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If the hat makes your ass pucker....the Grandkids bought it for me and because of that I like it more than a little....

GREAAAT trip at the Bird Dog Bunkhouse hunting mostly public land, single or with one of the other people for Wild Pheasants.



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Last edited by battue; 11/21/22.

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Real men can rock the rainbow!

Again we had a great time together my friend.

Your Cockers are very special little dogs. Merlot is always a trooper and Higgee is turning it on.

You are no slouch at 78! I hope we have many years to spend together.

Killing wild roosters with your Parker DHE 28ga and Win Model 12 16ga & 20ga even makes it more special.

Thanks for being a great friend smile


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I figured it may cause some to wonder when posting wearing it here. However, the fact is I never even considered the connection when the Grandkids gave it. Plus I like a little color in clothes. Couple other hunting friends like you saw the pics and got a laugh out of it!!!!

Thanks and as I have told you a couple times....My mistake was to not go out and stay at Bird Dog for many years previous. There is a great group of guys who are regulars; most of whom are serious about their Pheasant hunting. I came in as a stranger and left as a friend.

Thank you, I only hope and pray there are enough good years left to say, "I’m satisfied with it all."

For those who don't know, Bobby is not only an expert Pheasant hunter....it would be foolish to bet against him....but has successfully hunted the world in places most can't imagine. And it would be difficult to know another who is more down to earth, honest and one who has a true hunters heart and drive.

Yes, you are a valued friend....and in my life there are few. Now if I can remember to keep the bottom of the glass off the syrup dish. grin

You want to hunt your Dogs on Wild Pheasants...One on one if you choose, then look up the Bird Dog Bunkhouse. However, don't wait too long. Most who go sign on for next year before they leave.

Last edited by battue; 11/21/22.

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Looks like a great trip! Congrats. Tough week to be hunting out here.


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Thin layers with a wind breaker and it wasn't all that bad. And when the sun was on the snow, it made it better. The ice roads and two tracks were more of a concern.


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Looks like you had a great time. The pictures really make a person want to go up there, but without a dog it seems like it would be a long cold day. It does look chilly. 🥶

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Looks like a good hunt, but really cold.

🦫

PS

Love the hat!


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Only in a small South Dakota town motel...

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Excellent Harry! I’m glad you had a good time there at Dukxdog’s. Your pic’s of the dogs alone are a treat, and otherwise certainly capture hunting of winter pheasants in the Heartland, although you hit an unusually brisk November for the region.

Our group heads out to central SD in about two and a half weeks. So far the extended forecast looks milder than during your trip. In the past we’ve encountered temps and wind from mild and still, to 20-30 mph and -20* with a foot of snow, to freezing sleet, whereupon semi’s, and even pumps started to hiccup; SxS’s wouldn’t eject. It’s all good. The thing about tough, bitter weather is, it feels so good when you get out of it! 😀

And Harry, you cut a dapper figure there with your outerwear, but I’m certainly relieved to hear you are not a new member of the Rainbow Coalition. 😉

Best,

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George? Is it you? Where ya been? Lots of pheasants left out there for you, hope its been a good year.

Good enough on the hat, Harry, I bet you needed it. we had quite a lot of ice here. It finally melted on Sunday, our grass was encased in that ice for a week. I saw lots of pheasants standing on top of it when frozen, the ice was thick enough to support that much weight.


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George and BK;

The first day it was cold, the fingers burned...Then the second, the body acclimated some and it wasn't as bad. Worst was around 12F in the morning and up to around the low 20's in the afternoon. Winds from 15 to middle 30MPH. The ice was on everything and perhaps a solid quarter inch thick. You didn't glide thru anything covered with it. You pushed yourself thru. Had one Hen get up that her back was covered with it. She had a hard time getting airborne. Good thing was often you put up Birds in larger bunches from protected areas. Must have been at least 6 times I put around 10, and one time over 30 Birds out of small protected bunches of trees they had spent the night under. And more than a few times with just a couple. Did see one extra cool thing. A Rooster sitting on the very top of a decent pine. Finest Christmas tree decoration I have ever seen.

