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Sean Hunting Fishing 2013

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Sean Waterfowl 2013 Nov 30
Nov 30, 2013

I hunted the shoreline on the upper Columbia River with Eric, Grant & Spencer. Based on Grant's scou ...more

ting report, we expected this to be a goose hunt for the most part but we had enough ducks work us that we were able to get our 28 along with 4 geese. There weren't a lot of ducks or geese & most of them didn't want to finish but somehow it all worked out with the group doing some decent shooting most of the time & with the mostly goose floater spread, I think, gave the ducks a different look than they were used to & fooled more of them than normal. It was a grind but we all felt pretty satisfied with the results of our 7 duck species day that included 12 mallards, 5 widgeon, 3 ring-necks, 1 gadwall, 1 pintail, 1 GE, & 5 GWT.

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Sean Ducks 2013 Nov 24
Nov 24, 2013

I hunted a private corn field yesterday afternoon with friends, Thor & Grant. When we pulled in to s ...more

etup, there was 5,000 ducks sitting on the pond which was good to see but presented a quandary because we were going to hunt the field rather than the water. I thought about it as we set up & decided to soft loft them by driving the trucks up to the pond. It took them a bit but they finally all lifted off & headed out but 2 groups went into Grant in the field. Unfortunately, he was having gun problems & only got 1 shot off & added the 1st duck to the hunt. Thor & I had to hustle to the blinds & jump in as we had another group bearing down on us. We got that group in & the hunt was fast & furious for the next hour when we finished up with our 21 duck limit consisting of 19 mallard drakes, 1 mallard hen (way to go, Thor) & 1 young pintail drake ( I thought he had better color than he did). On one of the first go's, I shot a mallard drake that was incredibly unique (at least to me). He was a white-plumed mallard drake (see pictures). I'm definitely considering mounting it but want to get some other opinions. Thor's YLM, Eider, handled the duck collecting chores in the corn stubble with numerous "hold ‘em by the head" retrieves. It was the first duck only field hunt of the year & a good start to what I hope will be more to come.

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Sean Pheasants 2013 Nov 23
Nov 23, 2013

Darin and I hunted a mixture of public and private ground on Saturday for pheasants. We started out ...more

on the public ground & Darin shot a wild flush rooster pretty quickly into the hunt & Rocky saw it go down but when he went to retrieve it, he only came up with tail feathers & the bird managed to get away from all 3 dogs in the incredibly thick cover. A short time later, I pulled the trigger just a hair quicker than Darin on another wild flushing rooster to get our 1st bird in the bag. We switched to the private ground & hunted the eye brows & never saw a pheasant so we hit the swampy stuff & Jr. pointed a rooster in the cattails that I put down quickly. Jock & Rocky couldn't find the dead rooster but Jr. went right in & got it. I was standing on iced over water at that point & when I reached down to get the bird from Jr., I broke through & went up to my waist in icy water. After a couple of failed attempts to get out, I had to hand Darin the bird & my gun & he had to pull me out - fun stuff! We hit the pump area & kicked out 2 roosters & about 4 hens & we both took a poke at one of the roosters but it was a prayer to get him & we didn't. I was eating in the truck & stopped at a likely looking spot & told Darin to get out & walk it real quick. As he finished a stretch of cover & was turning to come back, 2 roosters flushed & he turned around to shoot at one but missed him. I was kicking myself for not walking it with him. We hunted for about another hour trying some out of the way, small spots that didn't produce any birds. I had Darin go get the truck while I finished walking the perimeter of a corn circle & when I was just about to the end, Jock & Jr. both went on point & I walked in & flushed a rooster that I folded up on the shot to pull out a lucky limit. We saw a total of 8 roosters & about as many hens in 3 hours of hunting so it wasn't too shabby of a day.



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Sean Ducks 2013 Nov 22
Nov 22, 2013

We hunted the pond again last Friday and since we were in and out so quick on Thursday, we decided t ...more

o see if we could pull it off 2 days in a row. Darin, Johnny & Grant were all eager participants. This hunt got started off on a bizarre note. It was foggy when we went in to setup & most of the close to a thousand ducks stayed on the pond while we put out the decoys. Grant left his keys & his dog in his truck & wouldn't you know it, his dog stepped on the key fob & locked the truck. No amount of pleading with the dog could talk him into unlocking it. With 12 degree temps again this morning, you can't blame him for doing it. So we had to sit & watch an absolute pile of mallards swim around & torture us while we waited for Grant to get his extra set of keys & come back & move his truck. The ducks finally lifted off when he drove back in but they took their time coming back & were awfully spooky when they did, which was a total opposite from the prior day. We were pushing the envelope by hunting the pond 2 days in a row but knowing it was going to freeze over, we took a chance. Though it was much slower than the previous hunts, at noon, the 28th mallard fell into the pond & another solid hunt was complete. We filled our hen quota this day along with 20 drake mallards. That made 5 straight limit shoots on the pond for a total of 147 ducks. Grant's dog, Sonny, did an excellent job of retrieving our ducks after he got out of the truck & was the right dog for the job with size being helpful at breaking ice to get some of the ducks.

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Sean Ducks 2013 Nov 21
Nov 21, 2013

We had another good mallard shoot on the pond this morning. The temp’s got down to about 12 degrees ...more

this morning and there were a pile of ducks on the pond when we went in to set up. They didn’t come back fast and furious today but when they did, they wanted in bad. It was the best decoying action of the year so far and we could have easily went all green but Joel and I had to get into work early this morning so 3 hens died with 25 drake mallards to end the hunt just before 9:00. I don’t know how much longer the pond is going to hold up with temp’s in the teens at night and only raising to the mid 30’s, but rest assured, we’re going to keep trying until the production drops off. That makes 4 straight limit shoots on the pond for a total of 119 ducks. Needless to say, we’re having some fun and the new blind is working like a charm for us.

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Sean Ducks 2013 Nov 20
Nov 20, 2013

We hunted the private pond again yesterday morning with Joel, Johnny & Grant. We pushed off a decent ...more

number of mallards when we went in to set up on the pond & they came back in continuous waves but in groups that were bigger than I like to shoot into. The ducks kept that from being an issue as most of them avoided our decoy spread & it was clear that we were dealing w/ the same ducks we have been gunning for the last week. We had a big scare on the initial go on ducks. Grant took his lab, Sonny, out to retrieve a couple ducks & Sonny got caught up in the tulies & actually went under water so Johnny ran out to help & they both went over their waders pulling Sonny out of the tulies. Between that & the ducks not working the decoys well at all, the hunt got off to a frustrating start. But, they went & changed out of their wet cloths while Joel & I made a big change to the decoy spread & the hunt turned around in a hurry. Another adjustment we made was to lower the roof on the blind to make us less visible & we put face paint on to further hide us in the blind. We have put more pressure on the pond lately & the ducks were really catching on so we had to change things up or the ducks were going to win. This hunt was strictly a mallard show with only a few widgeon & pintails even seen. We didn't have nearly as good of a breeze as they had predicted but eventually it came up out of the SW & the ducks seemed to fly non- stop until we shot our 28th limit duck at 11 o'clock. And if pulling another limit off the pond wasn't exciting enough, on the last go, we dropped 3 mallard drakes & the one Joel shot was banded. It was his first banded duck & the first on the pond ever. The drake was hatched this year & was banded on Black Duck Lake in Fairview, Alberta so we have had at least a few migrator's show up in the last week. We have taken 91 ducks on 3 hunts in the last 6 days on the pond. Good times!

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Sean Ducks 2013 Nov 17
Nov 17, 2013

I hunted a private pond with the landowner, Joel, a couple of his buddies, and Darin. We pushed off ...more

a decent number of mallards when we went in to set up on the pond & they came back in continuous waves of groups & suicidal singles. This time it was primarily a mallard show with a few widgeon, gadwall & pintails. We had a new guy (Mike) join us for the hunt who had recently beat esophageal cancer so I think he enjoyed getting out on a hunt & he picked a darn good day to do it. At one point, we had a pair of pintails that kept working us and wouldn't commit so I told Mike I was going to kill the drake when he came over at about 60 yards and he laughed like yeah, right but he changed his expression when the drake came falling out of the sky. It's always kind of fun to back it up when you call your shot! It helped so much on the shooting this day to be hunting out of the new blind. It was so comfortable & the ducks didn't seem to have an issue with the blind at all. We didn't have nearly as good of a breeze as they had predicted but eventually it came up out of the SW & the ducks seemed to fly non- stop until we shot our 35th limit duck at a little past 9 o'clock. I didn't anticipate nearly this good of shoot since we had just hunted it on Friday but the weather has really helped to bring new ducks in the area. We had another 4 species day (30 mallards, 2 Widgeon, 1 Gadwall & 2 Pintail drakes). Tony's YLF, Zink, took care of the retrieving work in style. This may be the most ducks we have taken in one hunt on the pond so I think it could be classified as a success.

