2020 Epic Hunting Trip

Day #1 – Weds, Oct 14, 2020
Day 1 travel north from Austin towards ND afap
We’re off to Jamestown,ND
I had a little heart attack when I thought I forgot my duck gun. I stopped and checked and I’m OK
OK near noon
KS 3 p
Wichita 4 p
TX tag works on KS Toll
First trees turning near Salina. 430p 89 deg
I want to hunt all this N KS country
Concordia 6 p
Neb 630
I80 730 done. Last best place to stay.
Day #2 – Thurs Oct 15, 2020
40 is cold
Look at those eyes!
Dot heat started – proestrus should run approx 9 days.  Hmph.
33 deg at sunrise in NE Sandhills. Stunning. Need to come back.
Chicken flying along the road!
It’s backroads through little towns in NE. Very cool.
Lots of yellow leaves in North Nebraska
Lol 1 lane bridge in N NE
MO river into SD @ 830
Mitchell SD 10 am
The wind is howling
Jamestown ND 2 p
ND PLOTS guide – https://gf.nd.gov/plots/guide
I’m from out of state and can’t hunt most PLOTS until Sat – have to hunt limited category of public properties.
Scouting north and west from Jamestown
First spot lost – pavement ends
Any of these waterfowl production areas should also be huntable for at least some pheasants and maybe some sharpies too.
I’m going to Carrington and then going to Scout up by Spirit Lake on the state trust land. That will be closer to John who I should meet up with tomorrow.
I found another big decent spot up high.
Headed quickly north to Rockford near Devils Lake with lots of blue square that I think I can hunt if they’re not swamps and marshes.
We’re going to look.
That’s very interesting. That cluster of blue and yellow blocks didn’t appear to be very Birdy. But I did flush half a dozen sharp tails out of the ditch right next to a yellow area that is connected to blue area I don’t know.
I got no brilliant ideas so I’m headed back to Jamestown where there is a decent hotel and a Walmart so I can stock up
Went to the top of 281 New Rockdale ND!
Day #3 – Fri, Oct 16, 2020
Out by. 830
Limited to blue or green boxes.
No yellow plots until tomorrow b/c I’m from out of state.
No grudge, I appreciate the idea.
Light snow last nite
Loop 1  state land
Saw ditch sharpies near the start but on a different property
Medium loop
zilch
Loop 2
State land
Big loop to work windward side of draws
2 jumped long
Stalk
Dot came in above them and no shot
Lunch
Met John ND
Found a blue spot to hunt in New Rockford
Hunted his dog
Saw 3 sharpies all jump wild chuckling
Knee-deep grass was hard to work
Lots of hills and valleys and cover.
All birds were singles.
His dog found a dead hun.
Done at 4
Need to meet tomorrow contact @ Dunn Bros Coffee @ 8
Revised plan
Stay Bismarck 2 nites and leave early sun AM direct to hunt near Meltor in the Badlands
Stay back in Dickinson
Hunt next am then 6 hrs to Casper a day early to rest work laundry
730 settled dog fed
Still need ice and gas and cope
Big steak
TX Boy needs this I think.
9 p and into hotel tired and sore
Already raining and 42. Could be nasty tomorrow.
Day #4 – Sat, Oct 17, 2020
Hunting w Bill near Bismarck.
34. Overcast and light snow from last nite
Follow Bill to his honey hole
Big loop for Pheasants
Big point and steady on 12 bird flush
Pointed hens flushed I shot she held
More hens flushed
She held
Rooster flush but no shot she held
Hens flushed and she held
Rooster flushed I shot she held then fetched on command
Damn!
Bumped 50 more wild in 3 large groups
Creek bottom loop. 2 hens jump wild
Dot found a Blue tongue deer
1230 to last loop
1p somebody already there!
Deep plots barren and ran out of road!
130 & Bill needs to be done
We’ll hunt our way back
3rd loop likely but zilch
Tore my chaps on barb wire. Shit.
34 deg windy sunny cold as f – icky
This last WMA up on top is a honey hole!
MO breaks WMA
Back by 5
Day #5 – Sun, Oct 18, 2020
2 hrs to ND Badlands, 27 deg
Time change to Mtn Time
Little pieces of snow falling all AM
Medora @ 830
Hunting beside Little MO River thru badlands
A kind Drahthaar friend shared a pin with me so I know what to look for.
Loop 1 a and b zilch
Big running Dot!
25 windy and cold.
Loop 2 zilch
She showed really great hand signs, points, and check back on big runs. Hope her nose is working!
Big deep loop in bl on nice wide gravel rd. Met deer hunter scouting.
Dots in heat!
Last big loop 11 45
Zilch
If those aren’t called Titty Mtns then I quit!
