HUSKS IN THE WIND. Okay, so that’s not the title of a Kansas song, but it will most likely be one for North Dakota this weekend, as Pheasant Opener is expected to be a breezy one. We toast to the breezes that blow through the treezes, and factor gusts into your hunting strategy.
(CORNY. Chaff from a harvested corn field stacks up along a sheep fence in windy conditions. Simonson Photo)
WEATHER (Bismarck Forecast):
Today: Thu 10/5 – A great fall day. Hi 57, Lo 40, Winds N@6.
Tomorrow: Fri 10/6 – Even better. Hi 60, Lo 40, Winds S@6.
Pheasant Opener Preview:
Sat 10/7 – Gusty. Hi 66, Lo 43, Winds W@22, G30.
Sun 10/8 – Much Calmer, dang near ideal! Hi 57, Lo 41, Winds NW@9.
SOLUNAR (Bismarck Times):
Sunrise: 7:48AM Sunset: 7:13PM
Moonrise: 7:39PM Moonset 7:25AM
Overhead: 1:12AM Underfoot: 1:37PM
Moon Phase: Full at 1:40PM.
EDGE HOUR. DOUBLE EDGE! 7:20-8:20AM & 6:45-7:45PM. Pick the first or last hour of the day for your best bets (for the month) hunting or fishing. With light winds, and the moon and sun opposite of one another, you’ve got a near perfect Double Edged Day!
PLAY THE WIND. As mentioned above, ND Pheasant Opener is looking to be a windy one. Work slowly into the wind and avoid excess noise, as the breezy conditions around birds will already have them jumpy. Yakking with your hunting buddies about how you lost your shirt in poker the night before will get those roosters up all the quicker, and voices carry in the breeze.
DRY DAYS. Wind also typically keeps things dry overnight, and without a dew layer on opening morning, scent will be tough for dogs to pick up, especially in light of the fact we once again haven’t had much rain across the region. Give the dogs extra time to check the wind and follow live scent lines through cover and stay with them, even if they double back, as gusty conditions add to their work and give birds an advantage.
NEED FOR SPEED. The wind is a double-edged sword. If you’ve ever watched a rooster rise into the wind, it’s a slow struggling climb that presents an almost can’t-miss shot. But the second a bird makes the turn and cups his wings with the breeze, he’s as good as gone, and you’d better have your full choke in and lead him by a couple feet. Those takes are memorable but tough to pull off, as wind-driven birds can reach speeds over 50 mph!
Talk about Gone with the Wind.