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Sean Ducks 2013 Nov 15
Nov 15, 2013

I hunted a private pond with the landowner, Joel, and good buddies, Darin & Grant. We pushed off a d ...more

ecent number of mallards when we went in to set up on the pond & they came back in continuous waves of perfect sized groups. The widgeon must have moved into our area & they provided the bulk of the action early on. Once the widgeon stopped flying, the mallards showed up almost on cue & provided great decoying action & shooting. We had a good SW breeze off our left shoulders & new ducks in the area so the combination made for a relatively quick 2 hour limit shoot. We ended up with 28 ducks & another 4 species day (18 mallards, 7 Widgeon, 2 Gadwall & 1 Pintail drake). Grant's YLM, Sonny, handled all the retrieving work & did an outstanding job. It was good to see the pond bounce back with a great hunt. After the hunt, we installed a blind on the pond & I'm stoked about hunting out of it the next time.

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Sean Geese 2013 Nov 11
Nov 11, 2013

My buddy, Thor, had been hunting Canada and snow geese over the weekend with mixed results. They did ...more

really well on Saturday with a 7 gun limit in quick fashion of about half and half on Saturday but had a tough outing on Sunday. I had passed on an invite from Thor on Saturday to take Kyle out on the McNary youth hunt and missed out on a good one. When I got the opportunity to go again on Monday, I jumped on it but made sure my dogs didn’t see my excitement as I should have been taken them out that day for an upland hunt. We headed to a private farm that he and his buddy, John, have access. The area is holding several thousand snows, cacklers and lesser geese. Eric and John’s buddy, Sal, were in on the hunt as well. The hunt started well with a single lesser committing and dying. Then a group of lessers finished nicely and several were dropped. Then the snows started showing up and we had a big group of snows work us & several actually committed to the decoys & we thumped 9 of them. I was able to scratch down a nice prime adult snow on my 3rd shot that I plan to get mounted. I had pass shot a prime snow goose back in Kansas several years back but I wanted to get one over decoys to mount and this was just the hunt I was looking for to do it. We picked up a few more lessers after our fun with the snows but the big groups of snows & lessers all started stacking up in a field a few circles to the east & our goose was cooked after that. We also pulled in a pair of pintails that were easy kills as they committed hard to the goose decoys. Thor got an urgent call from his wife & had to leave so we packed it up 4 geese short of our limits. We might have been able to get the other 4 geese but it would have been a long shot with the thousands of live geese to compete with a few circles over. It was a good day, nonetheless, and I got to see more geese in one day than I have in a long time. The number of snow geese hitting that farm had to be around 6,000 w/ a couple thousand lessers & cacklers. We ended up w/ 9 snows, 7 lessers & the 2 pintails. It’s been a good season thus far!

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Sean Ducks 2013 Nov 10
Nov 10, 2013

We hunted the private pond again with the landowner, Joel, his buddy, Curtis & my son, Cody on this ...more

day. Joel was running a little late so we got set up late & missed the duck flight at LST. We pushed a 2 - 300 hundred mallards off the pond when we went in to set up & they came back in decent numbers but they were obviously the same ducks we've been hunting on this pond for weeks as they would not come close to the decoys & would land in the middle of the pond. We managed to single them to death on the first 10 ducks we shot & then we actually got 3 mallards to do it well & another single to finish on a positive note. The weather was windless & mild with cloud cover. We finished with 14 mallards & for the 1st time all year, we only shot mallards (9 drakes, 5 hens). We did see a few widgeon & pintails but that was it, not a teal one this time which was a bummer because they usually fill the gaps between mallard flights. My shorthair, Jock, did a solid job retrieving our ducks and we didn’t lose any this time. Now if I can just get him to stop whining when there are no ducks flying, he would make a darn fine duck dog. I felt bad that Cody didn't get in on a better hunt but that's hunting for you. I anticipate the pond heating up with mallards in the coming weeks. Even though this was a slower hunt than we’re used to, I wouldn’t have wanted to hunt anywhere else. I’m darn lucky to get to hunt the place and bring family and friends.

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Sean Ducks Geese 2013 Nov 09
Nov 9, 2013

I did a waterfowl hunt at the end of last week up in Stevens County. I had never hunted for waterfow ...more

l in this state that far up north. Johnny and I road tripped at the wee hours of the morning after getting an invite from locals Dave & Jay. It was the most incredible combo hunt I've ever been on to date. We hunted an oat field w/ winter wheat & set up in the field over 6 dozen DSD honk & lesser decoys along w/ a dozen Blue collar duck decoys & my duck spinner. We killed our 28 ducks in about 40 minutes & pulled the spinner just as the geese started flying. The geese were very accommodating as well & we finished up w/ our goose limits in about 35 minute for a total of 44 birds taken in an hour and 15 minutes. It was some fast and furious action to say the least. It rained the whole time in mid-30 degree temps but could not dampen our spirits as the group was pumped over the incredible hunt experience. I would have loved to have taken more pictures and video action but the constant rain and shooting didn’t allow for it. So hero shots is all I can provide.

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Sean Youth Hunt 2013 Nov 08
Nov 8, 2013

We hunted McNary for the youth hunt w/ Ben Lindholm's son, Nick. My son, Kyle, and Nick were the sho ...more

oters. There were thousands of ducks on the south pond & we hunted Blind 16 on Nick's #7 pick. There were plenty of ducks for the boys but they didn't shoot well at all and ended up with just 7 ducks between the 2 of them. Ben's dog, Macy, did a great job retrieving the ducks the boys did shoot. I had switched duck loads for Kyle from his prior duck hunts this season and they did not pattern well at all which contributed to his poor shooting on the day along with spooky ducks that didn’t finish to the decoys well at all. Oh well, the boys got out and got some shooting in and we saw tons of ducks. With the water so deep and the action so crazy,

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Sean Upland 2013 Nov 07
Nov 7, 2013

Scouted McNary for the upcoming youth hunt & then hunted a private farm for roosters. The area doesn ...more

’t have a lot of cover for pheasants so I concentrated on a brushy eyebrow & cattail swampy area and hunted solo. The dogs didn't find a lot of pheasants but made some nice finds that provided good opportunities on some roosters. Jock found most of the birds which included 2 roosters on both of his finds and Jr found one as well that tried to flush long but it didn’t work out for him. After getting my roosters, I hunted another private farm but spent most of my time on the bordering public land & picked up a couple quail. The area appeared to have been hammered as the quail coveys were small & disbursed. I was so busy on the phone & had to get back to take Kyle to basketball that I didn’t get a picture of all the birds but it was a decent, quick hunt.

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Sean Ducks 2013 Nov 06
Nov 6, 2013

Hunted the Columbia River with Grant this day & had a good mallard hunt. We had the spot we hunted a ...more

ll to ourselves which was nice. The birds didn't work extremely well as we had a NW wind in our face but we managed to one & two them to death. Birds seemed to know the drill but we did pull in one nice flock. We both shot our limits & took 10 drakes & 4 hens. Grant’s YLM, Sonny, did an excellent job fetching up or ducks in the river but towards the end of our hunt, he started cramping up and having seizure like symptoms and you can see in the Retrieve 5 picture how his leg was propped up and he was doing more of a frog kick. Last I heard, he had recovered well and was fine.

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Sean Ducks 2013 Nov 03
Nov 3, 2013

Due to the strong winds we got after our hunt on the 2nd that continued into the next day on the 3rd ...more

, I decided to hunt the same pond again with a couple buddies, Eric & Grant. We only pushed off about 75 mallards when we went in to set up on the pond & they didn't come back in any kind of numbers. The 1st 6 ducks we shot came in like champs in the strong SW breeze we had on this day. But after that, it got tough to finish the ducks & very few even flew this day. I knew it was a long shot to hunt the pond 2 days in a row but I couldn't find any ducks after scouting the prior afternoon. We finished with 12 ducks but didn't recover the last 2 we shot. The bag consisted of 4 mallards (2 more that were lost), 2 GWT, 3 widgeon & another young pintail drake. Eric's lab, Jasper, did a great job retrieving our ducks. There just weren't enough ducks flying in our area this day in spite of the windy conditions but we had a good time.

