Off To The Pheasants Forever Rooster Roadtrip

Last year about this time I wrote a blog post about how the guys at Pheasants Forever had thought up a cool twist on the classic hunting road trip, a marathon five-state public-land pheasant-hunting trek dubbed the "Rooster Road Trip."

"I don't mind reading stories about hunts or fishing trips to destinations only hedge-fund managers can afford to visit. While they're entertaining in a way, they simply don't hold my interest for long. Much like the trips themselves, they're one-off reads, a bit of Walter Mitty escapism. But give me a story or a compelling narrative that's actually within the realm of possibility and I'll go back to it time and time again, especially if I can identify with some element of it.

Plus, who's not a sucker for a good road trip story with a conservation angle, and this looks like a good one. " Since I'm also a public-land hunter, I also have a new pup whose first season is coming up (a setter rather than a lab, but the point holds, so to speak), and since this is something I've always wanted to do myself, I'll be following along. It's the best of both worlds: a cool escapist adventure, but one that with a bit of planning, is within the reach of most of us."

I did follow along, and really enjoyed watching and reading about the trip. And now the guys are back as the 2011 edition of the Rooster Road Trip kicks off next weekend in Kansas. And just like last year, you can follow along online.

From this press release on the PF website:

Pheasants Forever's Rooster Road Trip is back! This November 14th through 18th, you're riding shotgun online for a hardcore pheasant hunting trip. A trio of Pheasants Forever hunters and two bird dogs will hunt five states - Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota and Minnesota - in five days, posting stories and video along the way. The catch? This group will be hunting ONLY public land.

Rooster Road Trip 2011 will visit lands that Pheasants Forever has played a significant role in opening up to public access; either through land purchase, restoration or legislation. The effort focuses on how important pheasant hunters that are Pheasants Forever members are to creating and improving publicly accessible habitat. In fact, any follower who joins Pheasants Forever as a member online through the Rooster Road Trip webpage during the dates of the trip will receive an exclusive Browning Pheasants Forever cap and be entered to win a Browning Citori 12 gauge shotgun in addition to standard benefits of PF membership.

"The Rooster Road Trip is about public habitat and access. We are three guys of ordinary means. We are not celebrity hunters, Olympic shooters or professional dog trainers. We are 'Joe Pheasant Hunters' that may get skunked, literally and figuratively, from time to time, but the goal is to demonstrate there are acres available across pheasant country for moms, dads, kids and bird dogs to chase a rooster into the sunset," says Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever's Online Editor.
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One of the exciting new features of Rooster Road Trip 2011 is the unique "Dog's Eye View Video" sponsored by Hunter's Point Kennel._

_A high-definition video camera will be mounted to Beau, Andrew Vavra's Labrador retriever, during hunts on the trip. These videos will provide pheasant hunters and bird dog enthusiasts a fresh take on upland habitat and wingshooting from the dog's perspective.
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Sounds like fun, but for me the most exciting new feature of the 2011 edition is the fact that I and my dogs will be joining the PF guys next weekend during the Kansas leg of their trip. I'll have a trip report and photos afterward, but you can follow the trip in its entirety at the official page, which has links to their Youtube channel and twitter feed.