Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A dogs worth



I am about to make the long journey. The journey of saying good bye to a best friend. Barb and I have put his day off long enough. Our vets have given us every bit of help they can. We have finally exhausted every possibility. Any chance of quality and dignity is now lost. Many tears have been shed and many more will be shed in the ensuing days. I know all of you wish me the best and I also know many of you know the pain I am going through. I would just like to share this story with you.
When Tucker was two years old, we were hunting high on a ridge in the Owhyee mountains. It was a December day and exceptionally warm for that time of the year. Chukars were talking everywhere. We had several birds in the bag and were hunting our way back to the truck when we saw another gentleman and shorthair hunting our way. He watched as we approached and saw Tucker lock on point, me flush the bird and make the shot. Tucker hustled down retrieved the bird to me and than we walked down to the hunter. He introduced his female shorthair, Sage, but I couldn't introduce Tucker because he was off hunting again. As we talked Tucker locked up again about 200 yards away. I invited him to help me shoot a bird and he obliged. As We approached his young dog he began scolding her to stay back being afraid she would rush the point. I told him to let her go, she can't hurt anything. To his surprise she got about 20 yards from Tucker and locked up on an honor. As we approached he told me that this was the longest she has ever held point. The birds flushed before the hunter got to Tucker and the gentleman shot twice, knocking a bird down. Both dogs rushed to the flopping bird and Tucker made the retrieve to me with a few growls whenever Sage got close to his prize.
This is not an uncommon story, but the conversation between me and the other hunter afterwards describes how important my dogs are to me, and how special of a dog Tucker is.
The gentleman asked me how much a dog like Tucker is worth. I told him you couldn't give me 10,000 dollars for him. We conversed some more before parting and he told me a trained dog like Tucker is worth a lot. I thought about our conversation on the way home. There was not enough money in the world to buy Tucker or any of my dogs for that matter. Tucker is family. He has been since the day I picked him out of the litter of pups. Yes, he was an amazing hunting dog, but I would have felt the same had he been just my dog. It really is true. Money cannot replace what Tucker has given me. Even in this last month while Barb and I had to pick him up because his hips were too weak his eyes brought us joy. My point is, you can't put a price on love. I love Tucker.
As I lay here by Tucker today his eyes told me he is ready to rest. His head is heavy on my shoulder. My heart will be heavy for a while with the loss of a family member but Tucker left me with two dogs he trained to remind me of his greatness.
GOOD BYE OLD FRIEND

Monday, February 22, 2010

Male vs. Female

At an Upland Idaho dinner last week I asked a few of the chukar hunters their opinion on male vs. female dogs. As in the field, I was definitely out numbered. Everyone there was a female dog owner. Almost all of my hunting partners own female dogs also. When you look at ads in the paper for hunting dogs, usually the females are going for more than the males. I have only owned two female hunting dogs. A Brittany when I was very young, who died of a colon issue, and a shorthair that I acquired from the dog pound for my 16 year old son for hunting. Although it was my son's dog, she spent most of her time with me, since Doug found girls more fun to chase than a dog. Both dogs were good dogs, but I found them to be my little sweethearts.
Obviously I'm a male dog lover. The only reasons I can come up with is that I always figured males as being tougher than females. I guess when it comes to the dog world I'm a chauvinist. I hunt hard and I expect my dogs to do the same. I don't think I would push a female dog as hard as I do the males. I think a male will work harder for me because he is as stubborn as I am. Because most males are hard headed, they can put up with my B.S. better. Female dogs are just softer in my eyes.
Now, you know why I like males. I'd love to get some input from others why they prefer one or the other. The male thing is just my ego because I've seen some really great female dogs. So far, Ive been told that males pee on everything. I have to agree. Get more than one male in a park, and every tree gets marked at least five times. Another reason is that the males are more aggressive. I don't agree with that one. In fourteen years Tucker got in one fight at the age of 6 months, and that was with another 6 month old male. The reason, no one knew. He snapped at several dogs to let them know he was the alpha dog around me but never even showed any ill temper no matter what dog was in the field with him. I can't say that about the female dogs because I have seen several altercations in the past twenty  years. But that is not a fair assessment since all my hunting partners have females. I would like to hear others comments on that.
Are there more health issues with females than males? I know that twice a year that girl time comes around. I would rather have my dog marking his territory than having to baby sit my little girl at those times. The cure for that is to have them fixed, which I do. But, almost every female dog owner I know wants to have at least one litter from their little girl. I have to agree, that it is fun watching the puppies grow.
More fun though, is watching them bound through the fields learning what they were bred for. That's where my true love begins. Not always, but it seems like it's usually the bold male that ventures out first to test the environment. That's the one I want. Sure we'll butt heads once in a while, but that's what chukar hunting is all about. There's nothing easy about getting to the top of the mountain. Get the dog that will make you get there.
Just my opinion. Any comments to help other chukar hunters make a choice are appreciated.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Safety and your dog