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Sean Ducks 2013 Nov 02
Nov 2, 2013

I hunted a private pond on 11/2 with the landowner, Joel & his buddy, Curtis as well as my buddy, Ty ...more

ler who was looking to get his young BLM some work on retrieving ducks. We pushed off about 150 mallards when we went in to set up on the pond & they came back in decent numbers. We had consistent shooting on 5 different species of ducks & most of the ducks worked the decoy spread very well. We finished up with our 28th duck around 11:00 & the bag consisted of 11 mallards, 9 GWT, 5 widgeon, 2 gadwalls & a young pintail drake. Tyler's pup, Jase, did a great job retrieving our ducks & we only lost 2 ducks. There were plenty of mallards & teal this time with a few widgeon but pintails were noticeably lacking. It was a good shoot & a good time.

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Sean Ducks 2013 Oct 27
Oct 27, 2013

I hunted a private pond on Sunday with the landowner, Joel & his buddy, Curtis. We pushed a fair num ...more

ber of ducks off the pond on the way in to set up. Nothing showed up at shooting time but then they started filtering back in and provided fairly continuous shooting for the next 2 hours. The last hour was really slow before we called the hunt. The ducks were very spooky & wouldn't finish well at all which is typical for ducks this time of year. We blew some opportunities & didn't shoot particularly well on this hunt. We ended up with 4 species (mallard, pintail, widgeon & GWT) as part of our 13 ducks (7 mallards, 3 pintails, 2 widgeon & 1 GW teal). We didn't lose any ducks this hunt & my GSP, Jock did a good job finding & retrieving our ducks. There were more pintails & less mallards this time. We need some new ducks in the area as it's obvious we are hunting local ducks that have been around awhile & have seen the program.

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Sean Upland 2013 Oct 26
Oct 26, 2013

I went back to the same area but a different part of the farm on Saturday. After seeing several phea ...more

sants the day before after my hunt in this area, I thought I might be in for an easier time but that wasn't the case. Jock pointed a rooster on top in the CRP & I killed it at 7:30, then he found another one at 8:15 to put #2 in the bag. The next one didn't come until 12:30 on a wild flush in an eye brow on a side hill in the wheat stubble which took a long & very lucky shot to kill. That was the only 3 roosters I saw on the day along with 2 other hens that Jock pointed. The dogs & I covered a lot of ground to find those birds - it's going to be a tough upland season.

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Sean Upland 2013 Oct 25
Oct 25, 2013

I hunted a mixture of public and private ground for upland last Friday. Only found 6 roosters & 6 he ...more

ns along w/ a small covey of huns on the day. Jock nailed 2 roosters in the CRP & one wild flushed in front of Rocky for an easy shot so I was able to get a limit which is a not going to be an easy task this season. Rocky pointed a rooster while looking for huns on a re-flush so that was exciting to see even though I couldn't shoot it since I already had my limit. He also got his first 2 pheasant retrieves after beating Jock to the downed birds.

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Sean Pheasants Huns Ducks Oct 20
Oct 20, 2013

I headed up north to Whitman Co. to hunt the pheasant opener. I couldn’t get lined up with my normal ...more

opening weekend partners so I headed up alone and based on the reports I was getting, I didn’t really want to subject anyone else to what I suspected and what turned out to be pretty tough hunting conditions. The dogs and I gave it a concerted effort but it was not to be on Saturday. Between inexperienced dogs, poor shooting and a lack of birds, I didn’t get a limit of roosters on opening day for the 1st time since I can remember, maybe ever. I hunted 3 hours from the start of shooting time without even seeing a bird of any kind. When Jock finally found a pheasant, the inexplicable happened. He had been tracking up a ravine so I hustled up the hill to keep up with him knowing the birds would probably blow out the top on us but he turned back and came down the hill and then stopped with a half-hearted point and almost immediately a rooster popped up and then another and I turned my body to get lined up and was swinging the gun and ready to pull the trigger when my pup ran into my leg which caused me to shoot almost straight up above the bird so I hurriedly tried to recover and track the 2nd rooster and just threw the gun ahead and shot and dropped the bird. But, before I knew it, I saw the pheasant running down the hill and neither dog had a clue there was a bird down and running away. I ran down the hill and lost sight of it and once the dogs got down there, they acted like there had never been a pheasant in the area so I lost him. Rose would have caught in a heartbeat but I don’t have her anymore.
A couple hours later, I had 2 pheasants flush wild in front of me and they were about the size of a hun. I’ve never seen a pheasant that small the 3rd week of October! I take that back, enclosed is a picture of one the dogs caught years ago but even this one was bigger than the two I saw on Saturday. Shortly after flushing the 2 babies, I pushed all the way to the top of a ravine and had a rooster flush wild on the end and I missed him with both barrels – a shot that I would make 9 out of 10 times. I was so stunned I didn’t even get mad – just felt beat down at that point.
Finally, at about 3:00 that afternoon, Junior made a nice point in the CRP and I was able to kill a rooster. A couple hours later, we found a wild covey of huns that I was able to get close to one bird on the 2nd re-flush and killed it. And that was all I was able to bag on the opening day of pheasant season. I hunted 9 – 10 hours and saw 6 roosters, 10 hen pheasants and two crazy coveys of huns that wouldn’t let me or the dogs get close to. BRUTAL!!!
So I said screw the pheasants on Sunday and did a duck hunt instead. I hooked up with the landowner to hunt his private pond with him and a couple of his buddies. We pushed a decent number of ducks off the pond but nothing like opening weekend. Nothing showed up at shooting time but then they started filtering back in and provided continuous shooting for the next 2 hours. Joel's uncle was pheasant hunting w/ a group of guys that really helped us out when they pushed ducks off of Circle 22. We ended up w/ 3 species (mallard, GWT, & a shoveler) as part of our 25 ducks (10 mallards, 14 teal, 1 shoveler). We lost a couple teal & a mallard drake in the standing corn but Jock did a good job finding & retrieving the others we shot. The widgeon & pintail were noticeably absent this time. It was a good hunt with a good group of guys.

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Sean Salmon 2013 Oct 16
Oct 16, 2013

Finally got in on the salmon action thanks to a couple of good buddies, Grant & Johnny. I was able t ...more

o catch a 16# & 19# salmon and after landing those 1st two, I thought I was pretty cool. But, the next 2 we hooked came off while I was working them so I got humbled pretty quickly. It had been several years since I caught a King (Chinook) salmon and I forgot how hard they can fight. The water flows were way up so we didn’t have nearly as good of a day as they had been having over the course of the season but at least I was able to get out and contribute to the smoked salmon cache for the farmers for the hunting season.

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Sean Huns 2013 Oct 14
Oct 14, 2013

I headed to Columbia/Garfield Co. this past Monday since I had the day off for Columbus Holiday. I s ...more

pent half this day acquiring permission slips & the other half hunting huns. I started off hunting a big canyon that I typically find 3 – 5 coveys of huns in along with an occasional covey of chukar & only found 1 small covey of huns that I was able to double on & never found another bird on the property. Jock had a nice find on the covey 75 yards out into the wheat stubble and they held like champs for the 3 minutes it took me to get to him. Rocky backed with style on the find. It was only 20 minutes into the hunt and I thought I was in for a good day but not so much.



Next, I hunted behind the landowner’s house & didn't find a hun and it usually holds a couple coveys, but Junior did find a few pheasants in what little cover he had left on the property. The landowner had recently pulled all of his acreage out of CRP and planted it in wheat – not good.



I then went to another close by but didn't find that covey that is always there - they appear to be hanging on the adjacent landowner based on the sign I found and I got permission to hunt that in the future if I ever go back.
I moved to another location and hunted a riparian creek bottom & the surrounding hills & Jock found a small covey of quail right off the bat and I dropped a bird on the flush that fell on the other side of the creek. Once I finally found a place to cross, the dogs couldn't locate the bird and we never found any huns on the property. I only saw about 15 pheasants in this area and it should have been loaded with them. Upland hunting looks dire for this season from what I've seen so far.
Overall, it was a pretty mediocre weekend of hunting and not what I’m used to but you have to take the bad with the good. Hopefully, this weekend will be better. Pheasants open up tomorrow and the dogs and I will be after them.

