Gas Pains

Tom grew up in Milwaukee, bartended in Wauwatosa in the '70s and moved here in 1984.

Commentary, observations and musings about the outdoors, life in general and maybe Tosa politics and personalities will be the order of the day. He savors a lively debate as much as terrific cooking.

Dakota Pheasants

Friends, Girlfriend, Hunt'n, Outdoors, Personal

Last weekend I had an opportunity to participate in some outstanding upland bird hunting.

Girlfriend and I traveled to South Dakota with eight other guys and five additional dogs for three days of hunting.  We rented a house in Doland - population 305.  The local economy is agriculture and hunting.

We hunted for three days with access to portions of 30,000 acres of Ag and CRP land - utilizing the services of a most excellent outfitter - Randi Dix.

Hunting begins no earlier than 10 AM and closes at sunset.  Shooting Dakota birds is unlike anything you'll find in Wisconsin.  Large numbers of birds that are as cagey as can be imagined.  These are birds that will take to flight at the mere sight of a vehicle or blaze orange, the slamming of a truck door, or bark of a dog.

The weather was generally sunny and windy with temps below freezing and rising to the high 40s to low 50s.  Chapstick is a necessity.

Interstates, state highways and a few town roads are paved - mostly everything else is a simple dirt track.  The land is flat, dry and generally blowing through the air.  Dakota dust was everywhere - your vehicle, your dog, your clothing, your nose and your gun. 

Hardly any cellular service.  Sporadic data on a Blackberry.  No DSL.  I never read a newspaper. 

I felt like I walked a hundred miles through corn and switch grass. 

Tons of birds and the profligate expenditure of ammo.   

We hit our bag limit each day. 

Girlfriend was in doggy paradise. 

At the end of the day the telling of stories over a whiskey was the perfect send-off to an early bedtime. 

Life is good. 

Staging to begin driving a corn field.

Planning and strategizing

Billy with some birds

Girlfriend and me

A refreshing adult beverage at the end of the hunt

Yes- you CAN get the Packer Radio Network - and we managed to catch fragments of the Kansas City game on Sunday during breaks in the hunt. 

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