Saturday, October 27, 2012
Usually I like to talk about my dogs and diagnose what they did right or wrong. This week I was once again impressed with the old man. Greg Munther, a friend from Montana that I met last year, joined Riley and me for three days in Oregon. Of course he had Lucy with him. Although we never hunted side by side I did get to observe his astro unit and of the three days we hunted together he outwalked me all three. I tried picking his brain as to diet, etc. but his humble response was always "I just try to keep a slow steady pace." Slow my ***. I tried to keep up with him on the trail before we split the third day and he had my lungs burning. Greg is 69 years old and covers more ground than most 30 year olds
I have hunted with. Guys like him should be an inspiration to all of us. Get a good dog and chase the birds and at 69 we might be lucky enough to be in the physical shape he is in.
Here's a picture of Greg and Lucy and a few of my goofy partner.
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
I've read in many different magazines and heard in pointing dog discussions that sight pointing can be a bad habit for a bird dog. I am by no means an authority, but I can't see where it hurts as long as the dog also points scent. It seems like it adds just one more piece to the puzzle of getting more birds. Today, Riley proved to me that sight pointing is very useful. Maybe my other dogs have done the same thing, but I have never seen it as obvious as it was today. The conditions are warm and dry on the hills. I've never seen conditions this tough for dogs. Several times today Riley would act like he hit scent. He'd stop and then search the area with his nose looking for more scent. At some point he'd lift his head like he was looking for birds. Sure enough he'd go on point. Not a high tailed point, but a point all the same. I could tell he had made contact. His eyes told the story. As I approached he would break point and circle the birds pinning them between us. This happened at least a half dozen times today. Rileys nose couldn't pin the birds but his eyes did. I'm not trying to make Riley out to be a super dog. I think all dogs are capable of doing this. It's just that he gets out more than most dogs and is pretty much left to hunt and find the birds how he wants. He knows the point of locating
birds is to find them and hold them for me. I don't care how it's done as long as we work as a team. Today was about as good as team work can get. But it was mostly done with his eyes today and not his nose.
One more note on Rileys ability to communicate with me. After 3 hours of hunting the dry conditions today he just quit. I was heading back to the truck and walking a cow trail and Riley fell in behind me on the trail. He stayed about 10 yards behind me for the last half mile pretty much telling me, enough is enough.
Monday, October 8, 2012
With the cooler temperatures arriving I decided it was time to test Riley's new knees on consecutive days of hunting. So we hooked up the fifth wheel last Tuesday and headed to Brownlee. The camping started out on a sour note. Wiithout going into detail let me just say I dropped the fifth wheel on my truck bed when we got to our camp site. The expenses of stupidity are just beginning for the year.