2022/2023 Upland Hunting

RDG

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any body hunt Bolton Flat this year?

Is it flooded? I've never been and considering it for a upcoming hunt with my brother.
 

Mark from MA

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I think Bolton is OK to hunt.

We got some rain lately, but nothing like last year.......last year they didn't stock and and those birds made it out my way, we had a banner year in Barre Falls and my town cover.
Birds every time out.
 

Mountain

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Kinda hard to see in the leaves but there are two decent size each of hens and roosters. Hit up a WMA that was supposedly picked over or not stocked, according to two groups heading out as we were heading in. There was another group heading in just ahead of us, but they left after 20 minutes or so. My friend's GSP is very young but already a hoss at finding birds. Nice hard points on birds in heavy cover. I was the number two dog of the day LOL, as I damn near tripped over a rooster before it flushed. I literally had just recovered a hen and had to drop it to pop the rooster as I had the better shot. We each got a hen and rooster and only took about an hour and 15 minutes to get them. Both roosters were big and smart, holding in some really tight cover. We did traverse a lot of ground, but so much for being picked over / unstocked for a week.
 
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admcd

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any body hunt Bolton Flat this year?

Is it flooded? I've never been and considering it for a upcoming hunt with my brother.
I'm heading to Bolton Flats tomorrow morning and will report back.

I've been hitting a local WMA a couple of times a week and it's been SLAMMED. I hunted lunch today, no other cars until I was leaving when a dude showed up.

Came back a couple hours later to five cars in the tiny lot.

I think the nice weather has a lot more people out than this time last year. I'd hit the WMA randomly at different times (AM, Lunch, Afternoon, Evening) and seldom saw more than two cars and the EPO.

This is Dale's sophomore season and it's kinda been a slump so far. We got six birds last year between opening weekend and Thanksgiving Eve.

PXL_20221015_141007348.jpg

Put up one hen today but didn't have a good shot at it. Spent too much time thinking about the shot instead of shooting.

So far Dale and I have got two birds and put up four.
 

admcd

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Bunch of good-looking dogs right there. I recognize most of the breeds, but tell me about Dale. Spaniel family?
Spaniel, yep. He's a Boykin Spaniel from Briar Ridge Kennel in VA. Awesome couple who owns that guide service and kennel. They also breed champion quality Brits.

Boykins are the state dog of SC and were bred there to hunt turkey, upland, and waterfowl. They were "designed" to be compact as a lot of the duck hunting down there at that time was from small boats and the labs and bigger water dogs often swamped them jumping out to retrieve. One of their nicknames is "The Dog That Doesn't Rock The Boat" (Along with Swamp Poodle and Little Brown Dog).

I got him because I wanted something different than a GSP, Brit, Golden, Lab, etc. He's a good dog, with a sweet disposition, has lots of energy in the field, is good with my daughter, OK with the cats. Adores my wife. Devoted to me.

Not the smartest and not a finished gun dog, but that's not what I was looking for.

He's a TON of fun to watch in the field. He's pretty short so to see where he's going he frequently leaps up in the air and bounces around.

He works too fast and I'm sure we're missing birds but we have fun and get some good exercise. For me it's about being out there, spending some quality time with Dale, and maybe bringing home a few dinners.
 
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Woodstock

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Cool! I've heard of Boykins,never saw one before. Dale sounds like my springers. Great family dogs, love to hunt, work hard all day. They would launch up in the air from the tall grass to locate me.
 

Mountain

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Spaniel, yep. He's a Boykin Spaniel from Briar Ridge Kennel in VA. Awesome couple who owns that guide service and kennel. They also breed champion quality Brits.

Boykins are the state dog of SC and were bred there to hunt turkey, upland, and waterfowl. They were "designed" to be compact as a lot of the duck hunting down there at that time was from small boats and the labs and bigger water dogs often swamped them jumping out to retrieve. One of their nicknames is "The Dog That Doesn't Rock The Boat" (Along with Swamp Poodle and Little Brown Dog).

I got him because I wanted something different than a GSP, Brit, Golden, Lab, etc. He's a good dog, with a sweet disposition, has lots of energy in the field, is good with my daughter, OK with the cats. Adores my wife. Devoted to me.

Not the smartest and not a finished gun dog, but that's not what I was looking for.

He's a TON of fun to watch in the field. He's pretty short so to see where he's going he frequently leaps up in the air and bounces around.

He works too fast and I'm sure we're missing birds but we have fun and get some good exercise. For me it's about being out there, spending some quality time with Dale, and maybe bringing home a few dinners.
Great dog. Haven't heard of Boykins mentioned in a while. My cousin has one.

You can work with him to keep him closer and working a little more carefully. I'm no hunting dog expert, but seems like the younger more active ranging dogs tighten up in heavy cover. Maybe freeze and/or clean and dry a couple pheasant wings for offseason training?
 

admcd

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any body hunt Bolton Flat this year?

Is it flooded? I've never been and considering it for a upcoming hunt with my brother.

It was damp but not soaked. Very huntable. It's just getting hammered.

I was there for two hours and heard lots of gunfire. Chatted with a dude and his two enormous (and chonky) labs for a bit. He got one down by the river on the way to the cattails portion.
 