It’s like the desert but smoother w grass
Warmed up to 33 at 130p
Big Galts Gulch river valley at the turn before SD. Cool place big grass
I’d sure like to have someone teach me how to hunt the badlands. Very easy walk and slopes if you have a big running dog
Left turn Lower right corner headed back up
Head back across middle maybe drone first spot
Grassland edge of badlands
2p see 160 ac sunflowers badly planted.
Notice is PLOTS w label
Thought cool they did that
See 10 sharps blow out of the ditch into it!
This is your sign!
Park downwind for big U to scoop them
Halfway in Dot is running deep and wide on a perfect line.
Excellent cover in medium thick weeds and 24” sunflowers
Not easy for 4th trip today
She was tired getting out of the truck
Dot points at 80y
7 flush she holds
3 singles flush she holds
They fly across the road and she returns to me
I blow her down and start walking
At 40 y I see she’s up so blow her again
Late sharp jumps from 15y upwind.
I shoot it drops leg and falls
Need to hurry but she didn’t see fall bc she was down.
Send Dot on Search. Points. Get it. Flushes
I shoot hard and she fetches
Out of GoPro battery
Dots first Sharpie and my first in ND!
Feathers into the truck trophy case!
2 points sharpie
1 hit
1 retr
Headed on thru middle
Late day in badlands
Pavement into town 4 p
I really like BL and want someone teach me how to hunt it
5p into Dickinson for holiday inn hotel and work tomorrow am
Then onward maybe to Casper but poss short of there as 6 hr drive
Dot is pooped hard and can use the rest and food.
6p supper Applebee’s
Day #6 – Mon, Oct 19, 2020
Out of Dickinson 1030 work done
7 hrs to Casper a day early
Icy roads into SD
Steady light snow in SD
245 p Beulah WY
Casper 545 60 deg! Hot
Day #7 – Tues, Oct 20, 2020
Rest and laundry in Casper
No coffee pot in hotel room
Solved!
Sent details to Grey Reef
Day #8 – Weds Oct 21, 2020
WY Huns & Chukars
Loop 1
3 hun coveys
Flush one
Dot point
Shoot
Hit, Retrieve
Big loop
Lunch
Move
Loop 2
Sage Grouse Flushes! See vid
Hun flush long
330 done very tired
Front coming in tonight
Same guide as first time – Andy
Three Advil and a pint of pickle juice Yum
DOT is very tired
45m back to hotel
Day #9 –  Oct 22, 2020
25 snowy windy
Hun hunt on private
Late start
Big covey flush before start
Very big loop and no contact
Dog points the covey when we were loading up in the truck
Andy released Dot and she barked and snapped at him! Heaty bitch!
Came to me on whistle to work wo gps
Chased them with points and steady and easy
Huns
3 points
2 ground shot
1 flight shot
1 retr
Loop 2
3 long flushes
1 point
1 retr on cool under hill. Video
Loop 3
Dot in truck
Big loop w his 4 dogs
Cool vids and sweet work
Long flush
No bird
Done 230 legs pooped dog pooped
Req the same for tomorrow for Dot training on Huns
Walmart reload cooler
Magical hunting day!
Hotel at 4
Day #10 –  Oct 23, 2020
Late start
All bird hunting is an hour away
Private Hun lease again
20 calm clear
Snow gone here
10 covey pushes
4 points
4 retr
New place
Loop 1
Easy setup and miss
Popo chk and selfie!
Loop 2
Back to yesterday’s place
Loop 3
Entry covey then chase in yesterday’s spots
Dot only first loop
Failed to find fresh dead hun on bare ground
Refuse or smelled out?
She pointed the covey and held
No Dot after initial covey
Chased out singles
Another  w 3 in his ass went 100y
Last bird
Done at 3
Magnificent day blurry but lots of dog and bird action w lots of ground covered
Dot pooped hard
Weather was perfect today
Shot Ber for 3”:shells but long shots w CG would have been better.
Day #11 –  Oct 24, 2020
Travel
630 out
Boise 530
OR 615
Burns 830 but 730 pst
Day #12 –  Oct 25, 2020
15 and bad hotel heat
On to Grants Pass
Saw Valley Qquail this am walking Dot at hotel
I think Dot is almost done bleeding
Across the top of Great Basin
Out of desert into forest 1030
Thru Klamath forest near crater lake cc
Aspens changing
28 deg 1130
Klamath marsh is very cool
BW early check-in
Explore
Dot getting skinny on the road!
Day #13 –  Oct 26, 2020
Brk w Dom then off to mtns
Dom is a bird bio
Loop 1
Hard
old burn w thick slash
Barely saw first covey
Perfect knob post on second covey
1 down
Shot his top knot off
Re-saw first covey at end and shot another
Slow flushes are cool
Loop 2 short
Edges then into the valley riparian
Point on Rough Grouse in tree
Ground flush
more flushes
work it down to another covey
work them more flushes
Work back up
Flushes again
Tree RG and video
Fun Rough Grouse Rodeo!
