Pheasant Hunting in Colorado
When a child asks you to take them to do something outdoors, that is the feeling of being a good father. It means that I raised the child in the right way, and that my values are important to him or her. In this case, my youngest son Kyle, who is 21 now, asked if we could go pheasant hunting on the day of the Iron Bowl (Alabama vs. Auburn college football) as we have done in past years. To Kyle, it was a tradition in his mind, and I suppose it will be going forward, although I always wanted the tradition to be hunting the day after Thanksgiving. Regardless, when a child asks you to take them hunting or fishing, or anything else outdoors, you always say “yes.” They are the future of what we hold dear to our hearts when it comes to outdoor activities, and we have to cultivate that.
So I made arrangements for a hunt at Rocky Mountain Roosters, the hunting club that I have been hunting at for over 20 years. What I like about Rocky Mountain Roosters is that it is real pheasant hunting; the 5,000 acres are cultivated with crops, there are creek draws lined with cotton wood trees, and the rolling hills and plains of this southeastern Colorado terrain is ideal pheasant habitat. While they do release pheasants into the habitat, this is not a guaranteed hunt; I have had many days where I only got one or less pheasants.
It was a very warm day for November, and we had hardly any snow. We started our hunt in a large field that was lined by a fence row piled up with tumble weeds on the right, and a field of corn on the left. As Logan, our guide, called his two golden labs to work the area before us, we began our approach through the field. Emma and Jazz were the names of the dogs, and they were very excited to find birds as they chased scent in erratic behavior; going far ahead, and then circling back behind us. You can watch a video by clicking here. I was a little concerned about this, but suddenly a bird flushed on Kyle’s side, but he missed it. Not long after that dogs put up a bird right in front of me, and I didn’t want to shoot it that close, so I turned to take a shot of the bird going away, and I missed it.
After watching the dogs give us several opportunities, I changed my mind about how these dogs were working. I prefer a pointing dog, but these dogs found us a lot of birds, and we both missed a few shots before we got dialed in and started making good shots. Kyle made some really good shots on birds, and I took a few birds with pretty easy crossing shots. In the end we had six birds, which was a great day of hunting. Click here to see another short video. And click here to see one more video.
As much as I love hunting and being outdoors, the best part of the day was being with my son and enjoying that time with him. We had a great time being together. As I was watching him and filming him during the hunt, I couldn’t believe that my son is a man now. I remember the first time I took him pheasant hunting, and his gun was almost as tall as he was. Now he is taller than me. He is a man now, and as we left to drive home, we both had a beer as we drove along the dusty country road, and for the first time it was Kyle driving, not me.