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Sean Ducks 2013 Oct 13
Oct 13, 2013

I hunted the same pond as the prior day with Joel (the landowner), Darin & my other son, Cody. We pu ...more

shed hundreds of ducks off the pond again when we went in to setup but this time not nearly as many came back. Joel had to leave early but shot well when he was there & Cody didn't get to do much shooting on this day. I ended up being in a good spot for the birds coming in & was the only one to scratch out a limit. We ended up w/ 4 species again (mallard, widgeon, gadwall, GWT) as part of our 15 ducks. There were actually more mallards this day but way less teal, widgeon & pintails. It was a decent hunt and kind of what you would expect when you hunt the same pond 2 days in a row but we had hoped for better.

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Sean Ducks Opener 2013 Oct 12
Oct 12, 2013

I hunted a private pond on the waterfowl opener with Darin & my son, Kyle. The landowner was suppose ...more

d to hunt with us but as he was walking into the pond to join us, he got several emergency work calls and had to bail. We pushed hundreds of ducks off the pond when we went in to setup & they came back in force. Darin had a tough day of shooting but Kyle & I tore them up. We ended up w/ 4 species (mallard, widgeon, pintail, GWT) as part of our 21 duck limit. I shot a speckle belly goose as well but lost it in the tulies. It was a great opening day hunt.

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Sean Quail 2013 Oct 11
Oct 11, 2013

I hunted some private property near Walla Walla with Darin last Friday. Only found 2 coveys of quail ...more

of small to medium size but didn't get a lot of quality shots on them as usual for this time of year. We shot 10 but didn’t recover a couple due to the incredibly dense cover and one actually swam under the creek bank and the dogs just couldn’t get him out. The dogs did a great job but just too few quail on the property this year, in fact, it was the least amount of quail I’ve ever seen for this time of year. Only saw 3 pheasants, too which will keep me from hunting it on the opener this year. We called it good after a 3 hour hunt as the temp’s got into the upper 60’s with no breeze.

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Sean Partridge 2013 Oct 06
Oct 6, 2013

Partridge Opener, Day 1: I headed to the Snake River Breaks on the WA/ID border last weekend to part ...more

ake in the WA partridge opener. A new hunt partner, Jeff Jones, and I were after chukar and huns along with my crew of dogs. After having relatively cool weather for the week leading up to the opening weekend, we were met with warmer temperatures than me and the dogs prefer. The hunt started off with a picturesque sunrise:
We were hunting a mixture of public and private ground and last year we had company but not this year. I had to wonder if everybody knew something I didn’t and the bird population was way down. Oh well, we had made the trip and we were going to wear out some boot leather trying to determine if the partridge were around. It didn’t take long and we had a covey of huns on a field edge flush wild ahead of us and cruise down the steep breaks of the hill below. Little did we know at the time that this would be a recurring event over the course of the weekend. It didn’t matter if they were chukar or huns, a vast majority of the birds acted like hunting season had been on for a month and were almost unapproachable. The game plan was to walk the tops of the breaks and let the coveys go but we were forced to go down the hill after them when we couldn’t convert on initial finds. Dealing with birds that act like that really prevented me from getting many dog on point pictures since I didn’t know if they would hold long enough and I came there to shoot birds first and take pictures second. We slowly started having some success and Jeff shows off a hun he took on a point by Jock:
We ended up chasing birds for re-flushes and it worked out to varying degrees. When it came to getting our exercise in, we checked that box without a doubt. We ended up in one situation where we had to scale down a cliff to get to the birds below and it was scary enough that a whimpering Jock had to be forced to go down it and passed from Jeff to me. Funny thing, my pup Rocky didn’t seemed to be bothered by it much at all. I took a shot of Jeff following my trail down the cliff:
Jeff gave it a great effort throughout the day but just wasn’t in the right places for good shooting and didn’t convert on the difficult opportunities that were presented. I was able to eek out a limit of chukar that first day but was very fortunate to make some low percentage shots. We managed to pick up 6 huns in the process but not the kind of success I had envisioned when I planned the hunt. I had planned the initial jaunt to be about a 2 hour deal and it turned into a 5 hour hunt so a rest or two was needed for both us and the dogs. I took some pictures during those lulls:
My pup, Rocky, has now been introduced to pretty much all the species of birds I hunt for in a short amount of time. He’s still trying to figure it all out and the light is coming on for him. He can go all day long it seems but he went a little too long that first day. We got caught too far from the truck on the evening hunt and had to walk in the dark the last ½ mile or so. He had been staying close enough to keep tabs on him but then all of a sudden as we got the last 200 yards from the truck, I noticed he wasn’t around and I couldn’t hear his beeper – not good. It took an additional 20 minutes or so before his beeper could be heard and we had to backtrack in order for him to find us – not something you want to do after 11 hours of chukar hunting. Jeff said it was the most tired he has ever been after a hunt. He slept good that night but I didn’t as I felt bad that I wasn’t able to get him into better shooting opportunities.
We ran Junior in an area where I thought we could find some huns loafing during the mid-day heat but we struck out on that effort and I didn’t get any pictures of him. Attached are some of Rocky and Jock working together that afternoon. We ended up finding 6 coveys of chukar and 5 coveys of huns which would normally account for more birds in the bag than it did.
Partridge Opener, Day 2: Found us in the same starting spot as the prior day but it was a repeat of the day before with jumpy birds. A wild flush of huns then another wild flush on the re-find that didn’t present any shooting opportunities. Then shortly after that, we had a big covey of chukars flush waaaaay ahead of us and never did find them again. On the way back to the truck, a lone chukar flushed in front of Jeff and he knocked it down only to watch it get back up and glide all the way down the hill out of sight. He was disappointed when I told him it was a chukar and that turned out to be his best and last opportunity to get his first one on this trip. I could go on like a broken record about wild flushing birds but we decided to stop beating our heads against the wall and switched to chasing just huns in the CRP. It was a good decision as we were able to find 2 coveys of huns and I ended up getting 6 huns between them and Jeff picked up 1 but he really enjoyed the dog work and the fun of getting birds to hold for points. We shut it down at 3:00 to head back home and with the heat and tired dogs, it was a no-brainer though I think we could have probably found some birds that evening. But, I had a guest on this trip and I don’t think he would have wanted to get home at 10:30 at night and go to work the next day. It was good to have that mental check and balance so I didn’t repeat the late night episode from last year. Man, I’m getting soft in my old age but I bet the birds appreciate it.


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Sean Youth 2013 Sep 29
Sep 29, 2013

Sat...I took my boys out last Saturday morning for a highly successful outing. It was fast and furio ...more

us shooting for the first 1/2 hour. In fact, my youngest son, Kyle, who is 13 took his 7 ducks in 20 minutes and only used 14 shells to do it and that was after missing on his first 4 rounds. It was unique for him to be waiting around for his older brother to get his ducks. We hit a lull in the flight at that 1/2 hour mark and then started getting a few flocks here and there before Cody finished up with a double on greenheads to close out the hunt in an hour.
The boys ended up taking 5 different species. Since Cody had bowling later in the morning, the plan was to shoot mostly what came in and they got a good variety - mallards, a shoveler, a gadwall, GW Teal and a BW teal. That made it the 2nd year in a row Cody has taken a rare teal for these parts after shooting a Cinnamon teal last year. And once again, he's not happy I wouldn't get it mounted. Here's their duck take for the morning:
And the young gun hero shot:
I threw a variety of decoy species to match the conditions. Here's a shot of the right side of the decoy spread:
I told Kyle to shoot them in the lips today and he took me seriously on this unfortunate GW teal that didn't have a BB one in the breast (crazy):
He shot the head off of a dove earlier this month and he doesn't even take hunting very serious.
The mallard drakes were lacking color but Cody managed to end up getting a nice one on his double:
Various pictures of the BW teal.....
Good times were had on this hunt for sure.
Sunday...Well, as I mentioned in my previous note, it was my oldest son Cody's last youth hunt weekend so after our hunt on Saturday with his younger bro, he decided he wanted to go solo on Sunday morning since his bro had baseball games. I was facing a 9 hour drive that day to MT but it was his last youth season hunt so by gosh, we were going and I'm glad we did as he finished in style with some nice early season ducks in quick fashion. The drive was painful but well worth it.
I have really enjoyed taking my boys on the youth hunts over the years and look forward to more with the younger one.

