Rooster Road Trip Episode 2:
Peace Garden State Pheasants
The second morning of the Rooster Road Trip found our truck pointing east to meet with North Dakota’s Cedar Creek Pheasants Forever chapter president, Ben Geaumont and his two golden retrievers “Lola” and “Maggie.”
We agreed to meet at an out-of-the-way PLOTS property that Ben mentioned might be tough to walk and hunt, but the eye-high kochia should hold a few birds… Both of those statements proved to be correct. Eventually, we managed to pin a few roosters in a corner (remember to always walk to the corner post) and the crew finished out the walk with heavy gamebags before moving on to a large Wildlife Management Area a few miles down the road.
What this next expansive public property lacked in quality grass, it made up for in cattails – something we couldn’t ignore as equaling birds. With temperatures hovering around 77 degrees, the group managed one more rooster (after seeing more wildly flush than we could count) and then sought refuge in the shade as we opted to wait for one last walk once the thermometer began to dip.
For the last walk, we focused on a giant Waterfowl Production Area that had a meandering creek leading to a large stand of cattails (yes, more cattails). When the grass is lacking you have to key in on whatever habitat is available, so into the cattails we went and we were lucky enough to pull out one last Golden Hour bird.
As the North Dakota leg of our Rooster Road Trip came to a close, we couldn’t have been happier with how things turned out. Did the drought impact habitat quality and availability? Absolutely. Did it hamper our ability to put boots on the ground and find a good amount of birds? No.
Saying goodbye to the Peace Garden State, we now turned toward South Dakota and hoped our good fortune would continue. . .
The Rooster Road Trip is made possible by: Ruff Land Kennels, Browning firearms and apparel, Garmin training collars and tech, Thorogood boots, SoundGear hearing protection and enhancement, Federal Ammunition, Apple Autos, and South Dakota Tourism.