Thursday, September 30, 2010

Update of Garmin Astro

Wow, I had a time, but it was all my fault.  It is true that “garbage in, garbage out” and also, “Read the instructions, Stupid!”. 

I upgraded one of my Garmin GPS collars to check out the new software- as per the instructions (leaving the other one alone- just in case).  It does lock on faster, but I can’t give any input as to saving the battery life, yet.

 So, just after the upgrade, my unit was not picking up the collar.  I tried re-loading the software, cycling on/off, taking outside so it could see the stars, bought it a nice dinner with flowers- everything I could think of.  Still no go. It was now 2330 and I’m normally not up past 2100.  So, I took my two companion animals and hit the rack.  This a.m. I had the inspiration to go the Garmin website/Support/Webupdater and update my handheld.  Did that- no go. My collar is happily blinking away with 3 blinks (the indication that the upgrade was successful in the collar) but it wasn’t talking to my handheld.  I deleted the collar and re-installed it (three times- What’s the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.).  After all this, I decided to LOOK at the collar information displayed on the handheld and noticed that the update rate was………”0”.  Hum, mayhaps that could be a problem?  At the collar window on the handheld, I hit menu/change comm settings and changed the little “zero” to a little “five”.   I could have saved myself hours of fiddling if I’d only read the information in front of me. 

Bottom line: follow the instructions, take your time, brush your teeth, love your momma, and don’t go to bars with loose women. 

Hope this helps. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Two Different Terrains; Two different Days

Idaho Chukar Country

Ace and Bandit got 'em Cornered in Montana (Hungarian Partridge)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Montana Sage Grouse

What an incredible country! Hungarian Partridge, Sharptail Grouse, Sage Grouse and Pheasant (season not open yet) all in one area. The terrain is pretty flat and the dangers to dogs are pretty limited to skunks, holes, sticks, porcupines and the usual stuff.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Enough Already!

We had a good last cast, my main dog and I. Nine coveys of Huns in 2 1/2 Hours on the ground, with the occasional Sharptail thrown in. Overcast skies and temps in the 40's with steady wind from the North made for perfect conditions. Ace did his job and I did mine, mostly. He allowed as how he'd keep me around.
After 14 days of hunting, my personal assessment showed I was out of leg, money and dog. Schultz Farm here I come.
Next trip in October- pheasant in ND and SD. This time Cap will be joining me- he'll be 5 mos- assuming Ms. Schultz hasn't spoiled him into a house dog!

Perfect Hunting Day

I've always maintained that the perfect hunting weather is 45 deg with a light mist. Today is that day here in Montana. Only a half day hunt then on the road back to home. The A team goes on the ground today.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

One Worn Out Brittany

While I was walking 4 miles with Ace on a cast today, he RAN 13 miles! (As per my Garmin gps tracker.) And that was one day out of ten. I'm always amazed at what these dogs do every day in the field. (Not to mention holes, briars, sticks, mud, heat, badgers, skunks, porcupines and poor shooting.). Do I pamper my dogs? You'd better believe I do! What amazing animals!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


She's coming along.  Today, she pointed and held a large covey of Huns.  On the rise, I dropped two, one dead and one not.  She retrieved the dead one and then ran off, while I looked for the wounded one.  To me, for a 6 mos. old dog with no training, that's OK (for now).  About a minute later, she came over the rise with a bird in her mouth!  Possibly a keeper.....

Some Pictures From Montana and Idaho

Climbing for Chukar (that's me higher up!)

Ace and Limit of Huns

The Old Man and the Boy

Ruby and her 3 Huns!

Monday, September 20, 2010


I just got 19.6 miles per gallon towing a trailer at 75 miles an hour. I love my 7.3 diesel

Good Grouse Cover

Ruby and I hunted this stuff for hours.  No birds.  It sure is thick and has plenty of cover and food.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

High Mountain Grouse Cover

7 Thousand Foot Lunch and Plan Summit

Idaho High Mountain Meadow

Wonderful habitat with sage, berries, cover, Aspen. So far, no birds. Even though it is 74 deg., the dry breeze makes it feel like 73- very nice

Idaho Day Two

Yesterday, Ruby found 4 Ruffed Grouse at 5800' elevation. My list of excuses now covers having my thumb up my *#@. Going from day dreaming to bagging the toughest gamebird on the planet was too much for me- that's for sure! Today, we start out at the base of the mountains for Valley Quail and will move into the hills for grouse. Warm today, but tomorrow should be much better. The dogs are holding up well, pads are good and they are looking a little lean, but eating good. Look out , birds, here I come!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Welcome to Idaho Chukar Country

No place for the unprepared.

