Monday, October 8, 2012

October coolings

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.
Barbara and Dakota joined us for a few days and hiked a few miles. It was great to have Dakota trying to find a bird on his fourteenth year of hunting. He soon tired and they left Riley and I to the mountain. With the amount of water I'm carrying on the hill right now I have decided to leave the camera behind. But the pictures of great dog work have been embedded in my mind. Proof that I still have one. Although the conditions are still very dry, the cooler days make it possible to stay on the mountain as long as you have or can find some water for the dogs. Riley is in great shape for being five months away from his second knee operation. In four days he covered 58 miles which included multiple retrieves straight up the steep slopes. Nothing wears a dog out more than coming up those steep slopes with a bird in mouth. A seasoned dog is worth it's weight in gold during these dry days. That I can remember, Riley only busted two coveys in four days. He ranged out hard but slowed way down when he hit bird scent. His nose would get low to the ground (something I rarely see during normal damp weather) and he slowly covers the area until he would locate the birds. It wasn't one of those weeks where I could watch Riley covering the hill and than suddenly slam on to point. If I saw him slowing and working his nose I just started moving towards him knowing there would soon be birds. The condition of the birds is going to be questionable in a month or so if we don't see some green up soon. There is no fat on the birds and there breasts aren't quite as plump as usual. It doesn't take much. Just one good rain and the cheat will start growing. When there craws start getting full of green grass they are getting the nutrients they need to fatten up and survive the winter. Although there weren't birds around every corner as some would like, the numbers are good. Riley and I came home not only for a recovery period but because we had reached our possession limit, even after cooking some up for a nice meal. Riley is favoring his right front leg a little. Hopefully a couple days off will cure this and it won't be anything serious. When the moisture comes and I don't have to pack so much water I'm going to start packing the camera again. Hopefully I can get some good dog work and just post pictures so you don't have to figure out what I'm trying to say. Good luck to everyone on what looks to be a great season. Spudfed, I did finally answer your question on the last post.

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