The ringnecks that dwelled among the thorns and cattails of this valley knew their neighborhood well, testing the dogs’ noses and hunters’ shooting abilities. Often more like a ruffed grouse hunt with brush-busting and tangle-inducing vines and branches, there were times when your shot was pointed at a white neck ring and nothing else in the shadows of chokecherry and cottonwood.
Guide Rich Coe’s dogs were trained to handle the bird flushing when needed, and they were needed often. Maybe you don’t like the idea (can you say porcupine?), but it was most appreciated by this bruised and battered, scratched and skinned-up hunter. Finding footing and swinging room for safe shots (two camera operators in tow) was tough enough without having to boost every bird from it’s hidey-hole.
And boost we did, flying a lot of birds, shooting at some, and hitting a few. One memorable flush ultimately yielded four roosters; we gawked instead of getting close enough for a shot, thinking each was the last to fly. (Count to four real slow … that’s how it played out.)
The jungle-like cover took its toll, as did the jinking and juking pheasants. But plenty of birds ended up headed for the table of a deserving family somewhere in the Kamiah metropolitan region.
Thanks sponsors: Black’s Wing & Clay Waterfowl, Irish Setter, TriTronics and NSFF/www.wingshootingusa.org. Leave a comment, you might win a pair of Irish Setter boots!