Sunday, October 2, 2011

Dedication to Tucker

Well my chukar season started today with Riley. As I hope to do every year, Riley and I went to the spot that Tucker had his first point years ago. I had both barrels loaded with shells containing Tucker's ashes along with the 7 1/2 shot.

About 1/2 hour into the hunt Riley locked up. It was probably 250 yards from where Tucker's first point was. Knowing Tucker was watching, I decided that was close enough. I moved out in front of Riley for the flush. I could see a couple of the birds on the ground and could tell they were young birds. I was hoping for adults when they flushed. I couldn't differentiate between the juveniles and the adults and took the last bird with the first shot and the bird right in front of it on the second. As Tucker's ashes floated to the ground, Riley brought the first bird back. We walked down hill towards the second bird and Riley picked up the scent and brought it back to me also.

There is a large rock close to the spot of Tuckers first point. Riley and I walked over and sat in the shade of the rock. We stayed there for about five minutes and I gave Tucker thanks for all that he taught me and wet down Riley's throat. We were soon off to find some more birds.

The conditions were the worst. Today was an extremely dry day and perfectly calm. Riley was having to cover a lot of ground to pick up scent. Of course when he did the birds were moving up hill making this old man work a little harder in the heat. To make this short, I'll just say we got our birds with some hard work in bad conditions. Riley and I came off the hill after three and a half hours. The temperature had gone up 17 degrees since our start and the shadows were hard to find now. Riley's nose was a solid green color from all of the sage pollen and my shirt was mixed dust and pollen color from the sweat, dust and pollen.

It was a great day on the hill as most are. It's always good going back to all of the great hunts I had with the best chukar dog I ever saw. Riley did him proud and my first two shells of the season performed like Tucker was there with us.

No comments: