Hunting is a heritage that many North Dakotans share.
This past weekend outdoorsmen headed out for the pheasant season opener and some were met with a few new challenges.
Shaun Sipma has more on his trip to southwest North Dakota.
Long walks are nothing new to pheasant hunters.
After all, that's one of the best parts about heading to the great outdoors, seeing all that is off the beaten trail.
This year in southwest North Dakota though, the walks turned into journeys as vehicle traffic on all sections lines and trails, other than graveled roads, were closed as the chance of fire is just too great.
The drought itself was quite evident.
The landscape color palette was limited to just various shades of brown.
The cover, that wildlife life like pheasants depend on, was in short supply outside of the creek bottoms.
The creeks themselves, mostly barren, absent of water with deep cracks were the earth itself opened up to harsh dry weather that has sucked all the moisture from the ground.
Where there is water, much of it is stagnant - murky, green and likely not suitable even for wildlife, or a thirsty lab looking for a quick drink and some relief from the warm autumn sun.
The news isn't all bad though, the bird numbers are up.
And where there is water, there is an abundance of game.
The birds are there, you just have to find the water and put in the miles on foot to find them.
Many sunflower and corn fields were just cut providing an easy meal and a bit of cover for pheasants, grouse and partridge.
The beauty of putting in more miles also gave us opportunity to some of the other locals.
White Tail deer were resting in the shade of a windbreak and a few mule deer also popped up over the ridge to see what all the commotion was.
I was a little slow with the camera but a fox beat feet back to his den, as the hunter orange was the signal to head for cover.
Success rates this weekend in the field, for the most part, were high.
As an outdoorsman, I can safely say even if the bag limit of the day isn't achieved it's still a successful hunt because there's no better day when you get to walk through the great outdoors, watching a seasoned lab work through the tall grass to flush a bird, and of course, the unique memories that each hunt brings.
In Southwest North Dakota, Shaun Sipma KX news.>