Mountain

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This sport is a disease, by the way.

I "accidentally" purchased a new shotgun for the second half of the season. Wife's gonna kill me.
Be sure to give her buckshot to do the deed. No. 6's or smaller would be a slow, cruel way to go LOL. [laugh]

Mostly I shoot rifle matches but come hunting season I'm all in. A day in the field with a good friend and an able dog is tough to beat. Our hunt yesterday could not have been more perfect, though I would not have minded if it took a little more time to bag our limit- the day was that good. As much as I enjoy the matches and winning some here and there, my favorite days with a gun in my hand are bird hunting days. Yesterday was a close second to a fine day hunting with my Dad before he passed.
 

tuna

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Wandered some logging roads yesterday. Put up one grouse but no shot for either of us. Got one red squirrel for stew (once we get a few of his friends) as we were headed back to the truck.
Stupid hot though.
 

Mark from MA

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Club hunt was lightly attended due to the heat. Hunting was not really hunting with so many birds around. Which left a lot of birds for Monday morning cleanup.
 

Mark from MA

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Monday morning Clean up went well. Moved 5 roosters and shot 2.

Buddies young setter was a bit rangy and busted two roosters before we could get them.

My girl and his older setter hunt well together and got into a couple as well and had some easy point and shoots.
 

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RDG

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No pheasants at the local WMA this afternoon, but she got her first rabbit. Tracked it down and recovered it.
Nice job... love me some rabbit. Shot one a couple weeks ago. Made some delicious barly risotto and rabbit with it.
I'd prefer shooting those to state stocked phez any day.
Always a little nervous shooting fur on the ground with the dogs around though.... I've passed on quite a few because of this.
 

RDG

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We have a successful hunter!!!!
My son turned 12 today, which means in both CT ad MA he's allowed to hunt.
Didn't' have much hope for today when the rain stopped at 830AM. I had planned on hunting another spot but that spot floods really bad when it rains. We checked a local WMA and the parking lot was pretty empty for a Saturday AM so we start there.
The sun came out instantly and the temp hit 65 as soon as we hit the field. Figured the dog would heat up quickly. The clouds rolled in and we had a nice breeze that helped cool it off.

Emmit got birdie and started working a bird within 20 minutes... Ben was ready when that hen flushed and Ben dropped it dead on the first shot of his 20G Tristar!!
1746174068_PhotoNov12202290135AM.thumb.jpg.f1e15aa3c5a2908df6670ecb2a361b45.jpg

We flushed a couple more birds but he wasn't able to connect with any of them. Still a great AM!!

882780583_PhotoNov12202284058AM.thumb.jpg.249e101765a7d204b8d39437741e8057.jpg

I don't think there's anything better than your first bird harvest on your 12th birthday. Kid hasn't stopped smiling all morning!!!
 

Mark from MA

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We have a successful hunter!!!!
My son turned 12 today, which means in both CT ad MA he's allowed to hunt.
Didn't' have much hope for today when the rain stopped at 830AM. I had planned on hunting another spot but that spot floods really bad when it rains. We checked a local WMA and the parking lot was pretty empty for a Saturday AM so we start there.
The sun came out instantly and the temp hit 65 as soon as we hit the field. Figured the dog would heat up quickly. The clouds rolled in and we had a nice breeze that helped cool it off.

Emmit got birdie and started working a bird within 20 minutes... Ben was ready when that hen flushed and Ben dropped it dead on the first shot of his 20G Tristar!!
1746174068_PhotoNov12202290135AM.thumb.jpg.f1e15aa3c5a2908df6670ecb2a361b45.jpg

We flushed a couple more birds but he wasn't able to connect with any of them. Still a great AM!!

882780583_PhotoNov12202284058AM.thumb.jpg.249e101765a7d204b8d39437741e8057.jpg

I don't think there's anything better than your first bird harvest on your 12th birthday. Kid hasn't stopped smiling all morning!!!
Nothing better....except they should lower the age.

My son shot his first deer at 10 in VT. Pheasants....well, he came along with us since he was 8. Shot his first bow deer in CT at 12.
As they get older, if they are into sports....it gets hard to nail them down and spend time with them, so do it now.
 

Mountain

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Got up extra early today to help stock the club and thankfully was able to hunt a section somebody else stocked. Something in the air this morning- my friend's GSP was hyper and pheasants were as well. Lots of wild flushes but our shooting has been spot-on this season. His grandson is a hell of a shot too. I thought I might have missed one rooster that flushed super far away but the dog found it on our hike back to the trucks. All three of us bagged our limit.

Glad we had an early start. Got a bit crowded as we were packing up to leave. My club is one of the Mass listed stocking sites, thus hunting is open to anyone with a license and pheasant tag.
 

Reeg

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Just back from a cold & icy hunt in Maine. This is my buddy's dog, Lexi. This may have been her last hunt as she is going on 11 y.o. and has hip problems. The second photo is Lexi retrieving the bird that my dog, Darcy, pointed earlier that day.

LexiSunset.jpg

LexiRetrieve.jpg
 
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