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Sean Montana 2013 Sep 27
Sep 27, 2013

I spent all last week in MT hunting Hungarian Partridge & Sharptail Grouse with Darin and the dogs. ...more

We had another good trip and the weather was pretty good overall for hunting. The dogs on the trip were my old Pointer, Junior; my shorthair, Jock; my pointer puppy, Rocky; and Rocky’s brother, Rex, whose owner so graciously let us borrow for the trip. We got rained out on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning, otherwise we had good conditions. We were able to take 90 birds and I brought home a 4 day possession limits of both species. Darin did the same on sharptails and was a tad short on huns but he had a better shooting trip this year than last that enabled us to take more birds than the prior couple years. Overall, the sharptails were as numerous as I can remember ever seeing and the huns were about average. We saw an average of 65 sharptail a day and 7 coveys of huns per day. We were there for the 1st snow fall of the year in the higher elevations which made the already incredible scenery even more over the top.
...I didn’t take a lot of dead beard pictures this trip but we definitely shot a good amount of them. I’ve attached a few that I did stop to take. The 1st day was pretty amazing as we took 23 out of a possible 24 birds with Darin ending up just 1 sharpie short. It was the warmest day of the trip when the temp’s made it to 70 degrees but there was a strong SW wind all day that made it feel cooler. The wind also contributed to a fair amount of missing on my part and it’s a good thing we found 9 coveys of huns that day or I wouldn’t have done so well.
...The 2nd morning included a highlight on the trip. We hit a spot that typically holds good number of sharptails and as we got out of the truck and got ready to hunt, we could hear sharptail “talking” nearby in the CRP. Well, we took a little too long getting ready and they flushed and flew right over the truck as we watched in shock with empty guns. I let Jock out and we made a quick run in the area they came from but didn’t find any birds willing to hold and a few wild flushed out of range. So I told Darin to take a short cut to the truck to get Rex (Rocky’s brother) out and I worked my way with Jock towards the truck. When we got about 100 yards from the truck, Jock went on point. I walked ahead and flushed 2 sharpies that went totally opposite directions and I swung left and got the 1st one and had to come clear back to my right and killed the 2nd one. Jock went to work on the retrieves as I stood in the same spot and reloaded. As he was delivering the 2nd one, another sharpie flushed within range and I put him down and then another flushed nearby and the Beretta shot true again. Not sure I’ve ever had that happen before but my sharptail limit was reached very quickly standing in the same spot! Darin wasn’t quite as impressed with me as I was myself beings I sent him away from the action unknowingly but no doubt his suspicions were high about my honesty. It all worked out in the next hour for him as he got to take his sharptail limit as well without any competition from me.
...The Day 4 tailgate shot depicts another good day especially for sharptails. We had a nice cool 10 – 15 mph NW breeze that day with temps in the low 40’s and the sharptails were hugging the edges of the wheat fields in the bordering sage brush. We had some issues with Rex pushing them out (puppies, what can you do?) so a lot of them got away but we got all our sharpies just by the sheer number of them to shoot. Once we figured out the pattern, I got Rocky out and let him enjoy the fun and he did great on both finding and retrieving the birds.
...Day 5 was a solid day of hunting for huns. I had planned to go to a certain spot but on the drive to it, I noticed a group of deer in the CRP that had a big mule deer buck in it. I don’t care much about deer anymore but he was binocular worthy so I stopped to check him out and when I did, Darin and I noticed he and his harem of does got some birds up that flushed up and went right back down. A couple of the younger deer were actually going after the birds so it was comical but the killer in me wanted to know what kind they were. I guessed they were huns and Darin said they were sharptail (well after I told him his initial guess of dove was ummm, let’s keep it PC - highly unlikely). Regardless, Darin needed 3 more sharpies and we were both after huns so I decided to throw Jock & Rocky down to find out. Turned out we were both right when a group of sharpies wild flushed on us just out of range and then a short walk later, Jock locked up and Rocky backed him with style that I still regret not taking a photo of that scene. That point produced a nice covey of huns and Darin and I both doubled on the flush. A short while later, Jock was at it again when he stacked up with intensity on another point. Rocky was covering ground elsewhere and missed out on a back opportunity. When we moved into flush, Darin added his own shooting highlight by dropping 2 sharptail with the initial shot and then killing another one with his 2nd shot. That finished up his possession limit on sharpies and we pursued huns the rest of the day. I was able to take another limit of huns on that day and had Rocky pose with them. I’ve added a few more pictures of dogs and will try to timeline the days with pictures.
....The dogs overall did well on this trip and no doubt the weather was helpful. It was windy the bulk of the time we were there and the birds seemed to be jumpy because of it. Jock had the best overall performance which he should since he’s in his prime and doesn’t have Rose to compete with anymore. That being said, he is a bit of a wimp and sure enough his pads got sore at the end of the trip and he down-shifted to half effort. Overall, he handled his birds well and retrieved solidly and I hope to shoot a lot of birds over him this season.
....Junior had a solid trip as well. I kept him on a steady dose of Rimadyl to keep the pain in his hips to a manageable level and tried very hard to limit his runs to an hour or so and he made it through the trip really well. I’m hopeful he can make it through the season without too much pain and if so, he’ll have a good and what I would guess last hunting season. He has so much experience and it really helped out on retrieves on a few birds that they pups just couldn’t find. He had to go “Swamp Thing” on one crippled hun in particular.
....Rocky did ok on his first upland bird hunts. He’s very careful with his birds and cooperates with the other dogs naturally. He backed like a pro and with a lot of style but I’m very concerned about his nose. He doesn’t seem to find a lot of birds and I have to really get him close on dead birds for him to make the retrieve. I’m hoping it’s just inexperience and that he’s just not used to the scent of the new birds he’s hunting but time will tell. I know he sure is fun to watch in the field and oozing with style on point. Speaking of oozing, he did get sick on this trip on the 2nd to last night. He got the squirts and made a mess in his kennel overnight and then when I ran him on Saturday morning, he was in bad shape even though he did point some huns. I had to put him in the Sick Bay and leave him out of the last few hours of our trip. Needless to say, I hope to never have to deal with that issue again! He has improved this week and getting back to full speed so hopefully he will be able to find some chukar and huns in this state this weekend.
....I make it a point not to say anything negative about other people’s dogs so all I will say about Rex is he has the potential to be a great dog. He’s got the size and power to range and run all day and he finds birds. We were lucky to have him along for the trip and I think he had fun and developed a love for birds.
....I’ll get the sad/funny puppy pictures out of the way first and then add the action shots.
....One thing I forgot to mention was we never even saw another human being the first day there. I mean the whole day! I could do that almost every day – just birds and dogs and the people you choose to be around. I wish it wasn’t a whole year before I get to do it again.

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Sean Rocky at9m 2013 Sep 19
Sep 19, 2013

My new English Pointer pup, Rocky, is now 9 months old and I haven’t taken any pictures of him since ...more

he was about 3 months old. We put out some pigeons this week for him and his brother, Rex to see what they would do. The 1st couple attempts for Rocky were minor failures as he got too close to the pigeon without pointing so I launched the pigeon and he chased it so the trap didn’t bother him at all. He is the boldest dog I’ve ever owned which makes training a lot easier. On the 3rd attempt, he got closer to the bird than I would have liked but locked up as pretty as could be. The 4th bird, he hit it much further back and struck a picturesque pose that had me excited to see his potential.
I attached some pictures of him during our training session. Looks like we are going to be taking Rocky’s brother with us to MT so that helps our dog power even though it’s not experienced power. I’m looking forward to watching the young dogs learn on the prairie birds next week.
Also, I captured the wild fire in Badger Canyon last night. It was a cool scene with the glow of the fire and the full moon on the opposite side of the skyline.

