Nothing beats the sound of a cackling rooster as he explodes from under your feet. And we saw plenty of that on our annual family Thanksgiving pheasant hunt. My sons Logan and Kyle, my sister Lynn and I put a serious smackdown on a pile of pheasants. Everyone was cold, but our shooting was on fire. As fast as these birds were getting up, they were hitting the ground.

Accompanied by our buddy Dennis Lenzi and his german shorthaired pointer Whiskey, we didn’t let too many escape our gamebag. It was 20 degrees with a strong breeze when we hit the field, and it didn’t take long before Whiskey locked up on point. I moved in and flushed a big rooster. Bam, bam, bam and down he came. That was pretty much how it continued to play out all morning as we slowly hunted strips of sorghum at the South Wilmington Sportsman Club in Essex, Illinois.

I have a lot to be thankful for, and at the top of my list is the opportunity to hunt with my family. I’m proud of my teenage boys — they respect the hunt and most importantly they are incredibly safety-conscious. No matter what we are hunting, nothing is more important than safety, and it’s good they understand that. It makes hunting incredibly enjoyable when you know that the rest of your crew put safety first. And my sister Lynn is turning into one hell of a hunter as well. The action was so so furious, I didn’t have time to get much video, but I did get Lynn making a nice shot on a hen. Check back soon for photos and a great new pheasant recipe. But for now, check out the videos…


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