Hunting pheasants in Ipswich, South Dakota over the years has given me the opportunity to hunt in all kinds of weather and with all kinds of hunters. I've seen a lot of good shooters come through OO Hunting and I've seen a lot of hunters shoot a box of shells only to come up empty handed. One thing the good shooters consistently say is "you have to lead the pheasant and keep swinging".
One of the challenges I have living in Montana, where the winter days are pretty short, is finding the time to train my dogs, Keo and Willson. Most days it's dark when I head to work and it's dark when I get home. This makes it a bit challenging to train the dogs. While not perfect, one of the things I do every day is work obedience into common activities.
Opening weekend 2014 was another one for the books at OO Farm. With beautiful weather, friends and family the setting was perfect for another epic pheasant opener in Ipswich, South Dakota.
This year we had a total of fifteen hunters who made their way to OO Farm for the opener. We started the weekend by gathering the hunters in the garage for a safety talk led by our own guide Tim Omland. Safety is our number one priority at OO Farm and we make sure we take the time each year to cover the rules which include but are not limited to:
- Open actions at the end of the field
- Absolutely no shooting on the ground (our dogs will get the birds up or catch the wounded)
- Blaze orange and safety googles
With safety in order we set out to the fields. We began by walking the shelter belt of trees around the farm house and as usual they did not disappoint. The afternoon erupted with the sound of twelve gauges as roosters cackled upon being flushed by the labrador dogs. We would then make our way through the food plots of sorghum, back through the trees, across CRP fields and into the field corn. Throughout the day great shots were followed by amazing retrieves as dogs and hunters smiled, recognizing they were in the midst of another great pheasant hunt.
After the hunt our customary photo was taken in front of the OO Farm sign with the days harvest spread out in front. The dogs, tired from the day, would retire to their kennels and we the hunters would begin game cleaning and packaging followed by a cold beer, hand rolled cigar and countless stories and laughs.