18 April 2009
A Fun Day Hunting Pheasants and Chukar at Flying Feathers
Back in mid March, our friends Thad and Michelle came up from Texas for a visit. We started planning some fun stuff to do. We had all heard about Flying Feathers and so Jeff called them to see if they were still booking hunts. We caught them right at the end of the season and were thrilled to get a hunt booked. They were out of Quail for the season, so we booked a Saturday hunt for Chukar and Pheasant.
We decided that a little practice would be beneficial so Friday was dedicated to practice. Jeff, Thad, Caleb, and myself headed down to Ozark Shooters (near Branson, Missouri) on Friday morning. We spent most of the day shooting skeet, wobble trap, and sporting clays.
Our first round was skeet. We were all horrible! I think we might have collectively hit 20 clays out of 100. Needless to say, this didn’t do anything for our confidence. We next went to wobble trap where our confidence was restored. We shot round after round with everyone doing pretty good. Caleb had an impressive 23 of 25 in a couple rounds. This is impressive since he had never shot skeet or trap before. In fact, he had previously never shot at anything in the air.
We finished the day with a trip through the sporting clays course. Caleb, again, held his own with a pretty respectable score. We were all amazed. I will reluctantly admit that Jeff beat me on the sporting clay course. I had him beat up until the last station. He somehow made all 4 shots and I somehow choked and missed all four shots – which allowed him to beat me by ONE! Thad and Jeff really had fun rubbing that one in!
On Saturday morning we headed Northwest from Springfield to Flying Feathers. It was about a 1 hour drive and we were due there at 8am. We made it on time and after a brief orientation and introduction to our guide we hit the field. If you are anything at all like me, you love watching dogs work. It was so enjoyable to watch those dogs work that field.
We spread out 4 wide and started walking the field behind the 3 dogs. We put Caleb on the outside which is guarantees some of the harder shots. We put him there for safety reasons and so that I could keep a close eye on him. It turned out to be for naught, as he was careful and only took one shot that he shouldn’t have. It was a shot a low bird and after we talked to him about it and how it can put the dogs at risk, he didn’t take any low shots again.
Caleb obliterated the birds, though. He made some incredible shots! I would venture to say that he made at least 2 of the most difficult shots of the day and his birds fell clean. He was dropping birds at 40+ yards and most of his birds were not flying straight out from him. All of us were amazed – including our guide.
Caleb attributed it to the new gun I had bought for him. It was a Mossberg 500A pump in 20 gauge and we had a modified tube in. He loves that gun. He likes the weight of it and swears it doesn’t kick at all (when compared to the 12 gauge he had been shooting).
All of us did really well and had a great day. We bagged close to 40 birds (all pheasant and Chukar) and it was pretty even. All of us did really well – but the day had to go to Caleb. I spent about ½ the day with my mouth hanging open in shock as I’d watch him calmly shoulder his gun and drop a bird with an incredible shot.
I think I might have bagged the most birds, but I also had the worse miss. A pheasant got up right in front of me and flew beautifully straight away. It was by far the easiest shot of the day and I shot three times and missed all three times. It was one of two birds that I shot at that didn’t drop. However, it was the easiest shot ever, and for the second time in two days, I completely choked. I’ll admit it. I don’t even blame the other four (Jeff, Thad, Caleb, AND the guide) for making continuous fun of me for that miss!
We had a great time. After the hunt, we had a good lunch back at the ranch house, while they cleaned and prepared our meat. I can’t wait til this Fall so we can go back again!
If you are in Missouri and would like an enjoyable day of hunting, give Flying Feathers a call. They are a first rate operation. Their number is (417) 232-4033.