Sunday, May 22, 2011

A second opening

Yesterday was the first shoot day at PPPP, our pheasant syndicate. Tim and I got down on Friday night, arriving late to find Craig, Hendrik and Simon in residence and well on their way. Simon poured us some vodka shots and that stuff ($200 US bottle, all the way from Russia) knocked me over. Hendrik and Simon hit the hay at midnight, me Tim and Craig talked until 1am. My head was spinning so bad that it was hard to sleep. Seemed like I'd only just closed my eyes when 6am rolled around and the mad idiots were up and at em for a pig hunt.

Simon stomps along like some Shrek

We walked up a gulley and across a nice bit of native for a couple of hours.

Looking south

Craig with pig gun
The walk revealed plenty of sign but the dogs didn't hit any fresh scent. They ripped a hare apart though.

I'm a big vicious pig dog :)

We got back (walk had cured hangover) and had a coffee and headed out for a morning pheasant walk. As Mitch & Mick weren't arriving until 2pm we hunted the minor release pen area. Birds were evident but cagey as. I just couldn't put myself in a birdy spot. Craig finally got one with a lovely overhead shot on the bushline. Simon chipped in with a lte cock as we were returning to the cars. My effort was a driven turkey that ate 2 loads of #6 as it flew by. It crashed down but damned if I could find it, until Hendrik suggested looking up.... and 10 feet up the tree, there it was.

Anyhow it was a bit of a slog. We got back to the cars and headed back down to the house for lunch and to await Mick & Mitch. Si had to take off so packed up and went.

The boys came in on time so we headed up to the cover crop where the pheasants had been living since release. Mitch, Mick, Craig and dogs worked a ridge while Tim, Hendrik and me covered the gulley. Birds were coming out before I got into position, not sure if the boys could see them all. It was a good manouvre though as Mitch shot a fat melanistic, Tim got one too, Craig nailed a nice ring neck, Mick opened up and Hendrik too. My only shot was a looong one. It was hectic. It took me and Craig ages to find his downed bird, but sure enough he finally found it under a log. His poor old dog Silence was wheezing. We regathered and figured out how we'd work the main crop. We decided to spread out and have dogs at each end and middle. On the way to the crop paddock I got diverted by a cock that I winged. Running him down was certainly not easy and I was puffing... 4 shots to bring him to hand...

The crop was great. Birds were holding and everyone got shots. I closed my limit with 2 more cocks. Craig, Tim and Hendrick knocked birds down. By the end of the crop we had a dozen birds to hand. We then worked the next gulley before I got seperated from the group and ended up working a ridge and went for a loonnnggg detour. It was about an hour before I caught up with the boys and I was shagged. A few more birds were taken, notably a nice cock by Mick. We got back to the cars for a photo shoot.

Brutus and roosters

Me, Tim, Hendrik, Craig, Mitch & Mick

A bloody good day. Final count was 18 birds on the deck.

We had a small drama on the way back. I decided to hit a thick mud patch on the farm track at speed and suceeded in spinning the car so it was nose first into a bank. Luckily Mick was able to tow me straight and we got moving again. Humour.

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