There’s nothing in the hunting world, nothing at all, more enjoyable to me than a bird-hunting road trip with my dogs and a few close friends. Unfortunately, the twin evils of responsibility and finances keep me from going on as many of them as I’d like. So, to shamelessly jump on that annoying and pervasive Dos Equis internet meme, “I don’t always get to go on a five-state cross-country pheasant-hunting road trip, but when I do, I love to do it with these guys!”
“These guys” are the Pheasants Forever Rooster Road Trip crew, and they’re going to be hitting the road again this year. And, as always, you are encouraged to tag along…
Over the course of its 30 year history, Pheasants Forever has made more than 161,800 acres accessible to public land pheasant hunters through land purchase, restoration or legislation. Some of these areas will be profiled during Pheasants Forever’s Rooster Road Trip 2012, a 5-day, 5-state, public lands-only digital media pheasant hunt taking place November 5th through the 9th.
_During Rooster Road Trip 2012, a trio of Pheasants Forever hunters and four bird dogs will hunt five states – Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota – in five days, posting stories and video from the field. The effort focuses on how important pheasant hunters that are Pheasants Forever members are to creating and improving publicly accessible habitat. In fact, any follower who joins Pheasants Forever as a member online through the Rooster Road Trip webpage will receive an exclusive Browning Pheasants Forever cap and be entered to win the new Browning A5 Hunter shotgun.”The real trophies of the hunting world aren’t measured, scored or hanging on a wall, they’re out there for you and me to hunt and they’re accessible to us thanks to the conservation work of organizations like Pheasants Forever,” says Anthony Hauck, the nonprofit’s online editor, “High commodity prices and a drought have increased demands for land use, so it’s equally important for the conservation and sporting community to show a demand for public lands and permanent wildlife habitat.” Watch the Rooster Road Trip 2012 Preview.
Last year I got to tag along for a couple days with the Rooster Road Trip guys when they were in Kansas, and it was a blast. In fact, it was on that trip that my young setter, Jenny, got her first point on a wild quail.
Unfortunately, the Rooster Road Trip will not be swinging down into Kansas this year, so I’ll have to tag along virtually this time around. Fortunately, however, the PF crew make that exceedingly easy to do. The entire five-day hunt is live-blogged daily, with trip reports and video. These guys are serious about getting their hunt onto the web as quickly as possible. One of the coolest aspects of the RRT are the “Dog’s Eye View” videos that get posted along the way. The dog-level GoPro video gives you a really unique perspective on the hunt. Between them, the three guys have four dogs that run the gamut from Anthony Hauck’s little spitfire of an English cocker, to Bob St. Pierre’s two German shorthair pointers, to Anthony Vavra’s yellow lab. The video from the dog-cams alone is worth following along.
But what I really like about the Rooster Road Trip is that it is an entirely self-guided hunt on public land. The whole point of the trip is to demonstrate that: A. our public hunting lands are a precious resource worth saving, and B. this is something any one of us can do, provided we can accomplish A.