Two LW top thermo's, a really thin puff and a windbreaker took care of the top mostly. However, the key is this. I had previously noticed Bobby wore Carhart bips and he swore by them for winter hunting. So, I bought a pair with a thin lining. He knew what he was talking about. I wore them with no long johns underneath and they kept out the wind up the legs and around your core. Only advice I can give is get yourself some. They have since become standard issue on cold days.

As far as the hat, no worries....however, I think the colors are fitting for hunting Roosters, and again plan on it being standard issue.

Beaver: There were a few more in my haul, but I was a piker compared to Bobby. Trust me, he is a Roosters worst nightmare.


There are some additional "cold" pics in the camera. Although it was easily handled when dressed properly and moving.

Last edited by battue; 11/23/22.

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A little windy.....


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Icicles on everything...Going thru the cattails was especially more challenging than usual. However, those Carhats made it much easier and held out any dampness.


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Those trees in the background were off limits....But you can be assured there were more than a couple Birds huddled in there.

Last edited by battue; 11/22/22.

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Awesome trip Battue. Glad you had a fine hunt although cold. Hang in there. I hope to hit that country again some day.


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Originally Posted by battue
I figured it may cause some to wonder when posting wearing it here. However, the fact is I never even considered the connection when the Grandkids gave it. Plus I like a little color in clothes. Couple other hunting friends like you saw the pics and got a laugh out of it!!!!

Thanks and as I have told you a couple times....My mistake was to not go out and stay at Bird Dog for many years previous. There is a great group of guys who are regulars; most of whom are serious about their Pheasant hunting. I came in as a stranger and left as a friend.

Thank you, I only hope and pray there are enough good years left to say, "I’m satisfied with it all."

For those who don't know, Bobby is not only an expert Pheasant hunter....it would be foolish to bet against him....but has successfully hunted the world in places most can't imagine. And it would be difficult to know another who is more down to earth, honest and one who has a true hunters heart and drive.

Yes, you are a valued friend....and in my life there are few. Now if I can remember to keep the bottom of the glass off the syrup dish. grin

You want to hunt your Dogs on Wild Pheasants...One on one if you choose, then look up the Bird Dog Bunkhouse. However, don't wait too long. Most who go sign on for next year before they leave.

Great post, Harry, and spot on true! I’m glad to hear that you boys had a great hunt, despite the weather.

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Originally Posted by George_De_Vries_3rd
Excellent Harry! I’m glad you had a good time there at Dukxdog’s. Your pic’s of the dogs alone are a treat, and otherwise certainly capture hunting of winter pheasants in the Heartland, although you hit an unusually brisk November for the region.

Our group heads out to central SD in about two and a half weeks. So far the extended forecast looks milder than during your trip. In the past we’ve encountered temps and wind from mild and still, to 20-30 mph and -20* with a foot of snow, to freezing sleet, whereupon semi’s, and even pumps started to hiccup; SxS’s wouldn’t eject. It’s all good. The thing about tough, bitter weather is, it feels so good when you get out of it! 😀

And Harry, you cut a dapper figure there with your outerwear, but I’m certainly relieved to hear you are not a new member of the Rainbow Coalition. 😉

Best,


Forgot about the freezing up...The safety on the Model 12 16gauge must have had some moisture inside. Two Roosters got up close and the safety wouldn't budge. Huntz a local farmer and friend held it up to the truck vent and got it working. Back at Bird Dog I hit it with the hair dryer and a spot of oil and all was well. Tip 2: If you happen to get snow on the safety on a really cold day...Dry it out ASAP.


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I'd rather hunt late season birds in miserable weather than "pleasant" if I am wanting to put birds in the bag quickly. That is not to say I like being out in bad weather but that it can be used to great advantage.

In bad weather birds are as reluctant to leave cover as you are to leave the house so one can often get in shotgun range easier. In these conditions suitable cover is much more limited which concentrates the bird and eliminates a lot of walking in low percentage cover.

That one super wary bird may let you get much closer before flushing and when it does flush, at least some of the others will hold and hope whatever spooked the first bird passes by. When one knows the cover and pheasant habits it is very possible to limit out at the first stop in a few minutes. More than once the walk to or from a particular spot took longer than actually shooting a limit.