A topic probably not discussed enough is hunting safely with your dog. Chukar hunting isn't like the traditional pheasant hunt, where every one pushes a flat field and the birds usually gain altitude before the shot. Most shots are usually on steep and rocky terrain and across drainages. Much of the time you don't even know what is over the next ridge 50 yards away. This is one of the reasons most chukar hunters hunt in different directions from the truck. It's hard enough getting a decent shot at a bird without worrying about other hunters just out of sight. That is another reason I like hunting behind a pointing dog. When my dog is on point I approach the birds, flush, and then shoot. I know where my dog is. It's more difficult with more than one dog. Unless the birds are higher in the air, you can't shoot if you don't know where every dog is. I do shoot shots where the birds fly over the top of me and there is no danger to my dogs or other people. Flushing dogs are great to hunt chukars behind, but they add that element of surprise and birds may be flying way too close to the dogs. I personally think it is harder to hunt behind a flushing dog than it is a pointing dog. A pointing dog usually will give you a little more time to think the situation over and make a safer approach.


No matter what type of dog you hunt behind you have to hold back on shooting when the bird is flying close to the dog. My vet told me that it's amazing how many hunters have brought their dogs in for one reason or another and discovered lead pellets in the dog. The hunters don't have any idea how they got there. I know I have been guilty of taking questionable shots. It's just not worth it. A good flinch could be all it takes to make that questionable shot a disaster. Down hill shots are probably the worst for this. The birds are dropping fast and turning side hill. If your dog isn't broke to hold until the shot, which mine aren't, the birds and dogs can real easily be in the same line of fire. Up hill isn't as bad because the birds usually gain altitude as they take off, thus leaving a clear shot. Plain and simple, you just have to know where your dog is and never shoot if there is any question.


Another safety problem is location. Chukars like steep and rocky terrain. When they get pushed the chukars will take to rock cliffs and slide areas to avoid hunters. Those areas hold a lot of chukars so it's hard not to hunt them. But realize the dangers to both you and your dog when you hunt them. I have heard horror stories of dogs chasing a wounded chukar over a cliff to their death. I had to help a fellow hunter pack his dog back to the truck when his dog injured his hips in a miniature rock slide. He lost his dog for the rest of the season. Most hunting dogs don't know how to stop when there is an injured bird. They will chase the birds into places they shouldn't be. It is up to us to stay away from these area for protection of our canine friends. Also, how many times have you been hunting chukars in these areas, you hear a noise above you, and you look up to see a boulder bounding down the hill towards you. How many time has it been reversed and you see the boulder heading for your dog. You don't know whether to yell and alert the dog or just pray that it misses him. A lot of this can't be avoided, it's just part of chukar hunting. But we can still be aware of possible consequences and make the proper decisions for our safety as well as our dog's.


Snakes, dehydration, fence cuts, and many other things can be entered into safety issues but I think they have more to do with first aid than safety.


I had a female short hair pass away 13 years ago. She had a good life but had one scary episode that shows how important awareness and safety are in any kind of hunting. Alli and I were hunting the Brownlee area and were having a good day. There was another guy hunting below me with a yellow lab. We were having a pretty good day and the guy had heard our shooting so he was working our way. I had packed my video camera and was hoping to get some good footage of Alli working and as the other hunter approached I decided this would be a good time to shoulder my gun and pack the camera. I never caught the guys name, but he asked if I would mind if he kind of hunted along with me. I had no problem with that and showed him where I was going to head for. He mentioned he would get a little higher on the hill and started in that direction as I readied the camera. Shortly after he started up the hill I heard the flush of a chukar. With my head in my camera bag I heard the shot and than a dog yelp. It continued yelping and I thought to myself, "he shot his dog." Suddenly he yelled "I shot your dog." I looked around and sure enough Alli wasn't by my side any longer. She had gone across the draw and was about 40 yards from this other hunter in the taller sage. The hunter was swinging on the bird and when he shot she was right behind the flying bird.


