It's that time of year when it's time to start thinking about getting the dogs and my legs in shape for the hunting and trialing year. Actually, I've been pretty good this year about working out every day. We are shooting for some Chukar hunting in ID the last week of October and I sure don't want to be the last guy up the hill. Ace, my main dog, has been getting roaded everyday for 3 months now and is hard as a brick! Actually, since this is the first year I've done the roading thing for him, I'm interested to see how the trialing year starts off for him. Being in good shape should really help him early in the year.
Another aspect of getting ready is snake vaccine. I started the dogs on that 3 years ago and will keep it up this year too. Red Rock Biologic snake vaccine is most effective on the Western Diamondback (and Prairie Rattler and others of that ilk). In all the years I've hunted, I've never seen one. I'm sure I'm the only bird hunter that hasn't, but it's true- not one! I decided a few years ago to get all my dogs started on the vaccine, just in case. For piece of mind, nothing works better. I found out that it should not be used on puppies less than 4 months- so Cap is out. But Ruby is ready for her first shot and Ace and Bo ready for their annual booster. For Ruby, she'll get 2 shots a month apart and then she'll be protected a month after that.
Give this some thought. Google Red Rock Biologic and read about the product.
Update one year later........not only did I see Prairie Rattlers in Montana this year (2010), but up close and personal. Ruby was a young pup and we were working around some hay bales. I heard a strange noise that sounded just like a rattlesnake in the old spaghetti westerns. I looked over Ruby's head, past her, and up against the hay bale was a coiled up rattler making all kinds of noise. He was about 4 feet from Ruby. I called her to me and killed the snake. We were lucky in that he had two rats in him already that morning and wasn't real hungry or mad. Later, my friend Robert was struck at by a snake that ran out of himself just as he got to Robert's leg! He, also, was killed. So, two encounters after many years of no sightings. Check out the vaccine.