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Once again we took a sabbatical to the far reaches of North America in search of wily game birds. This time our goal was to hunt the North Dakota three: Ring neck Pheasant, Sharp-tail Grouse and Hungarian Partridge. With a little luck we'd find em'.

The trip started going through some great Montana big game country.


A rare sight. Trumpeter Swans.


Along for the ride were two good friends, Mike and Chris. Both hunting ND for the first time. Also we brought with us two dogs, Oprah and Jonesy. It was late season and the birds would be educated (particularly so on the public land we planned to hunt) but we were up to the challenge.

Oprah and Chris roam the fields of gold.


And Jonesy worked the CRP.


The first day was a brisk 18 degrees, but the coulees and thickets held the birds.

Thermal cover.


And it held birds. Chris' first Sharp-tail grouse.


And a first for Mike: a male Hungarian partridge.


Limit.


We'd done it on our first day…the ND three!


The next day was windy and the birds were again in the thick cover. Approach was difficult and we didn't get any sharpies or huns. Jonesy did point this prickly fella though.


The cat-tails held the ringnecks.


Point. Look close.


Cold and lonely.


The next day was better. Setters…the sharp-tail dogs.


Beautiful in their simplicity.


Much like the areas they inhabit.


After looking for sharpies in the thin stuff we headed for cover. The thick stuff held a few surprises. For us and Oprah; the wire hair didn't hold!


Now, I've always been a believer that we have a "different" variety of Ring neck pheasant in North America. They are running little buggers and very terrestrial. They have to be tough to survive our prairies. But in typical American fashion they come from a variety of genetic sources; melting pot indeed. For instance look at the differences in their head gear. They're all wild birds and from the same general area. Age didn't seem to be a determining factor.







The prairie is a big place!


And harsh.


Abandoned.


Mixing with the locals. Boys will be boys.


Hedgerows: more thermal cover.


Up her alley.


These boots were made for walking.


A great week.


Always,

Caleb
 

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An amazing trip there Zimbo. Thanks for sharing. The pics are great - and the story- fantastic. Well done all around.
 

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Wonderful pictures and terrific story!!
Thank You for sharing those with us. A trip like that has always been a dream of mine. (I am sure you enjoyed it too)
Again, nice job.
 

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Awesome!!! Hopefully we'll have as much success as you did in Kansas next week. Was it all Walk in Hunter Access? Did you know the land owners? How does that work in ND. I am intrested in hunting up there and would like to know how they work.


Thanks
 
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