I'm eating my heart out this year, 5 weeks ago I broke my tibia and am out of hunting for the year. I was going to go to South Dakota this weekend to be cook and help drive the guys around scouting but holding off now as those around me are/have been coming down with the flu. No sense getting others sicker than they normally are.

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Battue. I saw several different shotguns in the photos. Very cool looking stuff. Mind telling us what they were and what loads you were using. Always interested me.


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Hazen,

Old Model 12 16 gauge Modified using Kent bismuth 5’s which were devastating at 35 yards and under

Winchester Model 12 20 gauge IC using Federal blue box 6’s which did fine mostly around 20 yards.

Parker Reproduction 28 gauge IC/MOD using Fiocchi Golden Pheasants 5’s. Which I used most and crushed Birds close and out there with both chokes. One around 40 yards with the Mod choke. Was surprised at how well it worked. And I’m not one that believes the 28 has special magic.

Lost two with the 20 and one with the 28.

Last edited by battue; 11/24/22.

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Thanks. I shot my 870 28 ga. this fall on blue grouse. Did a fine job. I have killed sage grouse to 40 yards, but I keep the full choke tube in. My dogs do not work as close as those little cuties of yours. Thanks for the answer and fine post.


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If you leave Full Choke in all the time, you can let the close flushers get out there a ways before you slap the trigger and still have enough choke for the long birds

😁


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Originally Posted by rcamuglia
If you leave Full Choke in all the time, you can let the close flushers get out there a ways before you slap the trigger and still have enough choke for the long birds

😁


Three problems for me is when come into focus, the trigger gets it slap.🙄 Second is all are fixed choke and third I’m short on patience. 😀


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Very nice, Battue!

Looks like a great hunt. The dogs looked to have had a blast.


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If you have a Dog and want to get him/her into Wild Roosters on public land, then I can highly recommend a week or two at the Bird Dog Bunkhouse.

It is not traditional groups walking the fields SD Pheasant hunting....more like one or two one on one hunting. You, a friend, your Dog and Pheasants. Depending on where you are from, myself in Pa as an example, your dog most likely will have more contacts in a week than a couple years at home.

Last edited by battue; 12/08/22.

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Having just moved from out west to the Carolinas, a trip to SD for pheasants sounds like it needs to be in my future!


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First, we had planned to be in central SD until Thursday, or maybe even Friday morning, but I’m home already home, on Wednesday as I write this. We arrived in SD this last Sunday with the weather forecast looking grim but heck, many of were so passionate we had hunted in blizzards as teens..without dogs. The trip for us was about evenly divided between seeing and being with good friends, and shooting big, wild ringnecks. And for me, using and enjoying different shotguns. But, going mid-December to SD is not always going to be kind to you. There are a lot of advantages to this time period, but downsides too, to be sure.

Secondly, I apologize for the lack of pictures which Battue, Dukxdog, and others usually grace these pages with, but fog, rain, sleet, wind and snow didn’t make it easy, or to be so inclined. The dogs were less inclined than usual to pose. In fact, as we huddled yesterday afternoon, the Springers, soaked and cold, shivered at our feet. In fact, I had laid a canvas “possibles” bag on the ground and the youngest springer, climbed on top of it, huddling and shivering. Anything to get out of that cold snow.

We did get in two days of hunting before good sense overtook wishful thinking. I-90 closing from Rapid City to Chamberlain, predicted snow, and especially high winds, dictated more realistic plans.

Temps were rock steady in the lower 30’s which normally would be on the warm side for my bird hunting. But throw in humidity of ~ 98 % and a 20 mph wind and the cold penetrated layered clothing like #2 shot. And, you can only layer so much. Now add in the rain and sleet. The only good thing one can say about this kind of weather is, it feels so good when you get out of it.

I only took two guns along, leaving behind the one I really wanted to use, a Rizzini 20 O/U just because of the forecast. I took a Benelli 12 UL and a Browning 16 Superlight Feather O/U but loaded the ammo box 2:1 in favor of the 16. It was next in line to the Rizzini get a good workout.

