My dogs have been getting a little tired of the whole miles through the woods and not seeing any grouse thing. I knew the X mas season pheasant were going to be stocked today so I headed down to the Delaware Water Gap fields to try and get a hen or two, or so I thought. Ran into a bunch of guys saying no birds and no signs of any being stocked.
I figured I'm here anyway so I'll run the dogs and see what happens. I worked through some of the usual spots and didn't see anything, then I got down to one of the creek bottoms and started to see some tracks. Pretty soon Dakota started getting birdy and went on point, I saw what I thought was hen out of the corner of my eye go running off to the right. I released Dakota and she just kept wanting to off to the left (I know its dog 101 trust your dog). Well I forced her to go where I wanted and it turned up nothing and no tracks I might add, so now I'm seeing things.
I eventually went back to where she first started getting birdy and let her lead the way. Sure enough there are tracks in the snow and the drag of the tail feathers. Within seconds she is on the track. She tracked the bird for about 100 yards acrossed a frozen creek, up a hill and the back down a hill to the shoreline of the Delaware where she finally went on point. I took two steps in and rooster goes up, I fire two shots and drop it but not hard. I send Dakota in for the retrieve and off the bird goes. At this point Dakota had enough and chased it down with no regarg for anything except bringing me that bird. About twenty seconds later she comes out of some thick nasty briars and retrieves the rooster to hand. I couldn't have been more proud of her.
We hunted for about an hour more but never did see anymore pheasants.
Either a holdover since before deer season or the PGC did stock and they had some extra roosters.