Monday, December 14, 2009


Back for a third trip to the Texas Panhandle to chase pheasants. The birds were doing better up around Dumas, so that's where we went this year. Another good time.

First morning, it was a balmy 6 degrees Fahrenheit by nine o'clock, very cold by our standards. It eventually warmed up to the low thirties. The birds were flushing pretty wild but we found enough slow ones to fill our bag.

The next day we started in the teens, much more pleasant, and had some birds hold close right off. We ended the day hunting wastewater pits full of brush and weeds and, on some of them, the birds would boil out all at once, making picking out the roosters and getting a shot quite a challenge, sort of like a really big quail covey rise, only with the birds going in more directions and the limitation of having to pick out roosters over hens.

It's interesting hunting such an unfamiliar landscape. Almost everything in agriculture, mostly flat, enormous amounts of food on the ground right now in the form of waste grain and seemingly very little cover at all. The number of owls and hawks you see in a day is surprising, too.

If you're looking for a good hunt on wild birds in northern Texas, these guys have good land leased and run a nice hunt.


EcoRover said...

Wow, FLATLAND! Lived on an abandoned farm in central NY once-upon-a-time with lots of pheasant. Recall the tasty Sunday dinners and lovely boquets of tail feathers. Funny how they'll sit tight for a dog one day, and flush 40 yards out the next. There are some birds on the riverbottoms here (Montana) but it's tough to get landowner permission.

Matt said...

Mmm...Pheasant braised in red wine with parmesan polenta. Thanks M&A.

Matt Mullenix said...

Familiar country. I've hunted Dumas many times. We're welcome to hunt our hawks anywhere there until you tell them they might catch a pheasant. :-)

mdmnm said...


Yeah, it is pretty flat. These are the only pheasants I've had experience with. There are a very few along the middle Rio Grande Valley, but not enough to really learn about the birds.

Glad it turned out well!

I was thinking about your recent hunt while up there. We saw scads of rabbits. No blue quail, though. So, how do you call Ernie off of a hen pheasant?

Matt Mullenix said...

Um, officer, I was calling him off but he wasn't listening...

(actually, in Texas hawks can catch 1 of anything per day year round. It is a very humane law for a sport that uses birds with no knowledge of calendars or open seasons)

mdmnm said...


That Texas law does seem really sensible. I'll have to check and see what NM does with falconry bag limits.