Somehow, a box or two of Federal 12’s, 1 3/8 oz at 1450 fps got thrown in. I’m not aware I had even bought any of these, or how I otherwise would have obtained them. But the UL was beating the crap out of me until I started looking through my shells and identified them. Actually, I see no purpose in these for pheasants at all, and don’t recommend them. They are hard on the gun, the shooter, and are unnecessary. I switched to my 16. It’s a 6 lb gun — a wand, even compare to the UL 12 which is 6 1/4 lb.

The dogs were two very good labs, and three Springers, one a young pup that hadn’t figured out what the goal was yet, but that was what he was there for — to follow the two old veteran females. The birds were already working from the crops and grass on top, down into deep brushy ravines by a Monday afternoon. Somehow, they also knew about tje coming weather. Still, on Monday, with 12 guns, we reached our limit

Tuesday, we found very few in unsheltered country; we could see and hear them in the lower, rough and steep ravines. Even the one shelter belt we hunted surprised us with fewer birds than expected. Rain about 10:00 turned to sleet and the first thing was my 16’s ejectors were turned to extractors by all the moisture. Plucking an empty out with gloves while trying to keep from dumping the one live shell was cumbersome. Being glasses-dependent was an extra curse in this weather, with fogging, then being constantly wet. I had to press my gloved right index finger into windshield wiper service. Nothing was
ideal, but there it was.

We quit about 1 pm when fog dropped to about forty feet and the wind-driven sleet actually stung and bit like blowing sand. The point of the sorrows outweighing the joys had finally come for us. We called the game and headed in. We still took thirteen birds with six of us.

All of us left bailed early this morning as the storm slowed but the forecast called for a blizzard for later today into tomorrow. Yesterday morning, we were about the only ones in our motel. When I-90 closed to Chamberlain, it filled up fast with travelers having no other options.

It was worth it. Hunting is about the process, and the experience; about the sharing it with good friends who with a laugh, can tell you, “I’ve seen you shoot better.”

One photo of our last go — a mile long shelter belt. Two dogs inside with one gunless pusher. Fog had already pushed down to the tree tops and believe it or not, you could loose a high-riser in the clouds. Birds would bust out high with the wind and those outside would get European driven birds type shooting. It was a nice variation, but very difficult shooting. Notice the two walkers just about and above the middle of the fence, and the ice cycles hanging from the wire.


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Damn, sounds like it was a rough trip. Especially when they start shutting down interstates.

In case you haven't seen this....maybe it will help ease the sting.

There are Rizzini shotguns that go to the UK and only are rarely found here. They are special.




Last edited by battue; 12/15/22.

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Yeah, I did I see that. Just about all the name shops can build to a shooting culture’s demands/price point.

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I was wondering! Good report. I think my hunting is close to over for the year sadly. This much snow isn't going to melt anytime soon. Glad you made it home. The truck stop at Vivian was full last night I'm told.


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Originally Posted by George_De_Vries_3rd
Yeah, I did I see that. Just about all the name shops can build to a shooting culture’s demands/price point.

They make an excellent SxS. Custom shop guns are stunning.

Last edited by battue; 12/15/22.

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My little Rizzini Aurora 20 is not at the top of the pile; but isn’t close to chopped liver either. From what I could find it’s considered a well-made, attractive, upper middle class gun, a state of being I hope to aspire to one day.

It’s good we left when we did. I-90 was clear into Mn yesterday, while I read it’s a mess today and blizzardling in the Chamberlain area and north.

Of course if I was seventeen again….

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Originally Posted by BKinSD
I was wondering! Good report. I think my hunting is close to over for the year sadly. This much snow isn't going to melt anytime soon. Glad you made it home. The truck stop at Vivian was full last night I'm told.

Wednesday evening with interstate just closing, we made three attempts to find a place to eat before we did. People were filling motels from I-90, but the locals didn’t seem to want to work. In a town of ~ 2400, one would think they’d be ready to go.

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Here is one that would be nice when you are comfortable with your aspirations....Hell you have paid more for throwaway trucks...a lot more. Rizzinis are currently a favorite of the Brits.

https://www.gunsinternational.com/g...-regal-28-ga-30-bbl.cfm?gun_id=102123863

Last edited by battue; 12/15/22.

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Ouch! Get thee behind me Battue..😄

Very, very, very nice.

