Brute’s Bleat: November 13, 2013


I had the opportunity to tune up my eyeballs one day last week at Gold Meadows with Mike Muller and believe me they need a lot of fine-tuning.  My hunting associates would readily agree that most of the time I’m just blowing holes in the sky.  My alibi is that I have good days and bad days and so far this fall I seem to be racking up way too many bad days.  Both of our dogs, Vana and Mike’s Lucky, had a great morning with all the birds and scent that was present at the shooting preserve. Lucky is a young aggressive English Setter and surprised Mike when he retrieved the pheasants even though he didn’t receive an A+ from the trainer.  Vana ran down one of my cripples, but she was reluctant to bring it back. Both dogs were hot on a crippled rooster in a harvested corn field, chasing it in the weeds with Lucky bringing it back to Mike. I’m hoping Vana will pick up the retrieving habit learning from Lucky and Daryl Hennen’s Coco.   A day trip to Morris in Friday’s wind with Anna along to keep me company turned out to be kind of an exercise in futility.  The wind made it miserable hunting, but Vana did her job and gave me enough points on roosters for a two-bird limit.  My miserable shooting hasn’t improved and the one bird that I broke a wing on apparently wasn’t hit very hard and it got away from both me and Vana to add insult to injury.    .     .     I’m toying with the idea of calling it a day when I get two chances and blow them both!  Saturday was backyard cleanup day even though the leaves were still wet from the snow and rain, but on Sunday Daryl Hennen and I decided to explore the area west of Milan. We had planned on breakfast at the More Cafe in Milan but it was closed and the cafe near the river serves breakfast, but their stove was down and the owner recommended Peg’s Cafe in Appleton where we ended up eating biscuits and gravy.  There were lots of deer hunters and a few pheasant hunters out enjoying themselves on a day that was warm with little wind.  Hennen harvested a rooster off of Coco’s point in a Walk In Area to get us off to a good start.  I had an opportunity in the afternoon when Vana went on point along a fence line in a WMA (Wildlife Management Area).  When nothing happened I tapped my gun barrel on the barb wire and the rooster jumped.  It looked easy, but neither of my shots were effective.  Regardless, I praised Vana for her efforts and rejoined Hennen, but not before flushing seven hens. Later in the day we found a WIA that wasn’t in the atlas.  Hennen was walking the edge of a bean field and had three roosters flush.  He connected on one that fell in the bean field and I got a look at the second one he shot at which had one leg dangling. Coco went out to retrieve the first bird, which Hennen said suddenly got up and flew only to die in mid-air and fall into the grass on the edge of the WIA.  Coco apparently didn’t see the rooster’s resurgence and continued to hunt for the downed bird rather then help us out looking for the dead bird. Vana eventually found the rooster and stood guard until I picked it up.  Finding his second bird was more difficult and we had pretty much given up and started hunting again when Vana went on point and suddenly lunged for the crippled bird which she held down until I got to her.  I’m not sure what the shooting rule book says on doubles, but after some diligent thought I’ll give Hennen credit for a double, after all he hit both of them.  I had one more golden opportunity that afternoon when Vana gave me another great point, but I let her down.  We were pleased with both dogs’ efforts and Vana is showing more aggressiveness in her second year of hunting with me. I liked the way she handled the crippled bird which didn’t have any teeth gouges in its breast when I dressed it out.     .      .      In the deer hunting department Ron Rassat and Tom Neu each harvested eight-point bucks on successive days, Ron on Saturday and Tom on Sunday in Folden Hills Township near Henning in Ottertail County where they have a cabin.  It’s an area I hunted while growing up, but I’m sure they know the area better than me. It was kind of unique because it had an old country school house commonly referred to as the lost schoolhouse.  I don’t think the building is still there, but there is a road labelled Lost Schoolhouse Road, apparently in its memory. 
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Congratulations to the Irish gridders for your come-from-behind win Friday night. Practicing in the snow didn’t look very appealing last week, but we’re sure it helped get you prepared. Great going guys, and we’re with you all the way!