I’m sitting in the Plains Diner across from the Dakota Inn. There’s not a seat in here without an orange cap and it feels like Vols gameday in Knoxville.
Season opens today and hunting starts at 12:00. For ten years we’ve joined the Reilly family’s opening day tradition. Lance and Norm, plus cousins and friends, ex husbands of Lance’s sister, the five of us, and Mike the photographer for the local paper shake hands and load up
There will be about ten good dogs, a couple young dogs trying to learn, some electronic dogs (dogs that respond to shock collars without any instinct) plus one or two more that are worth the dog food as friends.
Pheasant hunting in a large party like this is a battle. At the end of a field the birds run into the blockers, more dogs are released, and we have the birds surrounded. Dogs get “birdy” and nobody moves, listening to the chase ahead in the tall corn. Birds launch, and there is no sound like the flutter, and the beautiful missile hits the South Dakota jet stream in a second.
It can’t just be a bird, it has to be a rooster. Maybe I’ll post a picture. We can limit at around 60 today with the number of hunters we’ll have. Thats three apiece.
We make it, or at sunset we go to the east slough. That’s the honey hole on the 800 acre farm. Any day we don’t limit out by sunset, we go hit the honey hole. Then we make it.