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Sean Doves Geese 2013 Sep 15
Sep 15, 2013

Well, it was another good weekend in the field. I started out with solo dove hunts on Thursday and F ...more

riday afternoons when I had people bail on me to go at the last minute. I forgot my camera on both of these hunts so no pictures. I shot 10 dove on both of those outings to keep the dove streak going.
Saturday morning was the Early Goose hunt. It is a special 2 day season in September with the focus on thinning down the local goose population and we did our part to help out. Opening morning, 4 of us took our 12 honks by 6:50 a.m.
I got out with a buddy for an afternoon dove hunt that day and the limit streak for my hunts came to an end thanks to my hunting buddy. In all fairness to him, he just wasn’t in the right spot cause he shot well enough to make it happen. I had the best shooting day percentage-wise ever on doves when I had to shoot the 1st bird twice and then never missed the rest of the way to my 10 dove limit and actually made up for the miss later by killing 2 with one shot. Not bragging, just passing on how I got lucky. When you go as much as I do, it had to eventually happen. I also added a pigeon to the take on this hunt and it was the 1st one I’ve had a chance to shoot this year. Typically, the opportunities to shoot pigeons while dove hunting has been much more frequent over the years. Jerry ended up with 8 doves and cracked under the pressure I put him under when I told him he was going to break the limit streak. Friggin’ Jerry! He has earned that chant from our crew over the years and it was actually perfect that it was him to blow it. The texts were fun after the hunt. J He did put us over the 600 mark on doves for the season, though so he did something right for once.
We decided to take another crack at the geese on Sunday morning. We knew we had educated some geese but at least half the flight ended up on the other side of the field and stayed in it while we shot the birds that came to our side. It was a different morning than the prior though we still had success. The geese came to the field flying higher and looked the spread over much more diligently this time and we were only able to pull parts of the flocks to our decoys. We killed every goose that came in so we did the best we could. Not nearly as many geese flew on Sunday and we added a couple more shooters so we didn’t get all our birds but it was still fun taking the 13 we did. All in all a great weekend of hunting especially considering how hot it was. We finally got a front to come through last night and cool things down so hopefully the upcoming youth weekend will be better hunting weather.

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Sean Doves 2013 Sep 08
Sep 8, 2013

Got out Friday – Sunday with my boys and a buddy and still had good success on the dove. I took a so ...more

lo limit on Friday morning and then took Cody out that afternoon and he took a quick limit as well as we enjoyed cooler temperatures, finally. Saturday morning, Kyle and I shot our 20 dove and actually had to wear long sleeves for the 1st time this year. I was lucky to take a banded dove for my 4th banded dove ever. I hadn’t shot one in 4 years so it’s always fun to get one. Three of my banded doves have come from Ringold and one came from Missouri when I lived back there. Kyle had his first fall baseball games on Sunday so I scouted for ducks and geese that morning and then enjoyed watching his double header (they won both games). After the game, Grant and I got in an afternoon dove hunt and were able to both shoot limits but it was a much slower than prior hunts and the temp’s started coming back up. All in all a great weekend. I’ve been tracking the number of dove killed on our hunts and it’s at 515 in one week! That’s a new record since I’ve been keeping track. Not sure how much more dove shoots I will be getting in with Early goose coming up this weekend but if there is any chance of getting out, I’m going to take it.

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Sean Doves 2013 Sep 01
Sep 1, 2013

Well, the dove season has been pretty successful so far. I finally took a day off today since it was ...more

my wife’s birthday but I will be at it again for the next 3 days starting tomorrow. We have had to bounce fields like crazy to keep up with the movements of the dove. They got gunned hard in the areas we were hunting and scouting is paying off to keep in the shooting. The opening morning was amazing as we took 122 dove between 9 guns. The Eurasian dove population has exploded here and really upped the number of birds to shoot. The kids had a great time and were able to take their limits of dove both outings before they had to go back to school. Cody did the group shoots in the morning and Kyle did the solo shoots in the afternoon. I wasn’t able to capture pictures of all the hunts since we had to split up at times to cover areas where the shooting could be distributed evenly but have attached some of the hunts. The total take over the last 5 days is 425 dove between the hunts Johnny and I have gone out. For you local guys, please don’t distribute these to anybody else as the season is still early and we don’t need any more competition than there already is out there.

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Sean Walleye 2013 Jun 29
Jun 29, 2013

Pics from 2013Jun15, one of Sean's best walleye days.

And from 2013Jun29: Got out recently below ...more

McNary with my buddy, Jerry and “landed” 9 walleye along with a few other species of junk fish. We would have had another walleye but Jerry can’t steer a little 23 incher into the net so it got off along with his spinner. We set a record for the number of snags so that part was frustrating and Jerry set a record for lost gear that will probably never get broken. But, when you’re unemployed what’s $30 worth of lost gear? Always good to get out and hard to beat another couple meals of walleye in the freezer. The walleye fishing hasn’t been lights out but it’s been steady and I have as much fish in the freezer as I’ve ever had this time of year and have gone less than typical. Salmon opened above Priest Rapids so I might transition to that for the next few outings. I have a buddy fishing the opener today and may catch up with him on the 4th. If not, will hunt for bug eyes again this week with 4 ½ days off starting Wednesday.



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Sean Turkey 2013 Apr 16
Apr 16, 2013

Many of you have already got the details from my WA turkey hunt so I’m going to try and be brief on ...more

the details. I scouted Lincoln Co. on Saturday morning and didn’t like the numbers I saw so I headed north to Spokane Co. and found good numbers there so I decided to hunt that area for the opener. I also scouted Idaho since I plan to hunt that state for the first time this year. On Sunday morning, I had 12 different mature gobblers come to my main spot so that cemented my decision on where to set up on Monday morning, the opening day. Well, like hunting sometimes goes, no turkeys showed that morning. So I headed to another property and located some turkeys but I blew an opportunity when I got greedy and tried to kill the biggest turkey in the group. I had a decent tom come running in at 10 yards and I took my head off the stock to see if the big one was coming with him and the closer one busted me so I went ahead and took the shot and you can guess what happens when you try to shoot at that close of range without getting your head all the way back down – clean miss for Rookie Mistake #1.
....Later that day, I decided to set up on the roost and had a flock of turkeys heading my way. I was in their bedroom and it was just a matter of time and they were mine but I had another hunter come down the fence line on the adjoining property (he could hear them gobbling) as the turkeys were coming to me and he ended up walking into them and shot and missed twice. I figured he had screwed my hunt at that point and packed up and stated to head back to the truck. I didn’t get but about 60 yards from the spot I had been sitting and looked up above me to see all the turkeys including 3 toms walking single file right by the spot I had just left – Rookie Mistake #2. This was the 1st time in several years that I didn’t get a gobbler on opening day.
....So I decided to head back to set up on the same birds on Tuesday morning since I knew where they had roosted. I got in really early and set up tight on the birds in the trees. I had a tom gobble behind me in the morning and the rest of the gobblers and hens were getting after it on the roost and I was right between them – good situation in my book. Well, the tom that was off by himself ended up coming my way before the other gobblers made it to me and I couldn’t decide which way to turn and face cause I wasn’t sure which turkeys were going to show 1st. The single tom got there 1st and came in directly behind me and even though I never moved a muscle, he picked me out when he got to about 15 yards and turned and ran off. The other gobblers went the other direction with the hens and I ended up empty handed with Rookie Mistake #3. To be somewhat fair to myself, it was a tough decision on which way to face but I’ve been doing this long enough that I should have known to slide to my left on the tree so I could cover both options.
....I decided to make a run back to Lincoln Co. but stopped by my opening day spot just for the heck of it before making the hour drive south. I blew my coyote howler and was greeted with a gobble. He sounded like he was in the adjoining field on a property that I can’t hunt and that’s usually where they spend the bulk of their time. I decided to get closer to surmise the situation and determine if I had any chance on the bird I heard gobble. I got to the end of my property line and glassed across the field to the far edge and there were 2 toms strutting with a bunch of hens and some jakes. I set up on the fence line in front of a big pine tree and decided to throw a Hail Mary and try to pull the toms away from the hens in an open field. I figured my chances were about zero but I had to try. I threw a series of yelps at them and was greeted with a hearty gobble. Well, at least they liked what they heard but I’ve played this game many a day and the courtesy gobble is always exciting to receive but rarely productive. Well, that was fun, I thought so let’s do it again. I got another thunderous response. A few minutes later, I saw a red head appear over the hill from me followed by another red head. No way! They actually left live hens for a bird in the bush. That was cool but now they made it to about 65 yards and could clearly see that there wasn’t a hen to come to since I didn’t bring a decoy along due to my low expectations when leaving the truck (kind of another Rookie Mistake). So they hung out for a second or two and then made a bee-line to the corner of the fence with every intention to leave but it brought them closer and I decided it was now or never and pulled up on the 2nd tom who had the better beard. I’m going to skip all the dirty details (in the interest of brevity) but 3 shots later and I finally had tom #1 down.
....So I went back to my plan to head south. I got there just a little before noon and hunted a spot that had 8 toms on it 2 weekends prior. I don’t know where they went cause I covered a lot of ground in the next couple of hours and never saw a bird or heard one. Still scratching my head on that one. I had one spot left to go hunt so I hit it at about 3:00. My knee was killing me at that point and I was just about sapped of my enthusiasm. This particular property gets hunted pretty hard and when I scouted it on Saturday, there were 4 gobblers (all had hens with them) on it but they were mostly on the state ground that borders it and I knew it would have been hunted hard by that point. I was banking that if there were birds still around that they would be a couple canyons over from the state ground due to the pressure. I decided I would walk up one canyon and cross over the top and take the next canyon down and call it good which would put me home at about 8ish with the 2 hour drive still to go. I got about half way up the 1st canyon and had not got a response from my box call yelps at that point. My next series of yelps was cut off by not one but 2 hearty gobbles. Hmmm, a response like that at that time of day is usually money. Sure enough, there he is in full strut about 150 yards out. I found a tree to set up against and gave another call and he thundered back. I was almost sure this was going to be a done deal until I saw a hen pop out in the open and head my tom’s way. Just like that, the sure thing got a whole lot more difficult as he headed into the ravine and up the other side with that slut. I decided to gamble and try to cut through the creek bottom to get up on the same side but I’m pretty sure the hens busted me and took him away since my next 2 series didn’t elicit a gobble. I had a good idea where they were headed and made a big loop around to make sure I didn’t get busted again. When I got to the area I figured they might be, I gave a call and was greeted with a ground shaking rumble from the tom. He was close and I had to set up in some small pine trees out in the open. In less than a minute, I saw the buff tail feathers reflecting in the sun as he came towards me in the fence line but I needed him to come under the fence and move right to left to get a shot. It was like he read my mind and obliged perfectly. I mounted the gun and tracked him through the thick pine branches in front of me. Ok, one more step and it’s all over for this bad boy. I said, one more step – aren’t you still listening puff daddy? Just like that, he disappeared. WTH? There’s no way he saw me – that was the good and bad of my set up in those pines. Well, I have feeling he was pulled back down the hill but those sluts. So I stood up and could see there was a knoll in front of me and rather than him making a step up on it, he had turned and went down the hill and around it. I only had 2 trees between me and where I assumed he had gone so I got to the 1st one and sure enough, there he was still putting on a show but at about 60 yards. I had to crawl to the next one and it was a risky move but it got me in range for a long shot but one I’ve made before with the gun and load I was using. I centered up the bead on his head and gave a loud putt with my mouth call and he came out of strut and threw his head up for the last time. Tom #2 was down and my WA season was a wrap. I definitely made it hard on myself this season but I got my money’s worth in 2 days. It’s time to get my good buddy, Darin, out this weekend and then on to Idaho.
....I absolutely love hunting the thunder chickens!

