Illinois Outdoors at
RulesIllinois Outdoors at

Prairie State Outdoors Categories

Top Story :: Opinion :: Illinois Outdoor News :: Fishing News :: Hunting News :: Birding News :: Nature Stories :: Miscellaneous News :: Fishing :: Big Fish Fridays :: Big Fish Stories :: State Fishing Reports :: Other Fishing Reports :: Fishing Tips, Tactics & Tales :: Where to Fish :: Fishing Calendar :: Hunting :: Hunting Reports :: Hunting Tips, Tactics & Tales :: Where to Hunt :: Tales from the Timber :: Turkey Tales :: Hunting Calendar :: Big Game Stories :: Nature and Birding :: Birding Bits :: Nature Newsbits :: Critter Corner :: Birding Calendar :: Stargazing :: In the Wild :: Miscellaneous Reports and Shorts :: Links :: Hunting Links :: Birding Links :: Video ::

Big Buck Stories

1960s :: 1980s :: 1991-92 :: 1992-93 :: 1993-94 :: 1994-95 :: 1995-96 :: 1997-98 :: 1998-99 :: 1999-2000 :: 2000-01 :: 2001-02 :: 2003-04 :: 2004-05 :: 2005-06 :: 2006-07 :: 2007-08 :: 2008-09 :: 2009-10 :: 2010-11 :: 2011-12 :: 2012-13 ::


Flathead's Picture of the Week :: Big bucks :: Birdwatching :: Cougars :: Dogs :: Critters :: Fishing :: Asian carp :: Bass :: Catfish :: Crappie :: Ice :: Muskie :: Humor :: Hunting :: Deer :: Ducks :: Geese :: Turkey :: Upland game :: Misc. :: Mushrooms :: Open Blog Thursday :: Picture A Day 2010 :: Plants and trees :: Politics :: Prairie :: Scattershooting :: Tales from the Trail Cams :: Wild Things ::


Few birds for cold, wet upland hunters

January 16, 2010 at 09:13 AM

The upland hunting season closed in the south zone on Friday. It was probably our least productive in recent memory.

There was no way to know if the numbers were down or if the birds were simply living in the fields of standing corn. It doesn’t matter. They were hard to find. The dogs worked awfully hard for very few points.

The weather affected hunting more than it usually does in 2009. Duck hunters, dove hunters and deer hunters all had to contend with weather-related factors that resulted in a late crop harvest, swollen streams and enough mud to make an adobe village.

La Harpe Crick was too deep to wade in most places and too deep to swim in others. With hunters in the timbers, the deer knew that the other side of the crick was the place to be.

I watched eight deer lie down on a hillside on the far side of the crik, where nobody could get to them. They stayed there all afternoon. Out in the wild country, there’s no such thing as a dumb animal.

In hopes of getting in some better dog work and being rewarded with more than one covey rise for a day of hard walking, Buckwheat and I headed for Kansas the week before Christmas.

The best news about that hunt was that the greenhouse gas/beefsteak-producing cattle lot adjacent to the town’s version of the Bates Motel had been moved from the downwind side of the facility to the upwind side. This made for more pleasant sleeping, from both an auditory and olfactory standpoint.

The snow in Kansas was about a foot deep in some places and drifted fencepost-high in others. It was hard going for hunters and dogs alike.

About 10 minutes into our first day, I got swamped in a snow bank that was up to my vest. With Buckwheat watching me flounder, by the time I rolled out of it, I had snow everywhere but in my shirt pockets.

It was above freezing. That, combined with my body temperature, created an uncomfortable snow melt for the next several hours. At the end of the day, my clothes were so wet, I felt like I’d walked through a brushless car wash. It was no job for sissies.

We saw lots of birds. “Saw” is the operative word. The deep and drifted snow had ramped up predator pressure. There were coyote and bobcat tracks in the plum groves and cedar thickets, where the birds like to roost on bare ground. The birds flushed wild and flew like eagles.

Rough season or not, I’m sorry to see it go. There’s nothing like walking the country with good companions. This hunting season brought it home to me again. Who you share your trips afield with is far more important than what’s in the game bag at the end of the day.

I held tight to that thought when Buckwheat was in hysterics while I was waist-deep in a snowdrift.

Your CommentsComments :: Terms :: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Comment Area Pool Rules

  1. Read our Terms of Service.
  2. You must be a member. :: Register here :: Log In
  3. Keep it clean.
  4. Stay on topic.
  5. Be civil, honest and accurate.
  6. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Log In

Register as a new member

Next entry: Machesney Park man to lead walleye circuit.

Previous entry: Illinois gains habitat specialists

Log Out

RSS & Atom Feeds

Prairie State Outdoors
PSO on Facebook
Promote Your Page Too

News Archives

November 2019
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Copyright © 2007-2014 GateHouse Media, Inc.
Some Rights Reserved
Original content available for non-commercial use
under a Creative Commons license, except where noted.
Creative Commons