Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Another day on the mountain

Jake and I have been scouring a lot of new country the last two weeks looking for birds. Any kind of game bird that wants to be pointed was fine with us. Thanks to Jake, we had some good luck. He found numerous chukars, huns, quail, and even a turkey to point. Most of the points were pretty darn good but for the third time now I deleted over 50 pictures from my camera and the computer. I have lost over 150 pictures of wildlife and dogs this past year with just one push of a button. Sadly, I don't know which button it was or how I did it. Barb has promised to teach me how to keep this from happening in the future. Trust me, Jake had some impressive stuff the last two weeks.

Today, Jake and I decided to go a little higher and scout out some turkey country and I figured I had better post the pictures before I lose them too. Although you can't hunt turkeys with dogs, I do my scouting with them because it's great exercise for both of us and a dog flushing the birds doesn't hurt your chances for calling them when the season opens. A lot of my turkey areas are also on the edge of chukar habitat, so we usually have a dual purpose to be on the mountain.

We didn't find any chukars or huns today but Jake found a small covey of quail. I tried to get a shot of Jake pointing as the birds flushed but was lucky to catch the back end of two quail as they flew off. I was sure Jake was centered there.
He was deadly on the grouse though. He had two points in the thick stuff, that I couldn't fight my way through without busting the birds. By the sound of them flying and their location I have to assume they were rough grouse. The third bird cooperated a little better. After weaving through the brush I got to Jake and his tree point.
I got another angle
and then took a close up of our feathered friend.
Since the bird was giving me plenty of time, I surveyed the situation as if it were hunting season and realized that if it were hunting season the only way to harvest that bird would have been to shoot it out of the tree. I think I'll stick to chukars and huns.

Although we didn't find any turkeys we did find enough sign to make a return visit. We did however have another exciting observation. Although we never saw this guy, he or she was on the mountain with us. These tracks were made earlier in the day.
My pocket knife is four inches long. The track was four inches wide and five inches long, not making it the largest wolf around, but big enough.
Jake even acted as if he wasn't to pleased about what he was smelling at times. He soon showed me why the wolf had chosen this area to travel.
We checked the area over, trying to surmise what might have happened. It was quite obvious that a wolf had been on the carcass but there was no sign of a struggle. It might have been a winter kill or possibly the wolf took it down earlier. Either way it's what nature produces. One thing that was very obvious is, the wolf was enjoying the spoils.
It seems like every day on the hill with Jake brings a new adventure. Sure wish Riley could have been here to enjoy it with us.


Anonymous said...

Does Jake tree bark when the birds are in a tree?Mays does when the birds flush and go in a tree. Looks like great weather. we are still scouting for ptarmigan. We have seen tracks but no birds,will try again in the next few days. Big wolf track bet you were looking behind you at times.Have fun.wish I was retired too.

larry szurgot said...

Good luck finding those ptarmigan. Are they changing back to darker color now?
Jake doesn't bark at treed birds but my last three shorthairs all did. I'd lose him on point in that thick stuff without an Astro, because he just locks up and doesn't move or bark.
We have had pretty decent weather for early spring jaunts and thanks to retirement I have been enjoying every moment of it. I just hope Barb wants to keep working so I don't have to worry about running out of funds. I'm a lucky guy.
Wolf season stays open until the 31st of March and I'd like to try and call one in, but that would mean I have to leave Jake home and that's something I'm sure he would bark about.
Happy hunting,