No question, November is my favorite month of the year. It’s a time of several weeks or so of vacation, with times taken out for covering the opening weekend of pheasant season and whatever other outdoors event that’s both fun and worthy of an outdoors page feature.
From time to time this November I’ll be blogging on how the month is going.
So far, so great.
All of my Novembers have days of deer, ducks, geese, pheasants and fall turkeys. This one had a few hours of prairie chickens, too.
FYI, the Smoky Hill region, including the Blue Hills near Ringneck Ranch, have left the Flint Hills in their dust when it comes to prairie chicken numbers because of kinder land use practices, with less burning and less double-stocking of cattle.
But even the best prairie chicken field in the state is a coin toss gamble at best. ‘Chickens may fly into a field every afternoon for a week, then skip a couple of days before hitting the same pattern again. Keith had them scouted as mostly coming from the south and east, as they accessed several hundred acres of poorly harvested corn field.
Most of the birds, of course, entered from the southwest were we had no hunters waiting, which may have been good. A few minutes before the end of legal shooting time Keith and some others moved across the field from north to south,
pushing scattered groups totaling about 180 birds back over our line of about eight hunters.
Sitting at the east end, I was the lone gunner to not fire a shot…but I sure got to fire my shutter several times as the birds left the field silhouetted against a classic Kansas sunset.
With that, the sun pretty well set on one of my better Novembers…now, let’s see how things go during my second most-favored month – December!