We took all three dogs pheasant hunting this past Saturday.  I took a lot of pictures of them working so I plan to split them into three posts–one devoted to each dog.

As the senior dog, Thunder hunted first.

Thunder Goes Pheasant Hunting

The day started out foggy and overcast, but eventually it cleared and became sunny.  It was a warm day for December in northern Michigan.  The field was very wet with a lot of standing water.  We had to park quite a long way from where we could hunt because it was too wet to drive up closer.  We were worried we would get stuck.  It made for a long walk every time we got a new dog out.

Our Field For The Day
Our Field For The Day
Pheasant Hunting
Thunder Is Ready To Go Pheasant Hunting

You can see from this photo that it was really wet.  As the day warmed up, any ice in the field melted and the puddles kept getting larger.  Hunting pheasant in wet conditions is not ideal because the birds tend to run, rather than fly, once they get wet.  They do not flush all that well either and the dogs needed to pounce on some of them to get them air born.

Pheasant Hunting
Thunder Has His Nose To The Ground
Pheasant Hunting
Thunder Is Has Hit On Some Scent
Pheasant Hunting
He Followed His Nose To Some Deeper Cover
Pheasant Hunting
Sure Enough Thunder Flushed A Bird
Pheasant Hunting
A Shot
Pheasant Hunting
Another Shot
Pheasant Hunting
Thunder Is Ready To Retrieve, But This One Got Away

Unfortunately the first bird was a miss.  So Thunder continued on and it wasn’t long before he flushed another.

Pheasant Hunting
Thunder Flushed And Retrieved This Bird But The Cover Is Too High To See Him
Pheasant Hunting
First Bird In The Bag Is A Fat Rooster

After hunting a bit longer, Thunder flushed a hen.  The cover is so tall that you can’t see him.  The bird flushed too low to get a good shot and flew off.

Pheasant Hunting
Another Flush But Too Low For A Good Shot

We hunted back to an area with some birch trees.  We saw the hen fly back there, but we didn’t find any birds in that area.

Pheasant Hunting
Hunting An Area With Some Birch Trees

Thunder finished hunting his part of the field so we put him up and he had a little rest while Storm, and then Freighter, hunted.  Thunder went out a second time with Storm as the clean-up crew.  They did a great job working together to get some of the running birds to flush.

Thunder worked hard.  He ended up hunting a long time in challenging cover.  Thunder will be 10 in March but he sure does not show his age while hunting.  He was a little stiff in the evening after we got home.  In the morning there was no sign of stiffness.  We credit the fact that he is still in great condition and the supplement he is on helped too.

Here is Thunder with the birds.

pheasant hunting

Tomorrow Storm’s hunt.

10 thoughts on “Thunder Goes Pheasant Hunting

  1. Fantastic job, Hunter!!! I don’t get a lot of pheasant for our dogs so I’d be your best pal during hunting season. I’ve been looking for a pheasant hook up to no avail. #mydogseatbetterthanido

  2. I’m sure they all just loved the hunting. Now if the guy with the gun could get himself aiming better…just sayin’ it isn’t always the dogs who need to work on things. 😉

  3. Awesome job, Thunder! It is so great to see a senior guy like that still doing so well and not letting his age slow him down!

  4. First photo of Thunder in the mud…see his entire mind and body on full alert, in his element! Always amazing how the senior Chessies summon that energy for the challenging hunt. A good rest seems to allow them to hunt another day!

  5. Just so happens that I went out to listen yesterday morning in one of my honey holes.Pulled in at 7:10,birds where talking hard,flew down at 7:20,had 6 long beards trying to beat hell out of each other.Looks like there are alot more birds this year.
    Can’t wait.

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