The Old Campaigner

Bo's still got it! He pointed and made a fine recovery and retrieve for me on a Hungarian Partridge. I reminisced, as he went about his work, about the thousands of birds and hundreds of locations over the past 12 years he and I have hunted. It was almost enough to get a little bleary-eyed. I am thankful I have the opportunity to be his hunting companion.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ruby Deux

So, I'm trying let my pup, Ruby, make the connection with birds and guns and stuff. Today, before noon, with only her, we found 6 coveys of Huns and a Sharptail Grouse. Towards the end of the cast, she was pointing and really seemed dialed in. No retrieves to this point.

I was walking along an Alfalfa field with a huge drop off alongside it. She pointed in the tall grass and a Sharp erupted from the grass! I dropped it with a load of 7 1/2's and it dropped over the edge into a stand of shrubs and Buffalo Berry. She ran down there and I resigned myself to climbing down a getting the bird. I was scouting a likely route down when Ruby climbed up out of that steep draw with the bird in her mouth. She trotted over to me and presented the bird to hand! Six months and 19 days old.

I guess I'll keep her.

A Double on Sharpies

Ace had them cornered about 250 yards away, down a slope, on the edge of a gully full of buffalo berries and plum thickets. It took me a minute or two to get to him, but he was a classic on point and I knew the birds were there!  I eased up and 15+ birds got up and flew away from me.  I dropped one dead and watched it hit the ground.  Then, I notice another bird struggling with flying and it dropped like a stone.  Two birds on one shot!  Good job, Ace!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fun Little Video- Watch out for Critters!

What in the World kind of rock is this?

I found this sitting high in a coulee in the grass.  Wierdest thing ever.  It looks like a combination of igneous rocks and a lava layer....huh!  Any rock geniouses out there?

Warm Day Sharpie Hunting

It was a good day, but it got really hot- 86 deg!  Ruby on left and Bandit on right did a good job for me.  Notice the alfalfa fields in the background- in fact, we are kneeling in one, but it's so dry you can't really see it.  The bird numbers are good, but it involves a little more work this year.  We are looking for little gullies with plum thickets and berries and are having good success. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Hard-working 2 year old

Bandit (Ace's pup) did really well the morning. Temperature was 70 after 2 hours of hard hilly hunting and we were on our way back to the truck. I looked at the hills off my left and realized they were south-facing. "C'mon, Bandit, let's hit those hills!". We no sooner got halfway up the side when he got birdy and locked up. Great retrieves and points! Wow!

Point! 6 mos. Old!

Ruby Deux

Visual Pollution

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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Chain Gang in operation

Nothing better for traveling!

Good Motel in Mobridge SD

Clean, comfortable and half the price. Mom and pop motel for bird hunters or travelers.

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Sorry Copilot

You just can't get good help anymore. Passing through north central South Dakota. I'm thinking about stopping at the Habitat for a Haskell Burger.

Co-Pilot Grabbing Some Shut-eye

I'll give him a few hours then he's up! Almost to Kansas City, then we turn North (yes!).

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Friday, September 10, 2010

On the Way

After a 4 hour delay for a truck repair, we got on the road late and $1000 lighter in the pocket. I polled the dogs and we decided to push on. I guess after 265,000 miles and 10 years some things break. I still like my diesel Ford, however. Figure I should get 400,000 miles, at least.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Gun Control- the other side of the equation!

The Latest Gun Control Video.  It's a beauty, too.  We really need to remember both sides of the equation and those poor men and women trying to make a living for their families! The last thing we need to do in this great country of ours is to disenfranchise a large segment of our society.  So, click on the link above and watch the video.  This will move you to tears, so be forewarned!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Bird Forecast

I am getting quail, pheasant and Ruffed, Sharptail grouse forecasts sent to me everyday now.  For Grouse, WI, MI and MN all look good as last year- info by state survey.  Pheasant: ND, SD are up to their tailgates in birds (info from farmers depending on area- check DNR sites), KS looks good for pheasant and quail (check areas). NM quail looks good in SE and SW.  I don't have anything on TX quail yet. I must admit I like to hunt public land when I can and I've not found a lot of land in TX that didn't cost me a bunch- there is public land in TX, however, in WMA's (Matador, etc.).  Haven't found an ID Chukar forecast yet, but I'll have one from personal observation by the end of the month.

CRP- my farmer friends in ND have already told me that a lot of the CRP will be in production next year.  As you well know, CRP is critical to pheasant production.  While this year will be another bumper year for pheasant, next year remains problematic.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

OK Already!

I am not making this up- it really does feel a little "Fallish" out there today!  C'mon Fall!!!!!!