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Sean Turkey Scouting 2013 Mar 30
Mar 30, 2013

Headed up north last weekend (2013Mar30/31) and did some turkey scouting for the upcoming weekend WA ...more

Youth Turkey hunt. Found birds in the normal places and more than in prior years. So much so that it has create a quandary over which place to choose to hunt – good problem to have, obviously. The first place had 8 mature toms on it and one of them had a band on his leg. First time I’ve even seen that. I’m guessing WDFW decided to do that when they trapped this one or something?
Here’s a bunch of pic’s I took of the flock eating breakfast first thing off the roost. The lighting always sucks for pictures at that time of the morning. I really need to upgrade my camera so I can get some high quality shots. Someday after we get all the other important things paid for, I guess. Anyway, hopefully they are good enough to get the fire stoked for you guys.
Hit some more spots further north on Saturday afternoon (2013Mar30) and Sunday morning (2013Mar31) before heading back for Easter dinner with the family. Found lots of turkeys in that area as well. I did not see the albino gobbler that the farmer said was hanging around

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Sean Rocky 2013 Mar 01
Mar 1, 2013

Meet JM’s Eye of the Tiger, “Rocky”, my new English Pointer puppy. I took these pictures the 2nd day ...more

I got him but am just now getting around to sending them out. Rocky is out of a local breeding of Jon Milum’s. Rocky’s sire is double bred Elhew Fibber McGee, who has produced more field trial champions than any other English Pointer sire. His mom is out of Rock Acre Blackhawk who has been inducted into the Field Trial Hall of Fame. I was planning on getting another German Shorthair puppy but this breeding was too good to pass up and the pup’s were already on the ground here locally. He should be ready to hunt by September and from what I’ve seen so far, I’m hoping for big things from him in the future. In the meantime, he’s a handful but a fun addition to our house hold. In the pictures, he had an eye irritation from a cedar chip that has since cleared up.

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Sean Ducks End 2013 Jan 27
Jan 27, 2013

1-26-13 Field Log Notes: Hunted w Joel, Grant & Mikey (friend of Joel’s). Johnny hunted for a couple ...more

hours before he left to go to work. The field we hunted was chopped corn & we set up on the edge & tumble weeded the blinds. It was a foggy day w very little wind & a lot of ducks bypassed us because they couldn't see us with the fog but we could hear them. The ducks were very spooky as has been the case for weeks now. We managed to trick a fair number of them and ended up killing 20 ducks & lost a couple. We weren’t picky with what we shot on this day. It was Joel's last hunt of the year. Considering the circumstance with the weather, we did pretty good.
1/27-13 Field Log Notes: Hunted a cut corn field that had been very good to us this year w Johnny, Grant & Spencer for the last hunt of the year. The weather started off foggy with a decent south breeze that made it chillier than it was temp- wise. We mostly had groups of pintails working the field early & we shot 4 really nice pintail drakes to get started with one of them being a mounter that Jerry wanted me to get for him. His little brother had shot a pintail drake & a mallard drake while he was here visiting but they were too shot up to be mount worthy so he had asked me to try and get one of each and it worked out. We shot a few mallards after the initial pintail action but then the wind died, the sun broke out and the ducks just stopped flying until the last half hour of the day. We worked some more mallards at the end and picked up a few more but they just wouldn't go for our setup for the most part. We ended up with 11 ducks. We've been hunting the same ducks for at least the last 3 weeks who are smart to the program & without any weather to stress them into making bad decisions that cost them their life, the advantage was clearly on their side. Grant killed a nice drake mallard on the last duck of the year and it was a nice one. It will be a mount for Jerry as well. So a slow finish to what otherwise has been a phenomenal year. Sad to see it end.
Family time for the next couple of months and then after the turkeys in April. Hope everyone had a great season.
I thought I would share my season stats with a select few of you who I know won’t take it the wrong way. All I can say is it was a truly phenomenal year. I’m not sure if I will ever get to hunt this much in one year again and have the same success but I know I enjoyed it while I did it this season. I could not have done it without the help of some really good hunting partners this season. The amount of scouting, time and effort to hunt to this level is exhausting and truly a team effort. The amount of garbage that one has to deal with through the course of a season is also exhausting but I’m going to focus on the positive. I hunted with a lot of new people this season and made some great partnerships for the future. I regret not getting to hunt with others as much as I would have liked but that’s what next year is all about. I truly hope everyone had a great hunting season as well

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Sean Ducks 2013 Jan 23
Jan 23, 2013

Hunted a private newly cut corn field w Johnny & Joel. We got setup later than the prior day & the d ...more

ucks showed up later as well. It was a repeat from the prior hunt, birds that came from the north absolutely would not work but as it got later, birds were coming from the east and they worked a little better but not great. The wind switched to the south on us after we got set up & the ducks kept wanting to come in from behind but it all worked out thanks to the mass quantity of ducks coming to this field. We went from a handful of ducks in the 1st hour to 3 limits of mallards in a hurry in the last hour. In fact, the hunt went down to the wire & we could only shoot one more hen, but as luck would have it, 3 ducks came in with a minute to go in LST & they happened to be all drakes & we converted on the opportunity. The weather started to change from the inversion we've been under for weeks & we actually got some freezing rain but it stopped right as we started our hunt which was fine with me. We also lost a decent breeze from the north & it went calm before it switched to the south. It was an amazing sight of ducks bombing into this field after the hunt while we were picking up. Probably the most ducks I've seen in one field this season. Pic’s attached. It got dark quick after the hunt & the pictures didn’t turn out too well. I tried to get some without the flash effect but most of them were blurry. Not as happy with this camera in low light conditions. Johnny took some video of the amazing number of ducks hitting the field after the hunt:

http://www.youtube.co/watch?v=wxIrhcPXVo4

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Sean Ducks 2013 Jan 13
Jan 13, 2013

Hunted the same corn field from the prior day with Darin after the Seahawks playoff game. In fact, t ...more

his hunt kind of mirrored the Hawks game – too many missed opportunities early in the game/hunt. Once again, groups of ducks were hitting the field as we were setting up but then we didn't have many ducks targeting it & had to run traffic. What little wind there was came out of the NW but I wasn't going to face the sun again for a 2nd day in a row. Of course, a lot of the ducks came from behind but with just 2 guys we were able to kill them anyway. A few of the flocks worked us pretty well in the 1st hour but it got much tougher in the last hour. A lot of the ducks have seen the program with the spinners & are not falling for it but we had just the right amount of opportunities to shoot 2 limits. We ended up a little short like the Seahawks with 13 mallards (10 drakes, 3 hens) but Darin had his chances to get his 7. A couple of times we passed on single pintail drakes over the decoys to see if the flock would finish and then they didn't. Of course, after that we decided to shoot any single pintail drake in the decoys & then we never saw another one. Oh well, another good duck hunt in the books.

