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Posts Tagged ‘Warne Ranches’

And then, there was thawing out in Alabama at Dream Ranch.

And then, there was thawing out in Alabama at Dream Ranch.

It’s all over but the shouting. If one shouts at the end of bird season, that is.

Several thousand road miles, a lot of new friends, some new country and a ton of birds … tired dogs and a bunch of oil changes in unfamiliar towns. Every day was an adventure and gratifying in its own way (after all, it was hunting). While you’re reading about some of my peak experiences, re-live your own.

A pair of doubles on Huns in Montana with 6X Outfitters’ Al Gadoury. The dynamic is markedly different when you hunt without TV cameras. Both good, but different. Considering how I shot, I kinda wish there was a crew there.

Passing on the only ringneck anyone saw on opening day at a nearby wildlife refuge because I mis-read the regulations. Aaagh!

Hunting generally northward while a stranger hunted generally southward – toward me. When it turned out to be a training/hunting buddy, all was well in the world … again.

Hunting what can only be described as an American Serengeti at South Dakota’s Warne Ranches. Waves of birds rising from the grass, and on camera!

A chance – after 25 years – to share a field with my dogs’ veterinarian, and have both Manny and Buddy make epic retrieves across fields and raging creeks.

The coldest night I’ve ever spent in chukar country, minus 12 degrees. Warm enough during the day to enjoy, along with bighorns and a great friend. And the realization that for 72 hours we hadn’t heard a train, plane, truck or other hunter.

Horseback hunting with some great kids and their mom, out west for the first time. The wonder of the wide open spaces was clear on their faces. Introducing them to our sport was incredible.

Anyway, you get the idea. Now, what about yours?

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Where is the Aliner parked tonight?

My guest at Warne Ranch was our “TruckVault Cares” Facebook contest winner, Bill Zeromski. It had been 25 years since he last pursued ringnecks with his late father, so you can imagine the anticipation permeating the air.

But it was also Bill’s birthday. A significant number (I’ll let him tell you how many some day) that many consider a wake-up call: do the things on your bucket list. We did our best to help.

Methodical Labradors teamed with first Buddy, then Manny, with many of the pheasants streaking for the far end of fields and CRP grasses before we could get within gun range. Some shots were taken, some birds fell, and we honored both Bill on his birthday and Bill honored his father’s memory.

We headquartered at the Best Western Ramkota hotel. It’s like a second home to me, having been a guest at least once every season for the last five. So while the Aliner rested in the parking lot, we relaxed in comfort without our wheels. But there are a lot of Ramkotas, so you’ll have to guess which parking lot is harboring my trailer.

The birthday boy, ready for a noisy flush from a wily ringneck.

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Bill Zeromski, our TruckVault Cares Facebook contest winner, relived 25-year-old memories of pheasant hunting with his father at South Dakota’s Warne Ranch today. My crack production crew of Tad Newberry and Lynn Berland captured every moment, from loading up to his first pheasant and you’ll see it next season on the show.

Cody Warne’s Labs (three sisters) performed admirably, and after an epic first few minutes with clouds of ringnecks, we settled into a rhythm that flushed hundreds of birds. After a few practice shots to warn the birds, Bill knocked on down, dedicating his success to his father’s memory.

After lunch, Buddy shone, producing a shootable rooster after a long stalk  in CRP grasses. Heat topping 80 degrees put him back in his crate soon after, yielding to his grand-nephew Manny. The little guy was as hot as the air temperature, covering a lot of ground from grass to milo, to cut corn and cattails. A few strong points put hens up, and eventually a rooster that was delivered to hand.

Bill’s shooting got more refined as the day went on, putting another bird in his game bag and memories in his mental photo album. Here are some of them. If you like them, please “Like” our Facebook page too.

Memories of the hunt.

Cody and Bill offer Buddy a drink after a hot hunt. He ended up in the cooler.

Lynn and Cody shooting an introductory segment for the show.

The contest’s namesake TruckVault doing yeoman’s duty.

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