we left for our annual south Dakota pheasant hunt on December 26 ( me and legacy6, in one truck and my dad and his friend in another) and got out in the first field to hunt about 2:00 (thanks to having to dig our truck out of the snow drifts on a back road) and had our limit of rosters in 2 hours. the snow was so deep in some spots in the fields and swamps that we had to have snowshoes on or we would sink up too our chest in the snow but fortunately the dogs could run on top of most of it, when we met up with my dads truck at the hotel that night we found out that they had limited out too and also had gotten stuck on the back roads.
the next 3 days went the same we got stuck a few times and limited out every day and the dogs worked extremely well by the end of day 4 we had 48 roosters and not one lost bird even with some poor shooting on our part resulting in some wounded birds having to be trailed and rooted out of the snow. my 11 month old blf pup ace found out that pheasants like to tunnel under the snow so she became a tunneling dog some times going 10-15 feet before coming up to get her bearings she caught more then a few birds doing that. and legacy6's 7 month old blf pup got to retrieve 6 or 8 birds over the 4 days but my 3.5 year old clf jaz was the work horse for our truck flushing and retrieving the most birds.
then on the morning of the 5th day came the disaster while we were waiting for them to meet us over a hill my dads friend called me on the phone and said "we have just been in a bad accident get over here now" and hung up, well as i got over the hill i saw dogs out running around and thought well it cant be that bad if they have the dogs out then i noticed the semi in the ditch and all of the truck parts on the road and my dads truck in th other ditch and i did not see my dad or his friend any ware as i ran to the truck i saw my dads friend moving in the passenger seat but my dad was not moving when i go to them i saw my dad was unconscious but was breathing, i told legacy6 to call 911 and start to round up what dogs he could find (they had 8 with them in a large welded aluminum dog kennel) but i did not have hope of finding any more then the 3 i saw walking around alive because the topper and dog box were in small pieces all over the road. about 10 minutes later the ambulance got there and my dad came around i started to look for dog bodys or live ones under the semi or the pickup but not finding any i noticed another truck pull up full of hunters and found out they had been looking for our dogs for us and had found 2 of them one 2.5 to 3 miles down the road! and another had come back on its own then another showed up! so now we had 7 for 8 dogs and all the dogs so far had only cuts and scrapes on them!!! i was wanting to go to the hospital to see my dad but i knew he would never forgive me if i left his muddy dog out there so as we talked to the other hunters that were there they said they had seen a brown dog running for the hills west when i started to look out that way i say way off in the distance a speck running this way and sure enough it was muddy and she did not even have a scratch on her!!!, so we got all of the dogs on our truck and followed the fire department to the hospital when i got there i found my dad awake and coherent and steve (my dads friend) up and walking around i was ecstatic. my dad walked away with a broken caller bone and ribs with a concussion and steve with a broken hand and ribs. and only one dog needed 12 staples. two people and 8 dogs were in the pickup that got hit by a loaded semi doing 65-70 mph and i don't know how but thank god they all lived (the truck driver walked away with out a scratch). my dad was taking a left off of the hwy when the trucker decided to pass him hitting him in the box side and drivers door. the truckers statement to the trooper "i did not notice his turn signal" the things i learned from this are always keep a look out for not only what is in front of you but also behind you, and keep your dogs in the best kennel you can his kennel was .125 welded aluminum with a
1"x1" welded aluminum frame and the biggest piece of it left was 2'x4'.
thank god every one come out of this alive. here are the pictures
me the first day
legacy6 the second day
dad stuck, a snow drift pushed him of of the field road
me trying to pull him out, due to the ice under the snow we had to get the farmers tractor
jaz in action
ace in action