Contentnea Creek

The new season is upon us here in North Carolina. It has been in full swing in other parts of the country, but here we have had our preserve season just open. That means me and my dog have gotten out to chase some birds, knock off some rust and welcome the grandest time of the year.
For the first hunt of the year I wanted to try a place that I haven’t been to in a while. I last hunted Contentnea Creek Shooting Preserve about five years ago. That time I was on a corn field edge that if you left the edge the field was void of any cover clean down to the dirt. This is one of the reasons why I haven’t been back. I was not fully satisfied with that hunt.

So with the opening of this season I figured I would give them another chance. I am glad that I did.
This time it is me and a friend. His GSP and my Llewellyn Setter. This group has hunted together a few times and the dogs work well together.
We arrive at the preserve and talk with our host. He states that the preserve has been in business since the mid 1980’s and has about 200 acres of woods, fields and croplands to hunt. You can bring your own dogs as we did or you can arrange for one of the guides from the preserve to lead you on your hunt. Bird cleaning is offered for a small fee upon request. Also in addition to Quail you can arrange to hunt Chukar and Pheasant also.
So after some more small talk and pleasantries, we take care of the formalities and head to the field.
This time the cover is thick as we are set to hunt in a pine forest. This is completely different from the last time I hunted here and I am very happy to see that we are not on a cut corn field this time. As I just said the cover was thick and being early in the fall the cover is still green and bushy for this hunt. This makes for a challenging hunt for the dogs and the gunners.
While our host puts the birds out for us, my friend and I gather the guns, dogs and ourselves so we can begin our hunt..
Our host comes back from planting the birds and after some last minute instructions it is time to start hunting. The dogs are excited and it feels great to be back in the field for another bird season.
We start down one row of pines and the dogs split up and we go in different directions. Shortly in my setter goes on point and it is time for the first shots of the year. This is pretty exciting because this is the first hunt with my new gun and the start of another season.

As I move in up goes a pair of birds. I pick the first one and take the shot. This bird falls to the ground and I shift my gun to the second bird but this bird was gone in through some cover and I would have to come back for him.
I bring the dog around and get a retrieve and I am pretty happy with how that one played out.
We continue to hunt and the dogs bring us back together and we hunt together for the remainder of the day. We get more points and shots. The shooting is lackluster and my friend and I both know that there is work to be done in this department..
As the morning is starting to wear on the temperature starts to rise. As this happens the dogs start to slow and struggle to find scent. We have found a lot of birds but we are not always in a position to take some shots as the birds flushed wild. We also missed a bunch, this makes for tired dogs and not great results.
As we start to get a little warm we know dogs are starting to fade. This is earlier than we expect but we know our dogs and know it is time.
We head back to the trucks and the dogs lay on the tailgates. We get them watered and we start the inspection. I find a split pad on my dog and my buddy finds that his dogs has split three. This is not something that happens to us a lot and I am pretty surprised by it as we spent time conditioning the paws on our dogs this off season. After the inspection we head back to the office to check out and take the gratuitous pictures of tired dogs with our take for the day.

I will say that I am glad that I gave Contentnea Creek another chance. The cover was challenging but not impossible. I think that as the season goes on and the green foliage turns brown it will be an easier walk and shots will become more plentiful. There was plenty of room so you never felt crowded with another hunter and dog.
So if you are in the area of Hookerton N.C. and looking for a challenging hunt then give Contentnea Creek a call and let us know how you did.

4 Replies to “Contentnea Creek”

  1. Brian. So good to see you again at the fun trial at Oak Hill Preserve. Thank you so much for the pics, via Laura. I love wingshotandfall. Lots of good upland stuff. Hope to see you again at the next shoot. Rod

    1. Rod, It is great to hear from you. I am glad that you are enjoying Wing Shot and Fall. I had a great time at the trial and hope to make a few more this year. The only thing that better than the dog work and camaraderie was the barbecue. I hope to see you soon.

  2. Hi Brian,
    I enjoy the wonderful descriptions you use in your writing and the beautiful pictures. I am hoping this box below “subscribes” me. Looking forward to more.

    1. Hey Laura. Thank you for the kind words and I am glad that you are enjoying Wing Shot and Fall. I look forward to bringing you more tales of my exploits with Cash.

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