Plenty of shooting today
All either fast low quiet quail or dense bush RG
430 done
Sore hard. Some was like sky chk hunt
Day #14 –  Oct 27, 2020
Gold Hill OR Airbnb
Out by 8
Road grouse in forest too quick away
Loop 1 zilch
Mtn Quail road covey tried but too steep
Lunch tailgate
Road blue grouse sneak miss
Blue grouse from road but couldn’t find
Pressed Dot hard but should fired the gun or thrown a rock. Over trained.
One side for Mountain quail
One side for forest grouse!
Steep loop. Lots of sideways New big toe blisters from it.
Pm loop along ridge zilch
Ran Dot. She’s a doofus.
430 done
May June July canyon pigeon hunt in OR
Aug banded pigeon in CA
Day #15 –  Oct 28, 2020
Ready to be done w mountains
Out early short day
Nice trails but 2x bushwhacking downhill in bb vines was nasty
One big loop saw 1 quail covey but didn’t get on them
zilch
I hit Dots whistle goal!
One and done so Dom can get 5 hrs to highland hills ranch
We’re headed back after dog bowl w pins for onX
Rescued the dog bowl
Shopped ate at home and slept
Day #16 –  Oct 29, 2020
Travel to Boise
Dot cycle changed last night from bleeding to licking
5k miles 262k at Klamath marsh
Albert basin cool cc
Poverty basin deserves its name
Smog in Ontario makes my eyes water and my nose clog up
Boise 7p
Day #17 –  Oct 30, 2020
Boise to Ogden Easy
121s
Updated the trophy case
Out by 10
Dot discovered that people walk their cats
3p into Layton and hotel took me day early
Denny supper
Done
Day #18 –  Oct 31, 2020
Layton holiday inn near Ogden UT
MRL and KS scouting in am
Duck truck oil change and get larry in pm
Good lord day 2 Dot is hot heat on fire humping everything
Day #19-  Nov 1, 2020
W Larry
Ducks in Salt Lake
4am meet
In place 6 for 630 start
Water frigid! Shivers waiting in Dot !
Father and son too 4 shooters in the boat
I’m up front on deck and running dot out the back
Slow enough
Great view.
2 GWT
1 Wigeon w rust
1 Redhead
6 retr
Blue bird day
Out by 11
Deep mud was hard and tricky
Nap
Day #20 –  Nov 2, 2020
Behind giant swan sills
Stale ducks and blue bird day
1 retrieve on cripple
Zilch
Off by 10
Hotel
Maverick at 2
6 realeased chukars and 6 pheas.
In a dog training area in thick cover.
Everyone’s first time
Little old man dog trainer placing birds
Bad flyers bad bad
Dot caught 3 of 5 pheasant bc thick brush
Larry shot chukars but missed more than hit and DE boys backed up and got them.
Chukars were better but only bc she couldn’t catch them
Bad for all steadies.
Need teach point then flush
I worked the pond and sides w dog and I’m whooped
5 of 6 chukars
5 retr pheasant
5 retr chukar
Day #21 –  Nov 3, 2020
SLC ducks w Larry
Dipshit guide forgot to fill boat gas tank
Set us up badly then hiked a mile out on the dike and in marsh to fill gas tank and return
Then he pushed us deeper and nothing changed
Saw 1 flight pf bluebills and nothing else
Done at 11 for 2 hr long to get us out and pick up 200 dekes
Big lunch
Nap elections laundry
Room got cleaned
Day #22 –  Nov 4, 2020
Larry to airport at 830
Off-Day Humor!
Get JLH 1030
Park City tour wo snow
Near river bird refuge
Saw pheasants in the marsh
Blue iguana supper
Day #23 –  Nov 5, 2020
Off to grand junction 11 to see Cynthia
Arr 4 la Quinta
Super w Cyn 6
Day #24 –  Nov 6, 2020
JLH approval for 50 miner plus deal
Out 1130 to La in Bolder
Day #25 –  Nov 7, 2020
Boulder
Late start see La at barn 1130
Me n Dreamer
Estes Park and RMNP
Jens first elk
Lebanese for supper
So good savory
Home by 7
730 am depart and should be in KS near noon then time change but far west side so little later
Day #26 –  Nov 8, 2020
Drop Jen at airport 830
Reconfigure truck for hunt
Dot Ready To Go
Windy off to KS
Scouting at noon
Dot needed 6 poops first run
Wrong open date. Is 11/14
Finished scouting Norton
Almost north to Nebraska
Could hunt there but only public and hard to figure
Could go home n work then RnR
12 hrs home ovn greensburg is fine.
Plan Better Next Time!
Stay Wichita at 930
Long day
Day #27 –  Nov 9, 2020
8 hrs home Wichita to home
Arr 430
Return Thur pm back to Tipton and beyond
EPIC Trip Ends – To Be Continued in 2021
 
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Dot’s 2020 VGP