PAXTON, Ill.--The day was wonderful, too wonderful and too warm.
Even so, it was a solid opening day for pheasants Saturday in Illinois, at least for those of us connected to Gerry ``The General'' Rodeen and his band of hunters associated with the Pioneer chapter of Pheasants Forever.
Patrick Feely of Spring Branch, Texas holds one of the 22 cockbirds 20 of us bagged on the border of Ford and Iroquois counties. Feely was with a group from Texas that gives vets free hunts near San Antonio and was invited here by Rodeen.
Rodeen, who helped found the Pioneer chapter of Pheasants Forever, the first chapter in Illinois, commands the mob scene of dogs and hunters and keeps it sane.
The heat drove us to a long lunch--brats, hamburgers, roasted turkey, chili, ham and beans, chips, salads and Hazel's cookies in ``The Tool Shed''--to rest ourselves and the dogs.
We made a couple more passes in the afternoon heat for the final two birds and knew--It was time--and stopped about 3:30.