Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Monday, September 26, 2011
Sunday, September 25, 2011
I finally made it home after 1 1/2 days on the road. Funny, how it seems so much shorter going than coming. Even after stopping at the Norske Nook in Osseo, WI (on I-94), it was still an ordeal. Part of the problem was knowing I was going back in to eighty and ninety degree heat! Since the third day in Montana, the weather was perfect- low humidity and cool temps. In Minnesota, the high overcast and cool temps made for perfect scenting and easy walking.
In retrospect, Montana was great fun and a lot of work. I don't shy away from walking as far as needed to find birds, and MT put that attitude to the test. I never did calculate the total distance walked, but it was pretty close to ten miles per day- perhaps much more than that. An interesting note: I did use my Astro to track my dog's running distance and noted they usually cover five times the distance that I walk. No wonder they are lean and mean by the end of a two week jaunt!
The top picture is of me and Ace. The bottom is of Bob and three of his four dogs- a Spinone, Sophie, Pudelpointer, Razz, and Gordon Setter, Tink. Not shown is his GWP "Ug".
Minnesota was beautiful. The people are absolutely friendly and the grouse woods are vast and flat. Unfortunately, we didn't find a whole lot of birds. The cover was still on the trees, so, when the dogs pointed a bird not right on the trail, it was very hard to get close enough to the dog quickly to get a shot! Many times, I would be pushing through alder and aspen only to hear the flush and see a brown blur through the trees.
All in all, it was a very successful trip. I would do it all again in a heartbeat. The dogs got worked on all manner of game birds and the pups had several points and retrieves. No one got hurt or shot or lost or aggravated. I am thankful that I have the health and opportunity to do this.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Next trip is end of Oct to ND for pheasant!
Monday, September 19, 2011
Sunday, September 18, 2011
On to Minnesota and Ruffled Grouse.
Friday, September 16, 2011
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Cap in front and Ruby backing him in Montana! Wow, that's why I drove 1700 miles. These dogs are getting good work and this is not too hard on them. The terrain is just steep enough to work them hard, but flat enough to let them "get their legs under them". Today, we saw Sharptail Grouse, Hungarian Partridge, Dove and turkey. This is a bird hunter's dream up here.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Today, Cap put it all together and really showed his stuff! After a fine point on a covey of eight, he held solid while I dropped one bird and sent him on the "fetch". Two good retrieves later and three more finds and he became a DOG. So proud of the little guy! He is an Ace mini-me, which pretty well answers the question about breeding Ace again in the Spring. (To Ruby)
It took 6 miles of walking and lots of watching the dogs work, but we got into 2 large coveys and another smaller covey. Ace did wonderful work and Ruby (shown) did her very best. We harvested several Sharpies. I checked the Garmin Astro and noted the dogs ran over 30 miles on this cast! The terrain was not the easiest, either. I think both the pups will make excellent dogs!
Monday, September 12, 2011
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Just a little love tap to the chest. Ace was working tall grass near a stock dam and came out of there straight to me. I saw the green on his chest and knew immediately what happened. It wasn't in his eyes or nose so we finished the cast. He wasn't really all that upset, either. Two years ago, he took a full load right in the snot-locker and that was when I discovered the recipe. Since then, I never hunt without the ingredients in my truck. What could have been a major disaster was nothing more than a minor inconvenience. Hydrogen Peroxcide, baking soda and Dawn soap. Mix in gallon of water and pour on dog. Rinse. Repeat. Magic! Most highly recommended for bids hunters!
I woke up and the temp was 48°! We hustled to the area and put dogs down right away. By the time we finshed a 4 water bottle cast, it was 85° and getting hotter. We can't hunt from noon until five. Tomorrow it will start a welcome cool down. By Tuesday, the temps will be in the 60's. It can't get here fast enough.
Saturday, September 10, 2011
This is typical of the country we are hunting. 85 now in the shade. There is very little humidity and the dogs dry out fast. We went through a flat of water bottles in one morning. Water is critical for hard running dogs! Beats working.
She's patiently waiting her turn. The temps are in the 80's in the afternoon and I'm keeping the work to short casts. We are finding Sharpies but the Huns have been cut back severely by the hard winter and spring. For a first morning hunt, the pups did very well. Range was very good and I couldn't ask for more drive and attitude out of either young dog. Of course, Ace was spot on. Afternoons may be problematic due to the heat. I saw 2 huge coveys along the road driving in and my first Sharp of the year was harvested by my F-250.
Every year, the drive gets longer and more arduous. Every year the feeling gets better and better! Finally, months of work, cutting grass, etc. are behind us. It's time to put some paws on the ground and birds in the bag.
The dogs are fed, watered and ready to go. The big question in everyone's mind is- who's up? Ace,my main man, is chillaxing in his kennel. He already knows.