Saturday, April 7, 2018

Grady's first day in chukar country


Well the Big Guy gave me an almost impossible job again today. He wants me to train Grady while he packs around a camera. I tried to stay closer so the runt could keep up but until those short legs grow it's gonna be a lost cause. He didn't show any fear of the mountain or the tall brush and was better on the steep slopes than I thought he'd be but the kid has a long way to go. Although I found some huns, I just couldn't get the kid into the action. If my patience holds maybe we'll get some interaction with birds soon. Here's one of the video's the Big Guy took while I did all the work.

                                                                       

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Welcome Grady

Meet Grady, Jake's new hunting partner. It''s going to get lively around here.


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

We're making our pick

After a lot of positive influence from you guys, Barb and I are going to pick out a pup on Saturday. We're going to get another solid liver shorthair from Idaho Shorthairs. Although we're making our pick next Saturday, he won't be ready to come home for another week after that. I can't wait for that puppy breath.

I have a couple more compilations of March jaunts with Jake and hopefully after that we'll have some good stuff about Jake training the new guy. In between I hope to keep an eye on the birds and what to expect next season.

                                                             

Sunday, March 18, 2018

What am I thinking.

You probably remember a few years back where I said that Jake would probably be my last hunting dog. Riley's early departure had ripped my heart apart and I didn't want to go through something like that again. Whoever said that time heals must have been a lot smarter than me. I never thought the hole Riley made would ever heal but between Jake and time I have decided, along with Barbara, that I do have room for one more pup in my future.

One of our reader's, Ben Warner, posted a picture of his new addition in the last post, and that picture stimulated me in how much fun it has been raising these guys and watching them mature.

Short story is, Barbara and I are on the hunt for another solid liver male shorthair. Yah, Jake's gonna be a little bent out of shape, but I let him know he'll still be king around here. Here's a video of us playing in the snow.

                                                                       

Friday, March 16, 2018

A different type of March madness.

Evidently everyone is excited about basketball, fishing, keeping track of what is happening with the possible new Idaho trespass law, or some other activity because Jake and I are getting fewer responses and I'm seeing fewer post on other sites about chukars. Understandable, there are other things besides chukars and chukar dogs, but Jake and I are still living the dream. We're still getting out at least three times a week on some sort of a chukar mountain and everything we are seeing is very positive for this time of the year. We haven't spent any time over in Oregon this spring but western Idaho has as many birds as I've ever seen this time of year. They are almost all paired up except for a few small covey's so now all we have to hope for is a favorable spring and early summer.

As you have noticed, I'm having some fun trying to film Jake on birds this year and have had hours of films of Jake on point or flushing birds. I have learned that one of the things I miss seeing is Jake running the hill and suddenly slamming on point. It almost never happens that way. Almost every point is after he disappears over the next ridge or into a draw. I've had hours of him running on camera but yet to see that head jerking slam to a point.

Another thing Jake has pointed out to me this spring is how far chukars will run. They are starting to give pheasants a challenge in distance running and add the steep hills they are on there is no way us humans can even begin to keep up. I watched Jake track a pair of chukars over a quarter of a mile before he finally bumped them. They didn't just go straight up the hill, they also cut through the draw and split up trying to confuse Jake. Here is the last 30 seconds of a 4 minute chase pointing and tracking the birds. He got bird number two up right after I turned the camera off.

I've learned from Jake's actions what to expect. When he is searching for a scent he is usually running with head high and pretty quick but when he puts his nose closer to the ground he usually is scenting a bird that has moved as he was doing here.

As I mentioned there seems to be an abundance of chukar and huns in the mountains. Probably because of the very mild winter we had. My next post on how I think the birds are doing won't be until July when I hope to see little birds everywhere and will try to excite chukar hunters with a few pictures of the great hatch. Keep fingers crossed. For those like me that just like to watch dogs and wildlife, I'll be having fun with video's until then and posting some for fun purposes. I understand that my views are going to go down for the next few months because watching my dog is not as exciting for everyone else as it is me but hopefully you'll come back when I have some good news about chukar hunting for you.

Meanwhile, a video of Jake a couple weeks ago. He had found some birds but other chukars kept flushing around him distracting his point.


