It was quite a change in one week. Last Sunday it was 65 degrees and dusty, too warm to hunt the dogs for too long. This Sunday it topped out at 25 degrees.
We were hunting just South of Hutchinson, MN. It is a 90 acre parcel. Mostly CRP with a good sized section of cattails. I started the two Setters and we worked along the fence line. When we got to the end of the field I was surprised to see that the corn was still up. It had snowed 2 days earlier and I could see a lot of tracks from the corn into the CRP. 4 or 5 hens were hiding in an area of thick short trees. As we worked around the thick cover we put up a Rooster. I got off two shots and saw him wobble after the second shot. He kept flying strongly towards the cattail section. We started to work towards where he went down. There was so much bird sign that it took a while to get back across the field. When we hit the cattails we worked the edge for a while. Tina went on point so I kicked and stomped in the likely area. No bird. I told her to go on but she held her point. She stuck her nose into the thick clump right in front of her. I heard and saw something moving. As the Rooster started to emerge. Tina almost caught it on the flush. I was able to bring it down on the far side of the cattails. We had to search for a few minutes to find it in the cover.
The dogs kept working the edge of the cattails and came across some wet sections. Unfortunately the water wasn’t frozen over so they got pretty wet and when they came out the water started to freeze on their coats. Marge the 12 year old was starting to get cold so we headed back to the truck. I pit a coat on Marge and wrapped her up in a sleeping bag and put her in her kennel. We took a lunch break and drove around to see how much corn was still up in the area.
After out break Tina and I headed back into the field. We worked for another 90 minuted and put up another half dozen hens but no more Roosters.
The day left me wondering what happened to the days where the temperature was a litter more moderate... maybe December...
Minnesota Hunting Resources