We Fought the Law… And the Law Won.

Murphy’s Law that is.

Our bird hunting trip to Kansas didn’t go quite as planned…

The weather in Kansas before our trip was in the 50’s, the weather since we’ve been home is in the 30’s. While we were there – highs in the teens with below zero windchills.

The prairie dogs of Prairie Dog State Park did not come out to play.DSCN0240-(3sm)

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Tyler and Sarah head out to lay on the frozen goose poop so they can watch the geese laugh at them as they fly over.

The reservoir froze over the night before the boats got there and the duck/goose hunters laid on the ice and watched the birds fly just out of range.

Kids don’t last long outside in temperatures like that. And our plans to explore the park turned into plans to explore the local library.

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We knew that the drought conditions this year meant that pheasant numbers were down. We figured we could make up for that with the ducks, geese (so much for that plan) quail, prairie chicken, and turkey.

Well, I saw two prairie chicken from the truck once and quite a few coveys of quail were unearthed but Murphy really got me in the turkey hunting.

The first day there John who went out hunting with Tyler and his girlfriend Sarah first was very, very nicely able to pick up my hunting license for me. But he didn’t buy me a turkey tag. Bemused but unconcerned I figured I’d buy one next time I was in town. First time I got out Tyler, Sarah and I ran into a giant flock of turkeys and I followed (admittedly somewhat grumpily) as they bailed out of the truck with the dogs. Turkeys flew everywhere, shots were fired, I watched Tyler’s dog (incidentally named Turkey) retrieve a turkey and my dog try to eat a turkey (sorry Sarah, he probably thought it was a really big chicken).

It was exciting!

I went and picked up my tag that night. The only other time I saw turkeys they were running away – safely beyond the Private Property sign. IMG_20121227_142444-(2sm)

Then there was the virus. I don’t think it was the nasty virus that took out an unbelievable number of my family members after Christmas, but something got Clara.  Shethrew up in the truck on the ride down, came down with an all night screamer of an earache mid-trip and still (now with the help of antibiotics) is working on recovering.DSCN0270-(sm)

Below zero temperatures, sick kid, camper – bad combo – dam that Murphy.

And then there were the other things, like when John lost the antenna of my shock collar and then a few days later I accidentally broke his in half. Sarah forgot her shotgun at home. I got sick on the way home and we had a much longer stay at a hotel in Nebraska than we bargained for.

But even though Murphy came out securely on top it wasn’t a bad trip.

Jane was a happy camper and liked working on her dog training.DSCN0261-(2sm)

Ivy and I were able to get out hunting together one afternoon and she quickly turned into an expert pheasant tracker in the snow.

Everyone enjoyed hunting with their dogs. (Especially me!)DSCN0225-(2sm)

And now that I’m home I must say, even a disaster of a hunting trip is better than unpacking the mounds and mounds of stuff that are coming out of our vehicles since we’ve been home!

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Yup, disaster of a trip an all I’m already trying to figure out how we can do it again, if we can just figure out a way to beat Murphy…

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Just Look At My Awesome Dog!

DSCN0233-(2sm)Isn’t he pretty!?!

Today’s numbers:

Four hunters, zero birds.

Three kids, one earache.

Good thing it’s beautiful here and my dog is awesome or it might have been a bad day!

Camp Birds

Hello from Kansas!

We are camping (in a giant camper with a great heater) in Prairie Dog State park.  We have seen all sorts of wildlife in the park and very few people to share it with (just how I like it!), herds of deer, prairie dogs, and lots of birds.

We’ve seen some Canada Geese:    DSCN0164-(3sm)

Some Snow Geese:DSCN0228-(2sm)

And by some I mean lots of geese:DSCN0190-(3sm)

And by “lots” I mean that in the evening the flocks of ducks and geese create a ribbon of birds across the entire sky!

Also there are a few robins around:DSCN0182 (2)

And some Bald Eagles:DSCN0177-(3sm)

These are just the ones I was able to photograph with the kids before they froze, which didn’t take long. The high today was around 14 and the wind chills were below zero all day! The kids have been doing more exploring of the public library than the fields but the weatherman claims it’s going to get a bit warmer so hopefully we’ll be able to drag them along on a hunt or two before it’s time to go home.

In other news we have shot a few birds, but not lots. Cover for the birds is sparse this year making things tricky. Even so we’ve been eating turkey and have pheasant and quail just waiting to be cooked up for tomorrow!

Finally, just in case you were wondering, my dog is awesome…DSCN0162-(sm)

… and very tired!

Duck Hunters are Nuts

Duck hunters are nuts.

Sane people do not load boats on a truck in these conditions:DSCN0110-(sm) Thanks to Jane and her night of yelling we were off to a late start and so the boats were loaded in the cold and snow but not in the dark. Thank you (?) Jane.

Boats on, we successfully left our house at 8:20 AM for our big Kansas hunting adventure.

Then we successfully left our house at 8:37 – with life jackets.DSCN0113-(sm)

Duck hunters are nuts.

I am not a duck hunter.

Unfortunately my sanity has been questioned anyway on account of this whole driving to Kansas, staying in a camper and bird hunting with a 1,3 and 5 year old.

But I must say, half a day of driving and so far, so good.

Only 440 more miles to go…