Alli was still crying when I got to her and I could tell she needed immediate attention. The hunter felt bad and wanted to help me. But there was nothing he could do at that time. I was hunting with my brother that day and I told the guy the general direction Tom was and asked him to see if he could locate him and tell him to get down to the road as fast as he could. If I didn't find Tom on the road I was going to leave him and get to the vets. I always pack radios now so that I can communicate with people I hunt with. Alli weighed about 55 lbs. and the mountain I had to go down was steep and rocky. She seemed to know to hold still so as to knock me off balance as we headed straight down the hill to the road. A half hour later I hit the road and then had a mile and a half to go to the truck. Alli just laid in my arms as I carried her and her breathing did not seem to be labored. I drove back towards town watching up the hill for Tom and finally spotted him hunting his way down. With all the profuse honking he finally figured something was wrong and hurried down the hill.


Xrays at the vets showed there was over 100 pellets in Alli. She stayed there for two days. The danger was if any of the pellets were deep enough to hit a vital organ. My daughter, Kerri stayed there with Alli while I worked. Alli recovered just fine and weighed a half ounce heavier from that day on. She hunted for two more years after that and never showed any signs of that one shot affected her. I thought she might be a little gun shy after that but it wasn't the case.


The big thing here is, that although it seemed simple and the chukar was flying down a draw, the hunter was aware of his dog but not aware of the background to the chukar. An innocent accident, but one that should be avoided.


Another story happened to a good friend of mine. We were hunting chukars in the Bully creek area and were having a good day. I had got my limit so I radioed Claire that I would pick him up down the road. I parked in the draw where I could see Claire coming down and after about an hour I saw him coming down the hill. At first I figured he must have got his limit because he was walking straight towards the truck and not hunting. I didn't notice his dog Annie as he approached and there was blood on his face. When I asked where Annie was he turned and I could see her dead in the back of his bird vest. You don't know what to say at this time. After Claire positioned her in the back seat of the truck and placed his gun and vest on the floor I finally asked "what happened?"


Claire had gotten into a bunch of birds in this one rocky area and they just kept flying out. He didn't think that Annie was even close to where he shot. After his last shot she fell over and wasn't breathing. Claire spent the next ten minutes giving her mouth to nose resuscitation, thus explaining the blood on his face mixed with the tears. The 2 hour ride home was silent except for me saying I'm sorry as I dropped Claire off. That was all that needed to be said. I knew what he must be going through. It ended up that she only had five pellets in her, but a couple of them had gone into her heart. Maybe the pattern was bigger than Claire expected or maybe a fluke. No matter what the reason, we both learned something from that. Claire is back to hunting chukars again and his attitude is that he won't shoot unless he is absolutely sure his dog is way out of the picture.

Hypothermia can happen very sudden to hunting dogs. Especially the short haired ones. Greg Allen, one of the better chukar hunters I know, and I were hunting Brownlee one year in some very cold temperatures. It was between 20 and 25 degrees that day and the reservoir had not froze over yet. Greg shot a chukar that ended up in the reservoir. At the time I had a short hair, Alli, and a Brittany, Rookie, with me. Neither would venture into the water for the retrieve. Greg's short hair, Mocha, was coaxed into the retrieve. The water was choppy so she couldn't see the bird. After three or four minutes she finally came up with the bird. After the atta girls, we headed back on our hunt. Within minutes Mocha disappeared. We back tracked and she was lying under a sage brush with hair standing on end. She was shivering violently. We immediately headed back to the truck, me packing Greg's shotgun and he was packing Mocha under his coat and next to his body for warmth. It wasn't long before the shivering subsided and we let her walk and generate her own heat. It scared both of us and we got another education that day. Maybe the labs can handle that water and temperatures but the short haired dogs and no body fat cannot handle the wet and cold conditions. We put her in an unsafe position by letting her swim for the retrieve under those conditions.

Any of these things could happen to all of us. Just think about it before you begin your hunt and how much your dogs companionship means to you. It might help you hunt a little safer with your dog.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Changing style















They say that dogs don't have the ability to reason, but there have been times that I question that. Today I was out on a walk and training session with Riley and Dakota. During the hunting season I had noticed that Dakota's honor wasn't as solid as it use to be, so I thought I'd work on that.





