Ron Kruger and Treff Earney stepped into the thick, weedy cover as Doc, Kruger’s golden retriever, wiggled into a frenzy of excitement.
It meant one thing. The dog had winded a bird.
A chukar rocketed into the air, caught the strong south wind, and whipped back over the pair of hunters. Both turned and fired simultaneously. The speeding bird escaped unharmed.
First birds of the day often escape.
Kruger and Earney hunted a gorgeous Century Farm along the Meramec River near Dittmer. Wil-Nor Outdoors, LLC, leased the farm for their hunting operation. A backdrop of majestic, dilapidated barns, rusting Farmall tractors and Chevy pickups from the 1940’s added a pleasant nostalgia to the morning’s hunt.
Experienced bird hunters, Kruger and Earney kept an eye on the escaped chukar and marked it down. They turned back into the cover to continue the hunt. Seconds later, a second chukar went airborne and joined the first one. Mumbles of disgust echoed from the seasoned hunters as they marked the second bird.