                                                                   
    BREAKING NEWS. Since this post there has been news of a new recruit to the chukar hunting community in Oregon. Watch out chukars and congratulations Ben.

                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                    More breaking news. It was five years ago this week that we brought Jake home from Montana.

                                                                             
                                         

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Lumberjacking

The wind was blowing pretty good today and I found myself lumberjacking quite often on the hill. For those who don't understand what lumberjacking is, it's the process of covering one nostril with a finger and cleaning the second nostril with a hard snort. I didn't realize until today of how much of a master you have to be to lumberjack successfully without interrupting your current goal.

Women, (especially Barbara) don't understand the importance of clearing your sinus in stride. From day one mothers are teaching their youngster to cover their nose with a kerchief and blow. That is fine and dandy at the restaurant but can you imagine how much time you would lose and how many kerchiefs you would have to carry if you stopped each time the need came while chukar hunting or any other kind of hunting. Success on the hill isn't measured by proper manners.

With that being said, I am applying for a grant to teach proper lumberjacking. Hopefully when the grant comes through I'll be able to educate hunters the proper mountain man way to get the snot out without breaking stride. It is much more complicated than just covering up one side and snorting through the other.

In my class you will learn things like proper pressure. Too much pressure causes pain and forces the head to an improper angle. You will also learn the proper head angle as well as snorting volume. Who wants the excreted matter on their shirt or a lunger hanging from the nose. These type things take time to clean up and waste valuable hunting time. The quick burst of the snort must be mastered to prevent headaches and clean removal. You'll learn the sound of a clean release that send the snot rocket into the direction of choice. When you finally accomplish the clean release, you no longer will have to use your shirt sleeve or shoulder to wipe off any excess. It will cleanly be placed on the mountain. Even your laundry bill will show effects of learning in my school of lumberjacking. Shirt will have to be washed only half as much because that hard crust will no longer be on the sleeve and shoulder.

Not wanting to give up to much professional advice I'm going to leave it at that and hope that you enroll in the L&J school of snot removal. We'll be taking applicants as soon as the grant comes through. Meanwhile enjoy this video of Jake.

A very important P.S.  My grandson and hunting partner, Conner got his letter last night for wrestling at Rocky Mtn. High. Pretty proud of him as a freshmen to accomplish that. Conner, Mom and little brother Mac.
                                                                   
                                                                       

Friday, March 2, 2018

Tomorrow.

Well, Conner and I had a good time at the sports show last night but I couldn't come up with anybody interested in discussing chukars with me. There was plenty of big game, fishing, guns, taxidermy, etc. to look at. NWTF had a booth there as well as Pheasants Forever and Ducks Unlimited and a few dog trainers, but that was about it for us upland enthusiasts. Probably better that the word doesn't get out there of how gratifying chukar hunting can be. Besides, like I have said, there is not much we can do about the chukar numbers so there isn't much need for a chukar booth except to import more hunters. There was some information about keeping our lands public which I believe is the biggest threat to our great chukar/hun hunting.

Today, Jake and I were chased off the hill because of heavy winds. We left the camera in the truck to work on some steady training. I think this camera stuff has helped promote a little help from Jake at flushing the birds. A couple of trips concentrating on him and not the camera should take care of that.

With that I'll post the rest of my videos that are watchable from the past couple of weeks. Most of you have been in these scenario's so it won't be hard to imagine yourselves and your dogs as the stars. In fact some of this country might be recognizable to some of you. Troy and Rowdy, Greg Munther, Dave Schuler, Karl Dehart, and Matt Hutt are just of few of the chukar nuts I have seen back there.

The quality of these videos is testament that I am not posting for any kind of recognition but more to show you how much I enjoy the chukar mountain. Especially with Jake.

This first video is of Jake on point as I walk below the brush for a flush.

                                                                     
Next is Jake with a little too much help in the flushing process.

                                                                           

Another small covey of chukar.




Here Jake is on point but not sure there's a bird. It ended up being a pretty tight holding pair of huns.

             



This last one is coming down a steep snowy slope. I can't tell you how many times I fell. Twice birds flushed when I fell but Jake held evidently knowing this bird was still there.