Everything fell in place on the first covey point. Riley locked up and Dakota honored about 30 yards back. As I passed in front of Dakota he started creeping. I let him go without any correction. During the season, when he would do this, I would either whoa him or nick him to keep him from breaking. I did today what I should have been doing during the season. Let him break before the correction. I found that he wasn't breaking at all, but relocating. After I was past Dakota he started circling around and than pointed from a different side. I wouldn't allow this if Dakota was a young dog, but he'll be on his twelfth season next year and I think his style has changed some in the last two years due to a young dog coming into our life that is getting all the action. Dakota has always loved retrieving and maybe he's changed so he has a better chance of getting a downed bird. Or maybe he learned this from our many camping trips when Tucker and him would trap a chipmunk in a wood pile or in a log by standing at the opposite sides until the chipmunk would make a mistake. Whatever the reason, Dakota used to honor rock solid but now seems to want to relocate after I pass him and as long as it isn't teaching Riley bad habits I'll let it go.



Also Dakota's point has changed over the years. In his younger years he had a fairly high tail and stood tall. Today his tail his low and he is almost in a sitting position. The intensity is still there. Maybe it's laziness, failing hips, or whatever, I don't know. But I do know that the majority of his points have changed look. I've never been much for style points so it really doesn't matter to me. I just want my dog to point and if it's going to be a low tail point I just want to be sure it isn't because I've done something wrong to intimidate his point. Usually that will show up when a hunter approaches his dog and he starts crouching, being frightened of a correction. That's not the case with Dakota.


Another change in Dakota's style is his range. He used to be a fairly big runner. Big to me is out to 300 yards. Dakota would check in quite often, but if he could see me from 100 yards that was close enough for him. His father, Tucker, would have to make eye contact with me before he would resume hunting. Dakota wasn't quite the athlete his father was and I think he was taking advantage of this by not coming all the way to me to check in. Now Dakota rarely gets more than 150 yards away. He is always making eye contact with me and always watching Riley for birdiness. I think it has a lot to do with his loss of hearing over the years. He has lost some of his confidence and is watching Riley and me for direction. He still finds birds on his own and will chase a cripple to the end of the earth but he has conceded to Riley for the long distance points.

Dakota has been a real trooper. He never had the athletic abilities of his father or the new guy, Riley. But he always found birds. Maybe his changing style is what he has had to do to keep up with the big boys. I wonder how many other dogs have changed their hunting ways without us even noticing and how many times these subtle changes have been advantageous.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Feb.7. 2010










































































































Just some pictures of some February training. What a great day to be out with a couple dogs that Tucker has trained.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

When to Say When

Sitting here this morning, I realize I'm soon to face the decision most dog owners face at one time or another in their lives. It is time to let go and give peace to my friend. Just thinking of it brings a heaviness to my heart. I look at Tucker laying here beside me and wish God could give me the ability to see into his mind and know his thoughts. We've been together for fourteen years and covered thousands of miles. During all these times, we've seemed to think as one. I seemed to always know his next move and he did mine. Now I don't know which road to take. It's not about a hunting partner; it's about a partner. Tucker was never just a tool to get more birds; he has been a friend that accompanied me whenever possible. From the time he was a pup he has always made life challenging and exiting for Barbara and me. I now look into his eyes and see the sadness and heaviness in then. God, please help me with this.

Yesterday, I took Tucker to the vet to have him checked out and give him a shot for his hips. He has been having a real hard time laying down. Even worse, he wasn't able to poop. I thought maybe it was because he was hurting when he tried to squat and if we got his hips working better that might help. During his exam, Katy, our vet suggested the time is going to come when we won't be able to help him any more. Katy has always been Tucker's vet and has done wonders with him. I trust her completely, but wasn't ready to talk about it yet. The xrays showed Tucker's heart is extremely enlarged and he has a strong murmur. The good thing about that is that his heart might just give out some day and he will not suffer. Although I'm not ready to see Tucker go, I would rather see him go that way than what I am seeing happen to him today. He has quit eating, which has even been and issue with him, or any other shorthair I have ever known.

The decision has nothing to do with hunting. I have Tucker's son and another shorthair who are trying to fill Tucker's shoes in that department. Tucker has only gone out on a few short hunts this year due to his age. He has been satisfied to just walk our property and hold down the fort. He has passed on the responsibility of keeping me in shape to the other two dogs. For those reading this, that is a good reason to always have another dog coming up. I owe these two dogs to hunt then and use their instincts the same as I owed Tucker. If not for them, I would find it hard to keep hunting chukars, because of the special bond that we have had. Tucker has trained these two; a good reason to keep hunting.