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Three of us went out yesterday to Sully County. Every bird from miles around has congregated on some friend's farm/habitat. Nice day but wow is the snow deep. Yikes. Anyway we shot eight fat roosters and called it a day. Too nice to stay home, too much snow to get around much. Pheasants seem to be doing just fine and so are the hawks and owls.


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Had been arguing with myself about making one more run. Have hunted around Agar. Close to Sully Co.


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I don’t know Harry. The snow may be knee-high there. I’m sure BK will know as that’s in his general area.

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I had two trips scheduled to the Bird Dog Bunkhouse this Fall until my 1 year old pointing lab got hit by a truck and broke her leg. We had to cancel. Bobby was very understanding and I am ready to book for next year anytime he is taking reservations.

My dog has come back very well and I got her out the weekend before Christmas at a game farm in Mn. We put out 10 pheasants, shot 9 and found 7. Twelve inches of snow on top of the tall grass. She pointed 7 of them and retrieved all 7. I can not wait till next Fall.

Dean

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George,
Too late now. The two times I thought let’s go I would see a report I90 was getting hammered or shut down. So the loooong wait begins.

Have they given you the new knee yet?

I’m going to the optometrist tomorrow for a refraction on the eye that recently received a new lens. They missed 20/20 by a couple hairs, but got it pretty close.

Last edited by battue; 01/23/23.

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Dean,

Prepare to make it an annual event. And as they say here….Hint: 5 days isn’t enough. You have been told. 😀


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Harry, yes, the long wait. I know exactly what you mean.

My new knee is scheduled for Feb 9, but I’m rather envious of your new lens. Strange as it sounds, I’ve been waiting for cataracts to take advantage of the same. Very tired of glasses.

Seems my joints are going first though. Probably now paying the amount-due, for all those years of running.

I’m sorry you couldn’t get a second trip in. Lord-willing, we will thrill to it again, next fall.

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I'll still be wearing glasses to read. Will only have a slight distance correction in the one eye. Have been wearing glasses for years. NBD.


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The snow on the flat is as deep as the crop/grass on it, generally speaking. Like a cut corn field will have snow as deep as the stalks or close to it. A wheat stubble field is as deep as the stubble. The trees where the birds are surviving are full of snow drifts sometimes 6-8' deep, and so there's no path through for a person, the dogs have to do the work. The birds fly and generally go right back into the woody cover.

We walked on the outside where we could and the whole thing was ok if you're a guy who left home at 130 and will be home for supper but if you had to pay to get here and stay etc I think you'd feel like your time was better spent elsewhere.


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Talked to a friend of mine who is a staff wildlife biologist for sdgfp. He traveled to Aberdeen last week for meetings he said the snow cover was really heavy in the windbreaks and cattail sloughs tough on cover for the birds. He saw birds in large bunches concentrated where the eats were. In Central to north central SD there is still 3-4 months of winter left. Keep your fingers crossed that they don't get any more large blizzards...mb


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No joke MB, the critters need to catch a break.


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Originally Posted by BKinSD
We walked on the outside where we could and the whole thing was ok if you're a guy who left home at 130 and will be home for supper but if you had to pay to get here and stay etc I think you'd feel like your time was better spent elsewhere.


The difference between those who have....or don't have....great Bird hunting almost out the back door. grin When we could get 20-30 Grouse flushes a day here, there was no reason to drive all that far. When you don't have it, then how much you want it becomes the question.


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We haven’t had the snow for years like we have this year. We have a rather shallow roof angles and so have had to have a foot of snow removed from the last four or five feet of roof up from the gutters where we have ice-damming.

The guys pulled it down on our rear deck, putting a seven foot pile between our porch door and our grill. Looks like we won’t be grilling until June.

But driving anywhere in the country astonishes most folk because of the birds that are now bunched and visible even here in NW Iowa. Totally agree though that with 2-3 more months of potential storms, the birds are “up against it” as an old patient liked to say. Plus, they need warm, mild conditions going into May-June nesting.

