Sunday, February 1, 2015

Farewell 2014

Barb, Jake and I are sitting around the house and cleaning our hunting gear for the year. It's a good thing I broke my guns down good. With the amount of grit down in the trigger mechanism's I'm surprised I didn't have some misfires towards the end of the season. My bird vest had a dried up chocolate candy bar that must have been in the bottom of one of the pockets since the beginning of the season. It was a mess. I cleaned up my pocket camera that I use during the hunting season and got my bigger camera out for some spring pictures. This week will be the big task of cleaning out my truck.

The bird numbers in both Oregon and Idaho were fair at best for me and Jake. But, even fair presented plenty of good opportunities for successful hunts. By the amount of birds I saw on the last week of the season, if mother nature is good to us this spring, the bird numbers should vault next year. I saw fewer hunters in the field this year than I can ever remember. Even when chukar hunting wasn't that popular.

My last week in the field was probably my best. Not only because I got birds, but because I got to watch Jake at his best and watch Conner take down some more chukars on the last day of the season. Last year Jake learned how to point and hold chukars and had a pretty darn good year for a first year pup. This year he learned how to find birds. He figured out how to range with the wind and use it to his advantage. He had some pretty lengthy points and discovered I would find him no matter how long it was. Although, I'm sure he didn't enjoy it, he let me take pictures before I flushed the birds. Quite a few times I got the picture, but didn't get a shot.

My last hunt in Oregon was a dandy. We'd been fighting the fog and inversion all week. I drove all the way over there one day just to get turned around because of a wreck on the freeway. I decided to take my four wheeler over there on our last trip so I wouldn't have to tear up the roads and get my truck covered with mud again. I hunted this area in November and found lot's of birds and most of them were still there. Jake was in top form.
The birds were holding extremely good for late January.
It didn't matter which side of the ridge I hunted, the snowy side or the burnt off side, we found cooperative birds.
Some of the covey's were 20 birds or more.
By the time we got back to the ranger, Jake had provided me with some great shooting for my last day of hunting.
I know a lot of people don't care for tail gate pictures, but I'm down right proud of Jake and what he produces. I also don't mind showing what a great dog and some hard work can produce on even these down years.

To make a short story long, I'm now going to expand on my last day hunting. Although Conner did all the shooting, I couldn't have had a better day. I took Conner to a place in Idaho I had discovered a couple of weeks ago. I had had a good day there and there were more than enough birds for a second round. Over the year, Conner has learned how to hunt with Jake. He approaches his points slow and as calmly as possible and Jake let's him move to the front for the shot. I get to sit back and watch to young men doing what they love. I think this was Jake's best picture of the year.
I was really enjoying taking shots of Jake as Conner did the shooting.
Jake found a large covey of quail that helped to entertain Conner with some shooting.
I could go on boring you with more pictures but I think my point has been made. We had a great day and Conner, Jake and I were all smiles.
The last day of the season was Conner's best chukar day and what a day grandpa will remember for the rest of my life. Finishing the season with Jake and Conner. It truly doesn't get any better than this.
Lord, thank you for providing me with such a wonderful life.


Anonymous said...

What a great end of the season for Connor, Jake and yourself. Glad you got that grandson hooked on chukar hunting. Thanks for all the posts this year and sharing your adventures with Jake in the field. Great picture of Jake. My favorite too. Hope to see you one of these days before Mays and I can no longer climb those hills. I want to get a pup but I don't mention that around Mays as he kind of likes being the main boy. I still have plenty of hunting time left but the birds are hiding well these days. We will find them one of these days. Good superbowl even though I wanted Seattle to win.
Talk to you soon.
Alan and Mays

Anonymous said...


My hat is off to you for getting kids out in the field. My hat is off to Connor for the hours of grueling hiking he has done. Let him know that his "miles per bird" average is getting better with that last hunt. Chukar hunting is not easy and to see a kid be successful at it is very admirable. I shared a few hunts this year with my boys and family friends. While they might not have been the most successful hunts of the year, they certainly were some of the greatest memories I have of the 2014/2015 season.

I wish you, Jake & Connor all the best in the offseason and look forward to following your adventures again this fall. The season's only been over for 3 days, and already I'm strategizing for the coming fall.

My therapist requires me to say that "I have an addiction and it is chukar hunting".

Take care.