From the day I picked Tucker up to this day, we have always had a very special relationship. He has been my dog and only my dog. Time after time I've had hunting partners tell me that Tucker would approach them in the field and when he would see it wasn't me, a look of panic would come over him until he located me. Other dogs were not allowed next to me when we would be just sitting around. More than one has gotten a nip on the nose, telling them that they are not allowed any attention from me. There was never a fight; just a point to be made. While hunting, it was a totally different ball game. Tucker was all business and respected every other dog's points and retrieves. There was never an argument in the field. He, as most people's dogs, would only bring a dead bird to me.

A week has gone by now since the visit to the vet. Tucker's hips have gotten worse, although his eating and pooping have improved. He stumbles and falls a lot. Mostly he lays there on his bed and just watches what goes on around him. Right now, I'd love to see him sneak into the kitchen and steal some food like he used to, but food doesn't even interest him now. I feel guilty playing with the other dogs while he is watching. I know that dogs are not supposed to be able to reason, but we have always been to tight that I sometimes wonder if he thinks I abandoned him. His eyes don't have that glow they always had when he would see me. I lay on the floor next to him and pet his head as often as I can. That usually makes me feel even worse.

It wasn't supposed to be this way. Tucker was to have a couple of good couch years after hunting so hard. He has only had 6 months of that and 2 of them weren't that good. Did I hunt him too hard? Would his hips have lasted longer had I retired him a year or two earlier? I tried to do for him what I would want. To keep hunting as long as I was able. Maybe that was selfish of me. All I know, is when he looks at me his face says that he doesn't understand. All I want is the right thing for Tucker. I wish so bad I could read his mind and he could tell me that either I'm alright or I'm ready to go. I don't want to make that decision, although it is my responsibility to him. How do I know?

Today, although it was a great day, makes the decision even harder. It was a warm sunny day so I thought I'd try Tucker on a short walk. He stumbles down the steps outside and I helped him up wondering if this was a smart idea. We ended up walking a mile through his old training grounds and by the time we got home, he wasn't dragging his hind feed quite as bad. We got back in the house, he drank some water and is now lying down snoring. The exercise seemed to perk him up. If that is what it takes, I'm more than willing. But what about the next time he goes down for a week? Do I just let it go on, thinking he's be better when he can go for a walk again? I wish it could stay at least like today. I know he is comfortable.

Today was the 12th day since the visit to the vet. The last 4 days have been good. His walks were a little longer and he quit falling down as much. But today was different. Although he didn't fall, he walked slower and showed signs of wanting to turn back towards home. He made me very happy by acknowledging with his nose, where I had seen 4 pheasants take off just seconds before. He stopped and sniffed in the direction for five or six seconds, then looked my way. He is totally deaf now so I know he didn't hear them. We made out way home.

Sitting here watching Tucker lay beside me with open eyes, going in and our of sleep, it finally came to me. This really isn't about how Tucker feels anymore. It's about me. No matter what my decision or when, I'm going to feel guilty. If I let him go now, I'll wonder if I gave him enough time and if I wait until he passes or it's very obvious he is in pain, did I wait too long? The weight is on my shoulders, where it belongs. God bless you Tucker, for the may great years and God help me to know when. I love you Tucker...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Post season training

Well, the season has finally come to an end. What are we going to do for the next 8 months? Seems like forever. Forever is gone for me starting next week. I'm going to stay low for the rest of this week and let my body heal from the season's workout. It probably won't hurt my dogs to have a weeks rest either. It's a good time for a good cleaning of my shotguns, dog collars, hunting vest, and the rest of my hunting items. Oh, and I might start that list of items I need for next season because I either lost the ones I had (gloves, whistle, etc.) or they wore out. My truck could use some cleaning and a few screws tightened. And there are a few miscellaneous chores I have ignored around the house for four months to catch up on. Wow! A week can sure go by fast.


So we're all rested up now. What comes next? Myself, I go back to the chukar hills. Can you think of a better place to work with your dog? This is where he developed some bad habits towards the end of the season so why not undevelope them here. And besides, you're doing yourself a favor by keeping in shape with your dog.


