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BrentD, Prof, craigd, HomelessjOe, Parabola, Stanton Hillis, Ted Schefelbein
Total Likes: 23
Original Post (Thread Starter)
#608633 12/31/2021 3:23 PM
by Ted Schefelbein
Ted Schefelbein
I snuck out to a WMA I have hunted for 50 years yesterday. This spot was where my Dad hunted pheasants, and we often hunted it together. I used his Beretta Silver Snipe both times I made the pilgrimage this year, it has a single trigger that allows for the use of gloves. It was the first time this season I didn’t move birds. The temp was a reasonable 24 degrees, but, the wind was blowing pretty hard out of the northwest, perhaps 15-20 with gusts to 30. I have a heck of a time moving birds in those conditions. Gave it three or four hours, if I hadn’t needed the exercise I would have called it quits, sooner. I have a tired and scratched up dog, and never fired the gun. Saw nothing, save pheasant tracks in the snow. The previous week I saw 8 pheasants, 5 deer, and a fox squirrel, I wasn’t squirrel or deer hunting, but, I enjoy seeing them, anyway. The birds at this point are survivors, uninterested in dog bells or holding for a point, for the most part. The slews are all frozen solid this year, which makes it easier to get around. You can cut across ditches and cattail slews and cover ground that was impossible back during opening weekend. I can hunt until the 2nd, but, the weather coming for the weekend will feature sub zero temps, and brisk winds. There was a time, but, that time isn’t now.
Hope you guys had a good season. As long as I’m still having seasons, I’ll be happy.

Liked Replies
#608642 Dec 31st a 04:08 PM
by Lloyd3

My season is over as well here. Very stiff and sore this morning and a big winter storm seems to be bearing down also here as well (about time!). Hunting those old coverts with a loved one's gun is a special moment. Sorry you didn't connect with any game but with your writing I had no problem fully picturing your experience. It seems that we live in very troubled times(!) so... maybe these little side-trips help us in ways we'd never expect? Looking backward before turning to look forward is something I find myself doing a lot lately. 2021 has been a challenging year for many of us here, but it hasn't been without it's blessings. The greatest for me was having the time and opportunity to spend it doing so-many hunting related activities with old friends and family this Fall. Never had this sort of luxury before now.

My only child turned 18 yesterday as we were coming home from his first big game hunt. The rifle he was carrying was his grandfather's and the ammo he was using were handloads created by it's previous owner. I've found dies for it but still haven't found any brass, so he's only shot it once before this trip. I had some concerns about his level of experience and preparation because he'd not entirely-embraced some of this hunting stuff (lots of distractions for young folks anymore). Cars, school, social-life (girls?) and work have seemingly been fairly consuming, so my expectations were accordingly muted. I shouldn't have been so-concerned...

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

My hopes for the coming year (& years) are in a better place now. May they be the same for you.
4 members like this
#608637 Dec 31st a 03:36 PM
by Karl Graebner
Karl Graebner
Still a good way to end the season! Grouse season ends on the first, and I usually finish that way providing the weather cooperates. Seems like a good way to end the season and start the New Year.
Hope the coming year is good for everyone here.
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#608640 Dec 31st a 03:54 PM
by craigd
You never know Ted, if the wind lets up for a bit, the solitude can be satifying and enjoyable. With encroaching civilization, congrats for having a throw back spot that's still birdie. Happy New Year.
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#608648 Dec 31st a 05:10 PM
by Daryl Hallquist
Daryl Hallquist
Ted, nice story. My season is over, too. A few minutes ago I took a couple of pics off of the west deck of the house. It is zero degrees F, now, but scheduled to get much colder as the day wears on. The deer are filling up in preparation for the cold night.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
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#608646 Dec 31st a 04:53 PM
by Ted Schefelbein
Ted Schefelbein
My goal has been to find birdie places that are closer to home. I’m down to Lloyd as a hunting buddy, when he is in town, and sometimes, like this year, our schedules don’t match.

That means, I’m alone, for the very most part. I don’t have a cell phone, and, the places it wouldn’t work are full of birds, places where I really like to be. Thusly, no great loss. But it concerns a few folk, greatly. Me, not so much. I been at this a while.

This spot is centered between Steele and Waseca counties, in the middle of farm country. The DNR has owned it for perhaps 60 years, maybe more, and it will always be rural, and, have birds. But, it is a wild little tangle, hit hard during deer season by the locals.

Dad was in my thoughts both days. He had a lot of fun at the spot, with an Irish Setter named Paddy, Mom’s Dog, technically, but Dad’s when it was time to go pheasant hunting. A show dog that would hunt 120 lbs, or so. I have Dad’s shotguns, this one was slated to be my Son’s, but, he so much prefers the autoloaders, an A5 and a SBE, that he gave it back to me:

[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]

My brother sent my Dad’s A5 my way. A diabetic amputee has little need for bird guns.
My Son will blast away at our trap course, but, he is a fair weather hunter at this point. He does not seem to be a meat eater, neither was his grandfather, really. He would eat a piece of meat about 1/2 this size of a pack of cigarettes, and call it enough. He loved to hunt, though.

We all soldier on.

