Montana Wounded Warriors

Winnett Bird Hunt 2023

Winnett Bird Hunt 2023

  Our weekend began as three MT Wounded Warriors met Ty Mocabee and myself at the Winnett Bar & Grill for lunch on Friday. After lunch we went to Weller AG to meet Mark & Jody Weller and family. After visiting with Mark and Jody we did some clay pigeon shooting. We shot at over 100 clay targets. This was very valuable due to a couple of the Warriors being unfamiliar with their guns and having never shot clay targets. Additionally, we could reinforce gun safety. We then progressed to planting 3 pen raised pheasants and had the Warriors follow the dogs. Once the dogs pointed, we instructed the Warriors the proper and safe manner to approach a dog on point. The planted pheasants drill was extremely valuable for both the Warriors and the dog’s safety. Soldiers are taught to carry weapons at the “low ready” (muzzle down); with dogs on the ground, we want muzzle up especially when approaching a dog on point. 

   We then went to the Hill Ranch Oasis and met Deloris and family. This is my 6th time there, and as always, the Hills took great care of us. We had dinner there Friday night and it was an excellent meal, as all meals were during the stay. Hill Ranch Oasis also provided us with a sack lunch Saturday through Monday. 

   After Breakfast on Saturday, we went to Weller’s and began our hunt around 9am. There were plenty of birds. The birds were smart and challenging. I personally worked with Josh Cota to get a bird, as he had never hunted birds before. We hunted until 5pm and ended the day with 11 birds with Josh shooting his first pheasant. John and Dave both got their limit of 3 birds. Sunday’s hunt was basically the same and we ended the day with 11 birds again. Josh had an excellent shot at a bird, and he was extremely happy.  We did a quick hunt on Monday morning with Josh and John, as Dave had to leave early. We hunted until noon and finished the hunt with 5 more birds. 

  Although Ty had a sick dog and was only able to bring one dog, he was a big help working with the Warriors – both while target shooting and getting them in the best location to shoot a flying bird.

   We also had a little excitement with the dogs (mine) and raccoons. We ended up with several raccoon fights and I actually had to wade into waist deep water to save the dogs when a raccoon was climbing on the dogs’ heads trying to drown them. Other than a few scratches all dogs were fine from the fights. 

  Altogether we ended the weekend with a total of 27 birds and 3 happy Warriors. 

   We would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who made this hunt successful.

-Frank Jacobs

More photos available here.