On a positive note, the country looks pristine where the farmers aren’t already spreading manure. It’s like rattle-canning the Sistene Chapel. Jeepers, just wait a month or two. 😜

I’ll share an informal New Year’s resolution with you all — I will not buy another shotgun in the off-season…I will not buy…

Stay warm and well gents.

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George, I seem to remember you like them right around 6 Pounds.....6 pounds 3 ounces...Something to take your mind to a happy place, when they are twisting on your new knee.

https://www.fieldsportltd.com/gunroom/gun_view.php?gunId=3795

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Harry, interestingly my Batista Riz Aurora, though an O/U, matches that RB Riz BR550 Aurorum 20 in measurables — 6 lbs,3 oz, but with 28” barrels and a POW grip. Price new was prob in the neighborhood too.

Getting it used, it came only with the inserted chokes, M/IM. But as Elvis once said, “that’s ok with me.”

I’m willing to bet that by this September, you will be posting pic’s of your newest wonderkind shot thrower. 😀 👍🏼

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I was in SW MN a week or so ago and conditions were the same. Lots of snow, little cover. Saw a lot of birds which was surprising due to the prior weather but it is worrisome as there wasn't much cover left.

It looked better down there than at home north of The Cities as I actually saw a number of hens. Since Christmas I have seen only a handful of hens up here which bodes poorly for spring. Roosters are more visible though in fewer numbers than I would expect considering what was around last summer. I'm afraid the couple storms with a day or more of rain followed by dropping temps and blowing snow did a number on hens. My food plot of sorghum is completely covered as is the cattail swamp. I am afraid how many birds perished in there. The Halloween Blizzard in 1991(?) did much the same and my dogs found 53 live birds under the snow which were released. I took home limits of birds that didn't make it over the 9 days I was able to look.

Two roosters regularly scrounge under the bird feeder, something that hasn't happened in 25 years. The one peeks out from the cedars and spruces when I fill the feeders. I'm thinking he will come when called in a couple more weeks. If he makes it.

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We had a decent thaw this week in town along the river at least. Going back up on Sunday to give them another go. Supposed to be cold but sunny and windless.


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Temps dropped a bit here, expected to have single digits as a high for the next week. Then a few days in the teens until a predicted week in the 20s occurs. That is, if you can believe the weatherman.

The snow is crusting hard, hard enough more pheasants are showing up at the feeder. Today had 6 roosters and a pair of hens in the yard. Hopefully, the hens make it through till spring though that is quite a while away. Also had a coyote cruise the front yard looking for a meal. I doubt the pheasants roost nearby but there are at least 8 rabbits I wouldn't mind see disappear.

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Tough year for wildlife. I had an unexpected treat the other day on the way back from Sioux Falls. I spotted a small covey of Hungarian Partridges out in a field. This was only the second sighting for me in decades. In the ‘80’s we saw them fairly often while pheasant hunting.

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We busted a covey of Huns north of Highmore 5-6 years ago but hadn't seen any in this country in as long before or since. They were ubiquitous in this part of the world back in the 80's. They seem to do better north and west of here. Too bad, they're sporty birds.


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It was not sunny and windless. It was about zero and blowing 15 and really quite miserable but we shot a limit of pheasants in a short time yesterday and I think that will close out the season for us. Let the dogs ride inside the cab on the way home even. The shooting was excellent and we were glad to be out of the house even for a short time.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


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BK, that’s a breeze with razor blades. Right at -20*. A long time ago, an elderly gent, referring to painful outdoor pursuits, characterized it as “when the sorrows outweigh the joys”. Although, did it a lot when I was younger, that would have been it for me.

Great that you could get to the birds and have some good shooting. I’m sure the dogs were appreciative of your filling out quickly. 🙂

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I had a new hat, my youngest thought my blaze orange Stormy Kromer was shot, and for Christmas, she replaced it for me. I don't think my head was ever so cold as it was in that new hat. Let the breeze right through; so I reverted to the red Stormy that you see in the picture above. My face and hands were quite cold; that said, I think the dogs would have stayed allllll day long. They seemed very glad to be out with the birds.


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Well the wind was whistling thru the middle guys jeans also.

You guys were living large at that ranch!!!!


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Battue: Its good to have friends like they are; and they would say the same of us.


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The way it should be!!!!👍🏻


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