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How was your upland season?

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    How was your upland season?

    Just curious how your season was? Did you see similar bird numbers as recent years?

    I hunted some of the same land as in years past and some new land as well, only 1 day on private property. I saw a fair number of quail but overall I think the numbers were down. I was pleasantly surprised with the pheasant numbers for the most part. They seemed to cooperate with the dog better than previous years, even late season pressured birds.

    The last morning of my upland season was about as good as it gets. Beautiful calm morning, slight west wind. The dog hadn't been in the field 3 minutes and she's locked up 50 yards off. The hen holds tight until I kick the grass around her. Another minute and Scuba is locked again. Same scenario over and over. After more than a dozen productive points on hens a rooster finally pops out! And I wiff... Shot a little behind it. We keep at it, more hens then finally a couple more roosters and better aim results with two birds in hand and well over 20 productive points. A great day and season.
    When you have the option, please buy American made. If it does not save your job, it might save mine.

    #2
    I hunted primarily south-east and south-central Nebraska. Quail numbers were definitely down from what I saw last year, but I still ran into ~1 covey per day afield (last year I was seeing 2-3 per day). I did hunt more WPA/WMAs, and fewer CRP fields this year though, so that probably played a part.

    Pheasant numbers seemed fairly consistent with what I've seen the past few years. Opening weekend was the only time I got a limit of roosters on public land, but averaged ~1.5 pheasants per trip. Certainly had more chances, but I had some terrible shooting over my shorthaired.
    This was my first full season hunting over a pointer (previously had labs exclusively; I'm running both a lab and a shorthaired now). I was so used to long flushes from my lab, that I choked more than once on the beautifully setup, close-range shots that my pointer gave me.

    All-in-all, it was a good season. Both my daughters made it out this year a for long weekend trip, and I managed to get them on birds every time.

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      #3
      Similar experience to donger51 in the SE corner. Quail numbers on OFW properties was down in comparison to previous years. I didn't see much for pheasant down there this year. Finally found some in January of which was my son's first wild rooster. He had ample opportunities though as we hunted Western Kansas and Central South Dakota, too.

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        #4
        This year was my best in NE. I had 8 trips out, with trips ranging from a few hours to all day. All but 2 were within an hour of Lincoln. All public lands without a dog, with 5 trips being solo. I really worked to get birds. I finished with 18 roosters and 2 quail. The snow helped me a lot as I could track birds. My shooting started out great but got worse as the season went on. I think I jinxed myself when I told a friend "I have been shooting well this year."

        I am just hoping that this winter does not decimate the birds.

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          #5
          Would have been better if I could have hit the side of a barn while standing in it. but a day out in the field burning through a box of shells is better than doing a lot of other things. I blame it on the shells, they must have been made in China or something.

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            #6
            BB, I know how you feel. I raised and released 750 pheasants and 750 quail last yr and let them go on our hunting ground and only h7nted twice.

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              #7
              Had one of my more productive pheasant seasons since college age. Ended up shooting about 37 rooster, but that was across ND, SD, and NE. Specifically NE, I felt quail were definitely lower than a peak of the prior two years. Pheasants seems similar to the last few years, with improved hunting as the season went on. I think late crop harvest and warm temps saved the roosters until later in the season. December and even into middle January were some of the best hunts this year. This late winter is going to be rough though, Im fearful we might look back on these marginal last 5 to 10 years as not so bad come this fall.

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                #8
                I had a new baby join the family in late october so that cut into hunting time. Early season got about a pheasant per outing. This year I saw a few less quail but didn't even attempt a shot as all were short trips out and one bagged quail is not an ideal outcome for a hunt. The dog was happy to point them either way. I did see a fairly large group of grouse that looked larger in number than prior years on a piece of land I have 5 years of experience on.

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                  #9
                  Just looking through some older threads & came upon this. Had an okay upland season - true to form, didn't make it out like I promised myself I would.

                  The one thing I wanted to say here was - dang it's good to see the pictures of these kids out in the field! To you folks getting them out there - HATS OFF TO YOU! Too many kids on their cell phones & playstations these days.

                  I have 5 year old twins & they love getting out in the field with me to work the dog and I love it just as much as them. They want to spend some time with me in the blind this weekend - can't think of a better way to spend a crisp Saturday morning than int he blind with those two. Their chatter will chase off any birds, but what the hell, they're only this little once! Again, hats off to you parents getting them outdoors like this! Great to see.

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                  • Luv2Decoy
                    Luv2Decoy commented
                    Editing a comment
                    BB Gun will be your friend in blind

                  #10
                  Does this count for young enough? Ended up shooting about 10 roosters with him riding along this fall. Pretty entertaining listening to him talk to the dogs almost non stop while hunting. Towards the end of the season he would yell "got em!".

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                    #11
                    Flooding along the river decimated pheasant reproduction and concentrated hunters on fewer public access areas. I saw very few wild pheasants in the south east. Of course released birds by game and parks allowed some success but it is not an indicator of good hunting. I took 15 pheasants this year including 5 in South Dakota. It was my worst year in over 10 years.

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