• Woodies and Canned Pheasant

    Saturday morning had me sitting in the brush along the shore of little lake in Southern Michigan with my trusty Ithaca Model 66 single shot 12 gauge and my buddy Mike by my side. We were waiting for the sun to rise and the ducks to fly on my first hunt of the season. The wind was just a breeze out of the west over our right shoulder as the sun began to make itsí way over the shoreline to our left. As we listened to geese on a distant lake begin to chatter, the first wood duck of the day sped by almost unnoticed. It was followed shortly after by a few more wood ducks, then a couple mallards and a few shots from our guns.

    Those first couple shots were misses but were enough to consider the day a success. For us, most of the time, it is not about the killing, but rather about the hunt that leads to the harvest. Of course bagging a bird or two is always nice, but not necessary for a good day, and we enjoyed the morning thoroughly as we each took a couple more unsuccessful shots. But by 12:00 noon, when Mike and I left the lake, we had actually connected on a couple nice wood ducks and were very excited about our morning and were really looking forward to Sundays hunt.

    Now Sundays hunt was more about the shooting of the birds then it was about hunting. In fact, we really didnít consider Sunday a hunt, rather we thought of it as more of a shoot. You see, we were spending Sunday morning at The Ringneck Ranch in Hanover Michigan on a put and take pheasant shoot. We paid for twelve pheasant and a guide/dog handler for the morning. As we shared small talk with our guide Scott, Ron, the owner of The Ringneck Ranch, took the pheasants and hid them in various locations throughout a large sorghum field. Once the pheasant were all in place we headed to the field and began our shoot.

    Now we know this was not some hard core wild pheasant hunt as much as it was a game of live target practice, but those pheasant still got the heart pumping as they busted out of the sorghum cover and took flight. The roosters cackle like any rooster would, and the shot must still be on target.

    And just because you have a good idea of where the birds are doesnít mean they wonít get away. In fact by the end of our morning hunt we had only managed to kill 9 of the 12 birds we purchased, which meant 3 birds escaped into the woodlots and fields of surrounding properties.

    Now I know some people frown on these preserve shoots, and thatís ok. But to me, there is nothing like a great day of target practice in which I get to shoot the targets all morning and then make homemade pheasant pot pie with the targets when I get home.
    This article was originally published in blog: Woodies and Canned Pheasant started by BratsNMustard
    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Slab's Avatar
      Slab -
      Thanks for sharing Frank. Great selfie. And cool video.