My brother-in-law and I went pheasant hunting this morning in a new location and there was a crowd in the parking lot as we approached. Nearly everyone save us and another group had a dog and the words oh oh crossed our minds.
We chatted to two older gents who each brought a dog as we waited for sunrise. We staggered our start with some of the other groups with dogs and bid our new buddies adieu and wished them well.
It took nearly 30 minutes but we heard the sound of shotgun blasts pierce the air. Perhaps another 30 minutes passed and we saw a hen flush about 75 yards ahead of us and saw a flash from the "business end" of a hunter's shotgun. We met up with the hunters and they were the two gentleman we had talked to in the parking lot.
They said they believed the bird was hit and were off in search of the hen. As we walked along, I asked if they had any success and they said they put up seven birds but hadn't put any in their satchel. After a few more yards I veered off to the right and walked among the oaks and pines. Suddenly one of the dogs that belonged to one of the gentleman circled around me and then dashed off. It could not have been more than 20 yards when I saw the dog (a German Wirehaired Pointer) go on point. Just as quickly his companion (a German Shorthaired Pointer) joined in on the point. I called the gentlemen and told them that their dogs had gone on point and I backed off. The dogs flushed the rooster and jumped at it as it cackled and flew away. The two gentlemen both took a shot but missed the pheasant. We once again wished them well and parted ways.
It was getting late and I was getting tired so my brother-in-law and I started the trip back to the parking lot.
As my brother-in-law and I took a breather, the two gentleman slowly approached the parking lot. We asked if they found the bird and they said they were unsuccessful. One of the gentleman's son joined us (he was bow hunting) and ended talking for about 15 minutes more.
As we were leaving, the gentleman told us that we were more than welcome to join them next week and hunt behind their dogs. We thanked them profusely and agreed to meet them next week.
Today two strangers who are more interested in keeping people engaged in hunting than getting their limit extended an offer that I don't know how long will last; however, it could have a long lasting impact on my continued trips afield.