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#608659 Dec 31st a 07:34 PM
by 16 Shooter
16 Shooter
Like Ted I have hung up the pheasant hunting season as well for the year in my part of southwest Minnesota, Renville County. They are talking -40 F windchills tomorrow and Sunday for this part of the state and I see the pheasants outside my grove out in the corn fields picking and struggling to survive the cold so I figure it's time to hang it up for the season as well. God willing I will be ready to go at it again next October.
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#608655 Dec 31st a 06:16 PM
by ellenbr
Oddly enough, our waterfowl season has just started, or maybe midway, and most other chasing of game will bleed over into February if not till February's end. I will say this cold weather that is being experienced will be to the betterment of our hunting period.


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#608657 Dec 31st a 06:59 PM
by skeettx

What caliber?

What gun?

Have you found some brass yet?

1 member likes this
#608662 Dec 31st a 08:06 PM
by Lloyd3
Skeettx: 1903 Springfield custom pictured earlier here (Another grampa gun) chambered in .308 Norma Magnum. New Norma brass is available to the tune of ~$4/ea. I know it's silly and I'm probably going to have to bite that bullet eventually, but I'd been holding out for some 1x stuff. Until this trip it just didn't seem all that important. You know, it's funny....he wouldn't let any of us help him cary that rifle out, even while he was dragging a sled loaded with over 250lbs of meat. It was all quite unexpected (at least for me). He's been pretty stoic since the funeral but... I guess he misses his Grandad in ways I didn't know about.
1 member likes this
#608660 Dec 31st a 07:48 PM
by Ted Schefelbein
Ted Schefelbein
Originally Posted by 16 Shooter
Like Ted I have hung up the pheasant hunting season as well for the year in my part of southwest Minnesota, Renville County. They are talking -40 F windchills tomorrow and Sunday for this part of the state and I see the pheasants outside my grove out in the corn fields picking and struggling to survive the cold so I figure it's time to hang it up for the season as well. God willing I will be ready to go at it again next October.

I have hunted around Marshall MN when the wind was blowing so hard it sounded like a jet. One of the few times in my life I was actually hypothermic, temp was in the high teens, wind was off the charts.

No birds, that trip, either.

I do remember my host leaving the car unlocked, and the keys in the ignition. Theft wasn’t a problem in that part of the world, and in weather like that, getting back to the car and warming up was going to be kinda’ important.

1 member likes this
#608834 Jan 3rd a 11:21 PM
by keith
Ted, we don't get the minus 30 to minus 40 temps you get in Minnesota, but we do get occasional sub-zero weather. It was minus 22 F when I left camp on the morning I shot my first deer with a flintlock. Deer guts never felt so good. I never minded the cold much except when the wind is also howling. I've had mild hypothermia several times, but like you, the worst by far was with the temperature in the low teens.

The day started out with temps in the mid 20's, but around 9:30 am, a front moved through causing the temperature to fall and the wind to ramp up. I had shot a deer with my flintlock, and it went down as if struck by lightning. It began thrashing a bit as I reloaded, which I was certain was just nerves. Then, while ramming a patched roundball, I watched it jump up and take off, just as snow began falling faster. I hurried to track it because the scant blood trail was getting covered, and it took me through pure hell, and an area that was laced with other deer tracks. I had to give up after a couple hours because the tracks became impossible to follow due to the drifting snow. That was the only deer I ever wounded and lost, and I still feel bad about it.

Rushing so much through wooded ravines and thick brush caused me to perspire, and my damp hunting clothes combined with the driving cold wind caused me to start shivering almost uncontrollably. I tried everything to warm up, but by 3:00 we were in full blizzard conditions and I decided it was time to quit. It was very hard to even find my way toward the road where I parked. The last 1/4 mile across an open field was brutal, with visibility almost zero, and stinging sleet and snow blowing horizontal. I hoped I was heading the right direction. Much to my relief, I finally found the car. My fingers quit working, so getting my keys out of my pocket to unlock the door took forever. I kept dropping the keys, and had to use both hands to hold the key and get it in the lock. The door locks became stiff to operate, and I was afraid I was going to break the key in the lock. I finally got in, but I was driving my old Ford Tempo diesel, and although it had a pretty good heater, it just wouldn't make heat until you drove it under load. I hit the glow plugs twice to make sure it started. If it hadn't started on that isolated dirt road far from any farms, I'd have really been up shit creek without a paddle. Of couse, with blizzard conditions, the windows were totally iced up, so I had to stick my head out the side window and drive a couple miles until the defroster finally began working. When I got home over an hour later, I was still shivering very badly, and got into a hot bathtub to thaw out. That was one out of three times in my life that I quit hunting early. You are 100% right about wind making a difference when it gets cold.
1 member likes this
#608882 Jan 5th a 01:04 AM
by Ted Schefelbein
Ted Schefelbein
Been there, done that. Youth isn’t always an asset. 30-40 below usually brings bright, clear sky’s from the high pressure it takes to drive the temp that low, and no wind. But, it is still cold enough to get in trouble.

Lloyd, I’ve tried a bunch of phones in southern Minnesota bird country, short of a satellite phone, they are dead to the world in that area. Having an EPIRB on hand seems to be overkill, but, as I posted, I’ve done this before. More precautions, later starts, and shorter trips when I’m alone. 4-5 hours is plenty if the weather is OK, wife knows exactly where I’ll be, as I’ve written it down, and told her about when I’ll be home. I’m pretty close on time at this point in my life.

Might get an EPIRB when I’m old/retired. Like Lonny.

That dude should have one when he goes out for a smoke on his porch.
1 member likes this

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