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Ten Things You Must Have: For a Great Rooster Shoot in North Dakota

 

Where to get license Online: https://gf.nd.gov/hunting
 Rudolph Foods Rooster Hunting
Hunting Season: October 13 thru January 6
 

While our hunting season in Texas opens with Dove on September 1st I always consider our annual rooster shoot in Dickinson ND to be the first real hunt of the year. There is nothing (ok almost nothing) as good as hunting wild pheasants over pointing dogs. With a mild winter in 2011/2012 we are expecting record numbers of birds this year

 

Things you must have:

 

1. Comfortable boots: We walk miles every day through waste high native grasses. This is no place to break in new boots. I wear waterproof upland game boots. They are light enough for the miles of walking and warm enough to withstand the 15 to 75 degree temperature swings that accompany the first hunt of the year. HELPFUL HINT: Pack your boots in clear plastic trash bags. You can pick them up at Sams. It keeps helpful wife from throwing out dirty boots, waders, hunting clothes etc.

 

2. Socks: Great socks are a must. By that I mean no cotton. I wear REI polypropylene sock liners under woolrich (all wool) hunting socks. The liners help keep your feet dry by wicking the sweat away from your feet and the wool socks are warm when wet, dry overnight and are warm when needed. DO NOT GO CHEAP HERE … no walking, no birds

 

3. Pants: Once again the temperature can vary from 20 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. I take two kinds of pants. The first is a pair of Filson Wool hunting pant. My first pair lasted 25 years until I finally could not let them out anymore. They are warm when wet, tougher than iron and really quit in the brush. My warm weather pants are Columbia brush pants. The legs a faced with Cardura nylon really keep your legs from getting scratched up from brambles and briars. Hint: all of my pants have suspender buttons. Suspenders really help when walking all day. Nothing worse than having to keep tugging wet soaked pants up while navigating a briar patch.

 

4. Shirt: Once again extreme temperature swings call for two options. If cold I wear Woolrich spun poly hunting shirts. These are the best cold weather shirts I have ever found. They dry instantly, are really warm and have button pockets. Perfect. For warmer weather I take two of my saltwater fishing shirts. They have lots of pockets, dry quick and are really roomy.

 

5. Long underwear: NO COTTON. Any poly pro top and bottom are will work. Simms, Under Armor, BassPro all make excellent offerings.
Rudolph Foods Rooster Hunting
 

6. Coat: You will need raingear (top and bottom) for days when the drizzle just will not stop. I also carry a polar fleece jacket with wind stop for those extra cold mornings. The secret is layering. As the morning goes on and the temperature rises you need to be able to shed layers to keep from soaking with sweat. I carry my rain gear in my bird vest just in case I need it.

 

7. Bird Vest: I love my new Blaze orange Pella vest. It holds a ton of shells, has front entry bird loading and an internal strap system with a hip belt to support the load. Remember thirty to forty shells, three big cocks, rain jacket and a water bottle weigh a lot. All that weight on your shoulders alone really can affect your shooting and fatigue factor.

 

8. Shotgun: Any 12 gauge that will handle magnum loads will do. I shot a Beretta A 391 Field Gun. It’s short light and does not kick at all. I travel with mine in a lockable Pelican Hard Case. While I have no intention of fully submersing it I am somehow reassured by the fact I can. Spend the extra money on the TSA locks. It saves you time in checking your guns and shows a level of cooperation with our airport security personal. I also carry zip ties for after guns are checked to make sure they are empty and the case is relocked.

 

9. Field Bag: We leave every morning and do not return until dark. Spare socks, chokes, shells, gun tools, water, first aid kit, camera, change of clothes (someone fell in frozen pound one year), toilet paper, and lunch all need to make it to the field with you.

 

10. Hat: I wear a Blaze orange hat (and blaze orange shooting vest). With birds flying everywhere I want to be as visible as possible. I tell my buddies that if I get shot it’s murder. There is no way to miss that much orange. I also have polar fleece ear warmers that work with a ball cap. I hate cold ears.
 
MISC: Leatherman, headlamp, first aid kit, REM oil, sunglasses, bird sheers, Ziploc baggies, swimsuit, hand wipes, matches, water bottle.

 
 
By: Max Holbrocke – Adventurer and Pork Rind Expert
 

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