hey guys! two weeks ago i was able to bag my first birds on the wing!
I was out on a caribou hunt in GMU 13. We had a late start to our trip do to some mechanical problems with our off road rigs, so we didnt make it to our hunting area before dark the first day. So we pitched a tent and crashed about half way there... There was three of us on the hunt. hopefully some of you can relate to this but im one of those people that when im hunting in great country, it is impossible for me to sleep once it starts to get light out! I guess i just get so excited that i have to get up and look around! So as soon as light started hitting the tent i crawled out of my sleeping bag and walked outside. I grabbed my .06 and the binos and stared glassing, looking for caribou. I was tired yet excited and as i was glassing i fell asleep for a good half an hour!haha I woke up to the distinct sound of ptarmagin clucking! er er er er errrrrrrrrererrrr! Thats what i heard! I looked in front of me and saw about 3 ptarmagin sitting right next to where the willows start to get thicker! The closer i looked, the more i saw and heard! I quietly stood up and sneaked over to the tent and grabbed my ithica modle 37 12ga shotgun. this gun was passed down to me by my now deceased father. I have never shot anything with this gun. I quickly unloaded the slugs that were in it in case of bear troubles. Then i grabbed the 10 birdshot shells i had brought in case of ptarmagin encounter, and loaded 3 of them. Now i was ready! I sneaked over to where the ptarmagin were...
Just as i got there they were slowly walking into the thicker willows. I took a few steps forward... And a group of 6 flushed! I took the saftey off and BOOM, BOOM, BOOM! I dropped 3 of the 6 (while they were flying!!). After that first flush i quickly reloaded, knowing there were more to come! I slowly walked forward about 7ft and another even larger group of 8 or 9 flushed! BOOM, BOOM, BOOM!!! I dropped another 3 ptarmies!!! By now i was high on the moment, and reloaded again. I took one step forward and a group of 4 flushed, but they were at least 50yards away.... BOOM,BOOM,BOOM... but no birds dropped... Now i only had 1 more shell left and i loaded it. I walked over to retreive the birds i had already killed and ANOTHER group flushed! i was un-prepared for this many birds! I fumbled with my gun but just in the nick of time i cocked my shell in and dropped my last bird with my last shell!! Talk aboiut making you last shot count!! Now i was out of shells. I attempted to retreive my birds but it was difficult with the groups of 5-6 flushing literaly every 4 steps i took!! Eventually i retreived my birds! and i was soo happy!
not only had i killed my first bird on the wing, but had done it with my fathers shot gun!!
my guess is that i had encountered at least 50 ptarmagin!! IMG_0555.jpgIMG_0561.jpg