Wednesday, November 30, 2011
I've been working the pups and even the main dog (Ace) on a few items that are required in field trial competition. Things like a staunch back (honoring a point) and intensity on point (no creeping) and sharp retrieves. Normally, a bird dog and get away with a little of all of the above in field work. In field trials, the dog is scored quite a bit on style. At least it is style with a purpose, so I don't complain too much about it. It won't hurt them in the field hunting, either. This weekend is a big trial in Pavo, GA at my fiend's house. He grew up on one of those huge private quail plantations down there and I always like listening to his stories about hunting and training dogs, etc. Sure was a different kind of life!
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
The field trial went OK. Cap, my 18 month old, found three birds and made three solid finds and retrieves. He handled well, listened to me, was bold and ran hard, too. No complaints.....well, the backing thing kind of got us us a little. I've never really pushed that to this point and will lock that in after I finish some other minor procedures unique to field trials. All in all, I am very pleased with him!
All in all, a very nice day. This Saturday, we head back to Alabama for another few runs. This time, my main boy, Ace, will be running, too. It should be a good day again.
Friday, November 18, 2011
Tomorrow, my puppies are being thrown to the wolves. Since I have some "between trips" time on my hands, they (Ruby/F/Brit and Cap/M/Brit) are entered in a NSTRA trial. Poor guys, they are entered in Open division. (Never did like the "amateur" category- figure my dogs can run with the big boys from the git-go.) I'll be sure to apologize in advance to my bracemate, in the blind, "Take it easy on my little puppy, if you would! I'm not sure she'll even point, back or stay in the county. You say these are quail? Humm, we've worked some pigeons. Well, good luck!" (I do love the book, "The Art of War”.)
Monday, November 14, 2011
Although I usually give lip service to hunting ammunition, it's difficult for me to get excited about it. Until now. Over the years, I've learned that pheasant require a much different shell than other upland game birds. When I was a novice, I showed up with 20 ga. 2 3/4" 71/2's. Sadly, I knocked down a lot of birds, but 80% were runners- a broken wing the main injury. That is no way to treat a gamebird. I moved in to larger shot- 4's and 5's- and, finally, to the 3" magnum shell. By now, 75% are dead when they hit the ground and 1 in 4 are runners. This last trip, I needed shells and came across the Prairie Storm, shown above. $20 a box! You've got to be kidding me! The guy in the gas station (yes, gas station in North Dakota) told me he sells out as fast as he can get them in. The only reason he had these left was because it was 20 ga. ammo! They appear to be an improvement on the standard shell, with two types of shot in each shell- hard round shot and, additionally, some bladed shot (round, with a ridge around the equator).
I will tell you what my observations were. Over the same dogs, shooting the same distances, same shot size, with the same guns, 95% of the birds were dead when they hit. Since I'm not a statistician, I don't have written records, but I do have non-scientific, old man, bird hunter, I-know-what-I-see fact. These shells knock the snot out of pheasant and are worth every penny you spend to get them. These are a BUY.
Friday, November 11, 2011
|My Top Dog Ace and Me|
I'm already in withdrawal. That's the problem with an addiction, you can never get enough. I'm extremely thankful for my circumstances and the time I have available to be able to hunt all over the country- believe me. November and December are difficult months to plan a hunt, with all the Holidays.
I even drew a quota hunt on one of the Wildlife Management areas here in Georgia- managed exclusively for quail- and I don't want to miss that one! That will be one day for 3 people on 9000 acres that was originally an exclusive private hunting plantation. Hopefully, I'll be able to take my daughter's fiance, who's never hunted before, and introduce him to this wonderful passion of mine. (Uplanders.com is sponsoring an "Introduce a New Hunter" program).
Next hunt should be Kansas! The reports from New Mexico and dismal- and I hate that. I really like hunting that harsh, dry terrain. Maybe they will get the Spring rains they need and there will be a bumper crop of Blues next year....
Friday, November 4, 2011
Thursday, November 3, 2011
I had to swing by Minnesota and have another shot at the Ruffed Grouse! Earlier in the year, I was here for a week and didn't do that well. Although, I really enjoyed the area, the people and the hunting, I wasn't all that successful. This time, I had some pre-mission intelligence and went straight to a hotspot. Deer season opens in 2 days. Most of the trails that permit it have been driven by hunters on ATVs. The birds will not hang out long alongside the trails with that traffic. As long as I can find some trails not over run with ATVs, I think I will be successful.