Tuesday, October 12, 2010

October hunt

Barb and I went on one of our October hunts the last five days and I was more than happy at the amount of wildlife we observed. Of course it was mostly of the upland kind, but there were deer, elk, bears, turkeys and other small game. The weather was semi cooperative as long as you got out early in the mornings. There was a good breeze every day but one, which was our less fruitful day for finding birds. It was very still that day, not carrying the scent across the tops of the cheat.
Day one had Barb walking with me and the dogs. After about an hour I decided that Dakota would head back to the truck with Barb while I finished the hunt. Having 11 hunting seasons behind him, Dakota has developed a few of his own tricks to compensate for his age. His health and nose are still great and he hunts as good as ever but he is a little slower. Especially compared to his 3 year old tall hunting partner. Dakota is still honoring great until I get in close, than he is trying to circle around the birds to trap them between him and Riley. It's fun to watch but usually ends up with busted birds. I could correct him but would rather just let Dakota do his thing for the next few years before he will retire.
It's harder on me than the dogs. I love having both boys out with me and have a hard time leaving one at home but I've decided to take them both once a week and than alternate them on the other days as long as Dakota doesn't get to stoved up.
The bird numbers are definitely up. I saw over 200 huns and chukars the first three days and at least 100 the last two. I hunted four different areas and returned back to one so that I could show a new friend and his pup an area where I had had some good fortune. Jon and his wife, Debbie hit the mountain with their 6 month old pup called Neka. I have to say that was probably my best day. We didn't actually see as many birds as I expected, but I got to watch Neka work. I have forgotten the enthusiasm of a young bird dog. What a great hunting partner she is going to make. She even found one of my birds that I had crippled. I didn't pack my camera on my hunts this week or I'd have some pretty impressive shots of a six month old pup locking in tight.
The fourth day I took both dogs and it was our slowest day. The weather was very dry, warm and still. The boys had a tough time finding birds although we knew they were there someplace. As I said, even at that we saw at least 100 birds.

This can be a great year for those of us who decide to put some miles on the boots and let our canine partners use their instincts and abilities to find birds. The birds are out there. Here are a couple pictures of Dakota and Riley's best days this week.


fj790 said...

Larry, looks like the campground at brownlee. My youngest son, Ian, and i will be there wed night thru saturday. If you're around we'll stop by and say hello, congrats on another great hunting season underway.

larry szurgot said...

I'm heading over to Lucky Peak this morning. I hope you find the birds like my dogs did. The dogs were busy most of the time sniffing the fun smells. Good luck to you and Ian.

Pete said...

That looks like fun! Our season opens this Saturday, but it'll open for me Sunday due to family stuff. I scouted a bit last Sunday and it looks like we should have a decent season in our local desert hills (I hope...). I saw quite a few chuks. I really want to hunt huns up there one of these days. Hope you have a great season.

larry szurgot said...

Pete, I hunted a local reservoir today. Lucky Peak. I found more huns than chukars, which is unusual. If you're ever up this way give me a call and maybe we can gang up on the huns. Good luck on your opener this weekend.

Pete said...

Thanks, Larry. You never know -- it's a long drive but maybe I'll get motivated one day. The prospect of finding both Huns and Chukar is pretty enticing!

Anonymous said...

Nice stuff Larry. Gotta love these good years.