Growing New Partnerships

In May I was given the opportunity to attend an outreach event put on by Pheasants Forever held at the beautiful Trout Lodge YMCA of the Ozarks in Missouri. The event brought together Pheasants Forever, National Wild Turkey Federation and North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association and focused on the tactics and techniques of outreach with the goal of moving conservation efforts forward.

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First Grouse

A king is dead! Rupert has had his first ruffed grouse shot from over top of him.

 

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First Contact

Whoa.” Rupert stops at the edge of a field located in George W. Mead Wildlife Area (Wisconsin). I remove his lead and and watch his body quiver with excitement. He looks up at me with eyes that seem twice as big as they were just minutes ago.

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Dogs that Humble

“Rupert, fetch, fetch, fetch.” I command softly as I point to a scattering of primary feathers pulled from the chest of a hen pheasant. Rupert and I didn’t see the bird being released but our current task was to track it down in thick cover.

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A Day in The Woods

The tires hummed a low rumble as the truck rolled to a stop. Through the passenger side window, the night sky could be seen reflecting off of the frost-covered field. 

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Turning Roadkill into Dinner

“I have a roadkill deer,” read the early-afternoon text message from my husband. “Call around for processing.”

Without exhausting much effort, I learned the butcher shop in town was still accepting deer for processing into neatly packaged steak, roasts and hamburger. After passing the information, including the cost of services, along to Scott, my phone dinged with another message.

“Expensive,” it read.

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Trained and Confused

“Rupert heel!” I barked as I brushed the hair back from my eyes. Rupert turned toward me at an angle, lowering his head below his withers and tilting his snout down toward the snow. Rupert’s golden brown eyes glowed back at me through the wiry fur partially covering his face. I immediately knew Rupert had no intention of healing or doing anything else that would resemble the behavior of a well-trained bird dog.

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Hunting Roadblocks

I am a deer hunting expert for precisely three months out of the year. To be exact, I am an expert during February, March and April. Why these three months?

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Jethro: The Lovable Monster

No matter how prepared you think you might be, the loss of a beloved pet is always a hard blow to absorb. It doesn’t get easier the older you get, or the older they are when they pass or how long it’s been since they’ve been gone.

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Trapping 101

Rupert’s front legs were shaking with anticipation as I asked him to remain seated in the passenger seat of the pickup truck. We argued briefly about why he wasn’t allowed to sit in the driver’s seat. He didn’t seem to agree with my contention towards safety, but eventually settled into his place.

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Out on the ice

The days are starting to grow longer but winter still has a stranglehold on Wisconsin. While I daydream of spring flowers and summer gardens, I decided it was time to find a new hobby to help occupy my time during the winter months. But what to choose?

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Sunshine daydreams

In the dead of winter I am missing the crunch on dirt under my fingernails, slapping away swarms of bloodthirsty flying vampires and, yes, even the smell of chicken-made fertilizer. The sunburn, the aching back and broken nails are all worth it when you pluck the first vine-ripened tomato from the bushes or slice into the season’s first zucchini.

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