Thursday, August 28, 2014


It's been a while since I posted because there just hasn't been much to talk about. The big guy got a little lazy this summer and didn't get me out as much as he promised. He kept complaining about the heat and having to pack too much water for me. I can't figure out how to communicate to him that the high mountains with running streams would be just great for a jaunt and then he wouldn't have to pack so much water. Maybe he'll figure it out next summer.

He did get me out for some turkey scouting, but left me at home during the hunts in lieu of taking Conner. Funny deal though, he and Conner had to come back and get me after one hunt. Conner had shot a bird and they couldn't find it so they came and got old reliable me to help and find the bird. I've never heard such groaning as I heard from the big guy. He wasn't too happy about hiking three miles back where he'd come from hours earlier. Man, they must be blind. I followed my nose right to where the bird was. Conner was super excited and kept talking something about a ten inch beard.

We did get out and do some scouting for chukars and huns this summer and the big guy described it as hit or miss when talking about how many birds we saw. I pointed some and the big guy seemed excited, but not enough to get me out three times a week.
We made it out once a week and a few times twice. Not enough for my liking.
But, I've got the feeling that things are about to change. The mornings are cooling off and the big guy sits out on the porch with me in the evenings instead of retreating to the cool house. All the sudden he spends lot's of time talking bird hunting on the phone. He bought a new Tenzing bird pack earlier this summer and wore it on most of our hikes, full of water for me.  Last night he started organizing things into the pockets. He told me some of the stuff would probably never be used but it only takes one time to make carrying it worth while. I haven't a clue what it was but he seemed so excited just talking about it. We also have been spending more time in the hunting room reloading shells. I know he loves shooting those buggers even though he cusses them some times on the hill.

As for me, I also feel the change of the seasons coming. These cool mornings make me feel like a puppy chasing one of his litter mates across the yard. Those days were so much fun, but now I'd rather find a bird. I have energy like I haven't had in months. The smells of fall are in the air. The sweet smells of most of the flowers and blooms are gone now and the scent of sage, bitter brush and cheat grass are starting to take over. Just two days ago, we had a short thunderstorm that knocked the dust down leaving fresh air and making finding birds even easier. Finding chukar tracks didn't hurt either.

I find myself checking on the big guy more often. I look to see if the bird vest is still hanging on the hook by the back door and make sure the sports bag with the collar hasn't moved. The big guy usually puts it in the truck the night before a hunt. Most of all, I make sure the shotgun isn't out. I've made a rule that the gun goes nowhere without me. I have to sleep with it the night before a hunt so that we can work as one, so I tell the big guy. The truth is, he can't take the gun without me if I'm laying on it.

Our anticipation for the season is getting more intense with every day. With only 22 days left before the chukar opener the big guy is getting more information about bird numbers and passing it on to me. It looks like numbers are up from last year, so he says. I don't really care. I just want to get out and hunt. There is nothing better than a full snout of chukar scent. A close second might be, the look on the big guys face when my snout is full of chukar scent and I point for him. Moments like that are why I picked him as my hunting partner. It doesn't matter how many times a day I point birds, he gets excited on each one.

I hope the big guy shoots well this year. I love retrieving birds shot by him. It makes him look so proud as I parade around him, showing off the birds he gets before I let him put them in his vest. I also am looking forwards to the challenge the birds provide when crippled. The way they run serpentine patterns trying to elude my nose makes the birds a worthy opponent. Several times in the past I have had the chukar slam on the brakes as I chase him downhill. I show my athletic abilities by doing a tuck and roll move before regaining my balance and continuing the pursuit. How I look forward to that.

The big guy promised a few grouse hunts before the chukar season for warm up. He says it's like a preseason game, whatever that means. If it gets me any more excited for the season than I already am, that might not be a good thing. I'm having a hard time sleeping as it is. I wake up from dreams of hunting chukar and running in my sleep.

Anyhow, I hope the rest of you hunting dogs have had a good summer and are anticipating a great season with your partners like I am. Our humans do a lot for us and the least we can do is to show them a good time on the mountain. Remember to throw in a few false points now and than to keep them on their toes. Don't make it too easy for them or their expectations become to high. Don't forget to make those points that make your human twist and fall at the shot once in a while. We deserve a little laughter on the hill too. More than anything else, don't be too hard on your human the first few outings. His or her shooting may be a little sub par and conditioning may need a little work but if you let them get down on themselves they may not want to get out again. Humans can be so moody. Help them keep the same anticipation for each hunt that they are showing right now before the season opens.

May the wind always be at your face, your points be plentiful and your human shoot well.



Anonymous said...

Nice post there Jake. I threw in a point on a marmot hole our last hunt. We are going hunting tomorrow as the weather made a complete turn around giving us two mostly sunny days to hunt. My master is working on a device to help me unload from the float plane. I can't wait to see what he cobbled up today at the store. Customers aren't getting much help at the furniture store today. His thoughts are on ptarmigan. I know we are going hunting as he put the gun out today and that always gives it away. They think they are the smart ones but you and I know the real truth. Good hunting Jake.Hope to meet you in person someday We will have some stories to tell.

Fadgen's Adventures said...

Nice post Jake!

I sure hope my human gets out more after chukar this year. He seems to want to only climb mountains, but at least he brings me on some of his outings. Climbing mountains is fun for me, but nothing beats a chukar in the mouth. Hope to see you in the hills this fall.


Greg Munther said...

Montana huns , sharptails and grouse begin Monday Sept 1. Only sure way to tell what is out there is to be out there. Today my pal and I did 13 miles into a high lake basin to help count goats for fish and game. I surprised my pal by bringing back a fresh but cold and stiff dead blue grouse to him....what happened is anybodys guess. Have fun Jake and hope to see you after the pal sticks an elk for the freezer...Lucy