Hunting Stories

Beau Scout and Gary in North Dakota 06

Pheasant Hunt ND '06

In most cases it's illegal for non-residents of ND to hunt the first 7 days of opening weekend for pheasants, that's always the second Sat. of Oct. There are some exceptions.  If you're planning to go check the rules. Our hunt could have started the 3rd. Sat. but I like to wait until the Monday after the 3rd. weekend. It helps to avoid crowds on public land where most of our hunting takes place.

I hunt with a friend, Jack and his Lab Abby, plus my two Poodles, for 5 full days or 4 if we have our 12 bird possession limit in 4 days. Limit is 3 birds/day and the license is good for 7 days. One has to work a lot harder for birds in ND then in SD. But if you can find good cover, feed, and water, and have good dogs there are birds to be had. This fall drought conditions made the water part hard to find. That was just as true in many parts of SD.

One thing I really like about ND is shooting hours start at sunrise vs. 10 AM or 12 PM in SD depending on when you go.

Jack and I limited out 4 days in a row with our 6 birds and were headed back to WI early Fri. morning.

The picture above was taken back at our motel.  Even though permission is not needed on land that's not posted we always ask. However most of our birds were shot on public land as far from parking areas as we could legally walk. There were many huge cattail sloughs that would normally have lots of open water. The water creates narrow cover edges which are more easily hunted with only two guys and 3 dogs. Dried up sloughs made for all day hunts through head high cover.

We had an interesting thing happen on the way back to WI. Just prior to entering MN I passed through a very small ND unincorporated town where the speed limit dropped quickly from 65 to 45 to 25, for about a block. I got clocked by a county officer I never saw at 50. He stopped me in MN. He was very polite and asked how many birds we had. I thought that was strange. I said, "There are 22 in the cooler, skinned but with head attached for I.D. and 2 still in the round wrapped in that canvas. I want to skin those two out, and preserve the hide for training my pup when back in WI." He asked if he could see them. I never hesitated and opened the cooler. I could have legally said no and for sure received a speeding ticket. He didn't count but went on to say he likes to help out the local game warden. He then said, "The warden tells me every 3rd. vehicle with hunters that comes down this road has too many birds. You cooperated, slow down and watch your speed. In MN it's 55, they'll pinch you for sure at 65."

He let me go. Moral of the story: it isn't just the game wardens working over bagging cases. Had I had too many birds and refused to let him look he would have arrested me on the spot for speeding, searched incident to the legal arrest, and called in the game warden. I'd have paid for speeding and over bagging. Oh yea, he had the right to stop me in MN. Again, had I crossed the state line with too many birds it is also a Lacy Act violation, that's Federal. You don't even want to know what that can cost.

Sorry, I'm not saying where this little speed trap was set up. I thought it was a great way to nab MN violators that over bag on ND pheasants. WI hunters are too honest to violate, HA!






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