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Gas Pains

Tom grew up in Milwaukee, bartended in Wauwatosa in the '70s and moved here in 1984.

Commentary, observations and musings about the outdoors, life in general and maybe Tosa politics and personalities will be the order of the day. He savors a lively debate as much as terrific cooking.

Eastern Spink Pheasants

Friends, Girlfriend, Hunt'n, Life is Good, Spink County Pheasants, South Dakota

The ring-neck pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) is the state bird of South Dakota.

Introduced from China to the northwest coastal region of the United States in 1892 the first successful introduction of the bird to South Dakota occurred in Spink County in 1908.  A couple of farmers, A.E. Cooper and E.L. Ebbert, neighbors situated south of Doland, released pheasants into the wild.  The South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks released an additional 250 birds in 1911.  You can probably guess how the story ends.

I happen to think that Spink County is pheasant central in all of North America.

Sure, the Dakotas have a reputation for being flatter than a pancake with corn, beans and grassland stretching from horizon and beyond.

So what compels our group - hailing from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Georgia and California - to make this pilgrimage of thousands of miles each fall?

My guess is that it's all about the adventure that began in 2007.   Followed by the 2008 reprise  -  with all of its hilarity.   Which returned in 2009, in spite of a tragic lossfor more of the same

I like pheasant hunting about as much as gardening, deer hunting or fishing.  And quite possibly more than my day job. Can you tell?

Individual members of the group probably feel the same.

In the past year one of our group lost a dog to cancer and already has a new pup in training.  A couple of new members have joined and a previous member has returned.   We now number fourteen and are bumping-up against our maximum capacity.

With a house-full of guys there is always the smell of testosterone in the air and plenty of cajoling and teasing. You will also catch a whiff of good cooking for sure and sometimes wet dogs too. This year a dog tangled with a skunk and the atmosphere was infused with a new and exotic pungency. 

It doesn't get much better than that.

Unless you are talking about this...

Limited-out on our birds three days in a row.

The good old days can still be found in Spink County,  South Dakota.

Just ask these two smiling hunters...

Deer camp is on-deck. Check out the other blog this week for a series of trail camera shots of some of the bucks that have been hanging around.

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