You know it’s opening day when…

South Dakota’s 2012 pheasant hunting season starts tomorrow, noon. I’m sure folks are going bird crazy just thinking about it.

South Dakota's Pheasant Opener
South Dakota’s Pheasant Opener

I’ve hunted SD’s opener a handful of times. For me, the day always meant lots of birds, lots of shooting and experiences I’ll always remember (and the night meant lots of drinking). Regardless of how thing went, getting together with my brother and his folks & family was always the best part of the trip.

To what the opener means to other folks, check out this list, pinched from Andrew Vavra’s blog The Over/Under on Pheasants Forever:

-While you were physically at work last week, you’ve been mentally absent the past three days
-That quiet, little gas station in the Middle of Nowhere suddenly has more traffic than the Vegas Strip
-You find yourself rubbing dirt on your shiny new chaps just so no one can possibly confuse you for a rookie
-There’s so much unnecessary gear packed in the back of your truck, you had legitimate concern over suffocating the dogs
-Various blaze orange militias have been staking out properties so early in the morning that even duck hunters would blush

Read all of this post here.

A great gunsmith wants to inspect your gun…


Have an old double barrel or side-by-side you’re wondering about? Then here’s a great chance to find out more about it. is bringing. Gunsmith Jack Rowe to the 2012 Vintage Cup, happening next weekend in Addieville, RI. Here are the details:

The most knowledgeable English Trained Gunmaker in the U.S. Jack Rowe will be offering gun examinations, similar to those offered at the British Game Fair. If you have questions concerning any of your guns or if you have a gun of unknown maker, English, Belgian, Spanish or German bring it along to the Vintager’s and have Jack Rowe examine it for you. He will be offering examinations similar to those offered at the U.K. Game Fair. Jack’s examination includes origin, maker, history which could possibly includ individuals involved in the making of your gun. Additionally, he can assist in determining the caliber, gauge, barrel wall thickness, chokes, condition, and if the gun is safe to fire. Jack will be charging a small examination fee for each gun.

Duck numbers take flight…

Mallards - number of 15% in 2012
Mallards – number of 15% in 2012

Ha – sorry. I couldn’t help myself with the headline. But here’s some good news about ducks from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) released its preliminary report today on breeding ducks and habitats, based on surveys conducted in May and early June. Total populations were estimated at 48.6 million breeding ducks in the surveyed area. This estimate represents a 7 percent increase over last year’s estimate of 45.6 million birds, and is 43 percent above the 1955-2010 long-term average. This year’s estimate is a record high and is only the sixth time in the survey’s history that the total duck population exceeded 40 million.” Read more here at the Ducks Unlimited site.

One woodcock + One grouse = A Good Day….

The woodcock are officially back in Maine. Puck pointed our first one of 2012 yesterday. I thought we would find more of them, but they just weren’t around. It is a little early, though. Puck also pointed a grouse. Overall, it was nice day. Enjoy the pics.

Puck, looking majestic
Puck, looking majestic


Puck, enjoying a spring day
Puck, enjoying a spring day


Puck pointing a woodcock
Puck pointing a woodcock

Connor’s EZ Button wins National Championship…

Just in – a male English Pointer named Connor’s EZ Button has won the granddaddy of field trials: the Ames Plantation’s National Championship for Field Trialing Bird Dogs.

Connor's EZ Button, winner of 2012 National
Connor's EZ Button, winner of 2012 National

Read about it in The Commercial Appeal:

GRAND JUNCTION, Tenn. — When Steve Hurdle won the National Championships for Field Trialing Bird Dogs with Shell Creek Coin back in 2006, he didn’t get much time to enjoy it…. Go to full article