Hunters, dogs and guide take a quick breather in the middle of their hunt. They have been walking up and down hills all morning through brush looking for pheasant, quail and chucker to shoot
Rich Flanagan swings a net through the captive flock of Chuckers for the morning hunt early Saturday morning March 10, 2017. Hunts vary in size and can range from only a few birds to hundreds depending on what birds have been purchased.
Hunting guide Greg Nign, left, leads the line of hunters through the fields looking for birds hidden in the vegetation. The line plows through most obstacles so they leave no path unfollowed while hunting their birds.
Quail are released into Monigold's Upland Bird Hunting Preserve about an hour before the hunters come out to find the newly relesed birds.
Hunters, guides and dogs mark their routes as they move through the fields on a cold winter morning looking for birds to shoot.
Multiple dogs encircle the hiding place of a doomed bird as the hunters close in. Once the guides give the call the dogs will flush the bird from its hiding place and hopefully, it will fly straight upwards where the hunters can get a proper shot at it without hitting the dogs.
Zeke the Labrador Retriever flushes a Chucker from its hiding place by barreling through the grasses it had sought refuge in.
A poorly placed shot turns a pheasant into a cloud of feathers. Normally hunters aim for the birds head to preserve the meat but this pheasant was shot at almost point blank range and turned into confetti.
Birds that are brought down by the hunters at Monigolds are retrieved by dogs like Gwen and are then gathered up by their guides to be counted and cleaned at the end of the hunt.
Rich Flanigan guts and cleans the birds that have been shot, which are then bagged for the hunters to take home, ready to be cooked.
Labrador retrievers have been breed to the ideal bird hunting dogs. They have soft mouths, even temperaments, unabated enthusiasm and fur that repels water.