserve Program. CRP provides upland birds and other wildlife, including both whitetail and mule deer, excellent nesting and brood rearing habitat, as well as, protection from predators; thus the hunting is also excellent. Except for a couple BMAs which were obviously mainly deer habitat we found more than enough birds to keep us old folks grinnin' and Annie...Well Annie found herself immersed in so much bird scent she hardly knew which trail to start first.

And yes except for one day of relative calm, we were plagued by the ever-present gale (no pun intended) force winds, often strong enough to make walking difficult; poor Annie, not one to complain, though obviously during the worst of it trying to ferret out a scent trail did make things interesting . One night the roaring, howling wind made sleep impossible (at least for the ol' boy) but then what would hunting the High Plains be without,..you know, the roaring, howling, screaming GD WIND!

Anyway, a fun time in a fun place; on way home we were already planning our next attack...Imagine.

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