Brute’s Bleat November 9, 2016

We, Mike Muller, Daryl Hennen, myself and four dogs, still haven’t found the “mother lode” of pheasant roosters this fall, but we decided Lac Qui Parle County isn’t the hot bed it was several years ago. I had the only opportunity last Wednesday when we went after a rooster that flew out of corn stubble into grass in a WMI (Wildlife Management Area). Apparently, the wiley cock figured flushing near me was its best chance for survival. And it was, despite my throwing two loads of No. 3 steel after it. I heard some comments about the importance of capitalizing on scoring when a person has a chance, especially when there don’t seem to be many birds! On the way home we saw a red fox on the shoulder of the road, the first one any of us have seen for several years. I had a chance to redeem myself Sunday afternoon in the company of Daryl and his grandson, Evan, but I blew it again on a rooster that flushed about 12 feet ahead of me. Vanna wasn’t on the bird and it was a total surprise. In the excitement I couldn’t get the safe off of my over-under and didn’t get the shot off until Evan had blasted away twice, missing the adult bird. Later that afternoon during the golden hour, Daryl bagged a young rooster that flushed between him and was flying toward me. Vanna did her job, beating Evan’s springer, Bella, to the bird and brought it back to me. . .  Holy Cross Lutheran Church pastor Culynn Curtis hunted in his home state, South Dakota, last week and came back impressed with the number of birds they saw on his ancestor’s homesteaded property east of Miller. He said they found the birds in standing corn which was about 12 feet tall, not his cup of tea. Pastor Culynn said it was tough hunting, but they did well and harvested lots of birds. . . Shane Caughey commented about great ruffed grouse hunting a couple of weeks ago on some family property north of Two Harbors where their group filled out limits. Getting 20 flushes per day wasn’t uncommon for them in the area they hunted. He felt the grouse population has remained fairly stable over the past seven years. Shane also went deer hunting last weekend and got as far as Bemidji in his three-month-old pickup Friday night when he collided with a buck deer that hit his truck’s grill and punched some holes in the radiator with its horns. His insurance company towed his truck, the deer, and himself to ML. He said a county deputy commented about the ratio of buck deer that have been in vehicle collisions and figured the rut was on despite the warm weather. . . On Sunday morning Anna, Vanna and I were hiking in the prairie part of Ney Park and we saw two does heading toward Potter’s corn field. One continued to sneak along the corn toward a hunter in a tree stand. The hunter apparently was waiting for a buck and didn’t shoot. When we got back to the parking lot there were six horse trailers there and two riders were heading out of parking lot unto a trail when a buck deer came out of the western portion of the park and made enough racket to spook one of the horses. Fortunately the rider was able to get the horse back under control while the buck went merrily on its way.