Having always lived in the northern tier of states, around Halloween is typically when the weather is apt to catch you off guard in regard to one's outdoor pursuits. Seems like just yesterday, I was carrying a gallon of water for the dogs, trying to catch sharptail midday under the shade of Russian Olives and buffalo berry bushes. Birds were gutted immediately and placed in the bird tray (isn't that why cooler companies give you that clunky, rack that is often in the way?) of the ice chest.
Just like that the days are now kaput at 4:30PM and and the mornings are cold, not cool. I have never been a guy that is keen to shooting gloves, but now gloves are a must, just to keep the fingers in working condition at 15 degrees. Hunting pressure has already diminished from the chaotic pheasant opener and the southern dog trainers that show in Montana in August, have headed south like waterfowl, worried that the cold weather will stiffen up their grits. Whatever they are.
This past episode, just a week past the Halloween threshold, we even mixed in some duck hunting, thanks to Ryan's griff, Kruz, who retrieved our mallards and redheads. Timing the major cold front, which used to be a called an Alberta Clipper, but now goes by the moniker of Polar Vortex, geese and ducks were showing up in impressive numbers. Of course we hunted some pheasants and sharptail, to give the setters some action too. We hated to even take a lunch break, since the daylight was as precious as our appetites. The first pheasant hunt after the snow always seems to catch the roosters off-guard too, as a few more birds decide to choose door #1(sit tight) vs. door #2 (run like heck until I run out of cover). We paid the price as our three-hour drives home, took us five hours, due to the snow and ice-covered roads. Maybe those southern boys are smarter than we are.