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Sean Geese Ducks 2013 Jan 12
Jan 12, 2013

Morning Goose Report: Hunted a green field with Johnny, Matt, Jake, Spencer, Darin & Scott. I was a ...more

little nervous at first hunting with this crew since a few of them were on jail break but they knew how to kill geese so I was down with it. J We had a good day of goose hunting by taking 23 geese for the 7 of us but the challenges around us were too much to overcome to get full limits. The neighboring pond got hunted by about 8 guys that were shooting almost non-stop at ducks & they bounced the geese off the pond when they went in to setup. We also had a competing group of goose wanna-be hunters that set up across from us on the other edge of our field and stood out like turds in a punch bowl. They only shot one goose all morning when a few survivors from one of our go’s happened to fly over them but having another setup in the same area can confuse the geese sometimes & make them more difficult to decoy. The biggest impediment was the shooting on the pond & it was a minor miracle to kill the geese that we did. Being the one calling the shot was quite a challenge this day – I had to keep an eye not only on the flock of geese that was working us but also the ducks behind us to determine how long I could let the geese work before I had to call the shot at the right time before they flared off the duck hunters shots. Got lucky most of the time on the call but got hosed a time or two. The early flocks of geese worked our mixed spread of Spencer's FFD honks & my FFD lessers very well but after the sun came up, something changed & we struggled to get geese to commit. The weather was pretty chilly with temps in the upper teens to start the day & warmed to the mid-20's & a slight NW breeze kicked in. We called the hunt at 11 as Johnny had to get some sleep to go into work that afternoon. We had several potential geese fly by while we were picking up that I'm confident we could have killed but that's the way it goes. It worked for me as it allowed Darin & I time to go set up in a corn field for an afternoon duck hunt.
Afternoon Duck Report: Got in a quick afternoon hunt in the corn field with Darin, Jerry & his brother Cody, who was visiting from SD. It was only Cody's 2nd duck hunt ever & 1st from a lay out blind. We had a steady North breeze of about 5 mph that forced us to face the blaring sunshine to the west. The temps were in the upper 20's. The ducks flew in decent numbers & the early flocks actually decoyed pretty well. Later in the day, it got tougher as the groups would not finish well at all so we started taking singles & doubles that would commit before the rest of the flock. It educates a lot of ducks that way but we were there to kill ducks. We ended up shooting 21 ducks - 14 mallard drakes, 4 mallard hens, 2 pintail drakes & 1 pintail hen. Cody struggled to shoot in his 1st experience from a layout but he had a good time. Another good hunt in what has turned out to be a phenomenal waterfowl season.

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Sean Ducks 2014 Jan 05
Jan 5, 2013

Hunted a new private corn field to start the day & shot 11 ducks before another group of hunters sho ...more

wed up to hunt the same spot. Unbeknownst to us (Johnny, Matt, Eric), the other group had hunted the field the prior day & left their blinds & decoys in the field. I opted to move (even though I didn’t have to) since one of them was a farmer in that area that had allowed me to hunt his property in the past and was supposedly hunting with them but it turned out that he didn't even end up hunting with the group that included a guide & his clients - total BS. So we moved to the field we had been doing so well in & shot the rest of our ducks to finish up w 28 total on the day - 23 mallard drakes & 5 pintail drakes & Eric shot a banded mallard drake. One of the guys that I trade off on this field set up on a field right next to us which pissed me off as well. The number of guys hunting ducks in the field is wising them up in a hurry & this hunt was even more difficult to kill ducks as the bulk of the ducks were not finishing at all. We had to move decoys & take the initial birds that committed to the spread which takes longer & educates more ducks. Still another great hunt but the gig is about up. You hear a lot of guys say private ground is so much easier to hunt but I can tell you there is a lot of crap to deal with on private ground as well.



I could have gone the next day and made it 9 hunts in a row but I just didn’t feel like going and opted to stay home with the family and catch up on items that needed to be handled. I got to watch the Seahawks take out the Redskins which was very enjoyable to see. Ready to launch another 3 day run of hunts tomorrow to use up the last of my use or lose vacation. Hopefully, the hunting will continue to be good.

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Sean Rose 2013 Jan 04
Jan 4, 2013

I would like to write more about this hunt since it was probably my dog Rose’s last hunt ever but I ...more

might write a tribute later about her when the season is over. I hunted w Don Benson and his pointing labs, Tanna & Brody for pheasant and quail on this day. We shot some pheasants & quail on the first property early in the day but didn't see many roosters at all. The next property was a nice surprise as we found at least 10 roosters & were able to take our 2 man limit & 7 quail total. Rose got in on a lot of the action & did a great job but she really broke down at the end of the hunt & barely made it back to the truck. All the dogs did very well and it was very rewarding to do this well on a late season hunt. I’m kind of kicking myself for not hitting the last spot a few more times throughout the season but you can bet I’ll visit again before the pheasant season closes this Sunday.

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Sean Upland 2013 Jan 04
Jan 4, 2013

More pictures from the hunt. I took a lot since it was Rose’s last run.

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Sean Ducks 2013 Jan 03
Jan 3, 2013

Hunted the private corn field we had been doing so well in again w Jerry, Johnny & Joel. We shot 28 ...more

ducks - 22 mallard drakes & 6 mallard hens. There was still snow in the field and the ducks were working it as we set up at 1:00 & continued until we shot our last duck just prior to 4:00. The ducks are starting to catch on to the constant pressure in the corn fields & not finishing very well as a group. I made several decoy adjustments & they worked a little better but it's getting tougher for sure to fool them. The guys shot a lot of hens today but it was bound to happen with the sun shining in our face. It was suppose to be a wintry mix with heavy cloud cover according to the forecast but they couldn't have been further off with the total sunny skies. There was a decent northeast breeze that forced us to face the sun to the southwest so more hens dying was the obvious outcome. Another great day in this field overall, though. Between the other guy that hunts this field & I, this made 8 straight limit hunts for our groups on this field. After each hunt, Johnny and I always have a discussion on how to arrange the ducks for the pictures as it’s getting tough to come up with different poses. But, that’s a great problem to have!

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Sean Ducks 2013 Jan 02
Jan 2, 2013

Hunted a private corn field based on Johnny's scouting the prior evening. Johnny, Grant & Jerry were ...more

in on the hunt. I had the same field lined up where we had been crushing them but we opted to do this field for a change of pace. It was a somewhat frustrating hunt though we did shoot 28 ducks (only recovered 24) but we had to pick up & move our decoys when the cattle lady showed up to let the cows move into the area where we were hunting. Between that & the ducks not really digging our setup & not finishing well & bypassing us more than they should. Plenty of ducks in the area but they transitioned to a nearby corn field that was sucking the swarms to them so we had to grind the hunt out all the way to the end. We shot some pretty cool ducks and we always love getting the pintail drakes.

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Sean Geese 2013 Jan 01
Jan 2, 2013

Hunted a public spot for geese w Eric. We had to move our blinds about 80 yards and pulled some deco ...more

ys with us to work the geese after they wanted to come into the field in a different spot. The big groups of honks didn't want to finish & Eric passed up multiple opportunities to take them over the top & to the sides. The small groups, singles, etc. finished very well to our small spread of Eric's DSD's. We also got a few ducks to commit to our goose decoys with some duck calling. It was a fun hunt & I was able to limit on geese while Eric ended up with 2 but easily could have shot 4. It’s nice to finish them into the spread with their feet down but public geese are tough to fool especially on the edge.

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