This morning I had the fortune of spending time afield with my good friend Dr. Scott Hygnstrom, Animal Damage Control Professor at UNL. We had a blast chasing late season pheasant and quail! I am one of those goofballs that actually prefers late season bird hunting. This last week of January could prove to be the best. I have often heard hunters complain about late season birds being so jumpy and hard to hunt but more often I have found that January birds act a lot like opening day roosters rather than the spawn of mayhem some would lead you to believe.
Without a doubt, the bulk of the birds harvested in Nebraska are shot in the first two weekends of the season. By late December, many “die hard” hunters have hung up their boots. By late January, many birds have not seen a hunter in over a month. Don’t get me wrong, two months of rough winter weather will push these birds into the most disagreeable cover you will ever regret walking but man can the hunting be awesome! Birds holding tight, bursting from thick cover at your toes is what I have found more often than the psychotic birds some have lamented about.
Take a day or two before the end of the season, get out there and burn some boot leather. Don’t forget your 2014 hunting license and habitat stamp. Late season birds offer the hunter another great opportunity to capture a few more great memories. Have fun and be safe!