The biggest problem I usually have at the end of the season is sloppy points. Early in the season Riley and Dakota would let me walk past them on point and flush the birds without moving a muscle. By the end of the season they would point until I got to them and than move with me to the flush. I know this was my fault. I let them get away with it because I was so intent on getting the birds. Early in the season the birds held better so I wasn't quite as concerned about running birds. It's always been a easy fix for me. I take the dogs back to the hunting grounds and walk them just like we are hunting. Dogs are in full dress, just like hunting season. Sometimes I take a camera and sometimes I take a blank gun. When the dogs find and point birds I act as though I was actually hunting them. If the dogs move I nick them with the collar. After I flush the birds I go on to the next covey and do the same. By the next point they are usually back to themselves. At this time I walk around them trying not to flush the birds and kick at different bushes or the ground. Anything that might make them move. If they move I nick them. It only takes one or two trips to have their point back to staunch points like I want. But don't stop at that. Keep working with them two or three times a week until the nesting season. What better way to enjoy the outdoors and your dog than this.


There are lots of problems that can be worked out this time of the year. Maybe you might want to work on reining your dog in. It's a lot easier now then when you're hunting. And a lot less frustrating. I always save a couple of birds and freeze them. On some of my trips I'll take the bird in my vest and when we flush a pointed covey I throw the bird when my dogs aren't looking and fire my blank pistol. I then say dead bird and point in the direction I threw the bird. My dogs aren't trained as well as retrievers are to react to directions, but a few calls of their name and point which direction I want them to go and they eventually come up with the bird. This also serves to let the dog know that when there is a shot there is usually a dead bird. (I wish)


No matter what problem your pooch has developed it can be worked out. There is no special way to train a bird dog. The best way is to know what you expect of your dog and then go out and spend some time showing him. The instincts are there. Spend a lot of time in the same type of country that you wll be hunting. Your dog will figure out how to find birds easier that way. Wild birds are the best trainers. Get out where the wild birds are in the early spring. Learn more about your dog and let him figure out what you want. Your dog will appreciate it and so will your heart.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Regulations

This was the last weekend for chukar hunters here in Idaho and Oregon. We got to end it with a surprise from the Idaho Fish and Game Commission. Friday, the 29 of January, a news article came out saying the season n Idaho was moved to Oct. 1 instead of the usual September opener. Also, the limit on chukars was to be cut from 8 to 6 birds. This decision was made by the commissioners and not by the game biologist for the fish and game. I have my own personal feelings about these changes, but that is not what bothers me. What bothers me is the way that they came up with that decision.
Personally I have been fairly happy with the regulations the fish and game puts on us to protect our wildlife and enhance our hunting opportunities. But those decisions come with biological information from game biologist. These changes in the upland game season came with no help from the game biologist. The commissioners made this decision from complaints they had received over the phone about the low chukar populations. It doesn't take a lot of reading and research to find what actually promotes the population growth of chukars. But that is not the issue we're facing here. The issue is how the public, or chukar hunters in this case, were not informed.
Whenever an issue like this comes up it is the duty of our commissioners to inform the public to get input. No one knew of this on the upcoming fish and game meeting agenda until after they made the decision. I am involved in a great group of people on the UPLAND IDAHO forum and there has been a lot of discussion on this subject today. Most of the people on this forum hunted upland game from five to 75 times this season. It seems to me that these people have a little more input to provide than those who went out two or three times, didn't see many birds, so quit hunting and complained to the fish and game that there were no birds. They may have even been right, but they sure weren't hunting this side of the state.
The decision might have been the same no matter what. Had they come up with this decision the right way, I would have no problem with it. Sometimes I feel that the government knocks the hard working people to their knees so that those who are a little lazier can catch up. I know a lot of people may not feel that way and you're entitled to your thoughts also.
Please no matter what your feelings, don't let the commissioners and any other government agency get away with this. It seems like the commissioners are catering to a select few instead of all of the upland bird hunters. Get involved, even if you don't believe in my views. If you don't get involved, someday they may take something away from you that strikes home. They owe us to at least give a voice. Give your commissioners a call and let them know how you feel about this issue.
With that all being said, I'm sorry to all of you chukar/hun hunters out there that are going into withdrawals since the season closed yesterday. Give yourself a weeks break and than get back out there with your dogs and take pictures and work on a few of those flaws the dog may have developed. You and your dog will both appreciate it.