There were the times, when I saw Jake hunting above me and could tell the way he had his nose to the ground and zig zagging quickly up the hill, that he was chasing a running bird. Even though the bird would fly straight towards me, I resisted the urge to shoot and strongly urged Jake to "whoa". After thirty seconds or so I released him to "hunt em up". It seemed to work because by the end of the week we were having some pretty darn good team work. I try to keep the "whoa" to a minimum because I know how I hate hearing another hunter yelling at his dog on the hill but at times it is just necessary. Jake knows that the word means stop no matter what and has nothing to do with birds.
Another drill I did a lot this week was move to the front of Jake's point and stand there longer instead of just moving in for the bust. There have been a few times this year when Jake has tried to relocate on birds after I move in front of him by circling around and trying to trap them in between us. This is a normal pack animal instinct but more often than not it cause the birds to flush premature. By standing there for a while before making the flush, I believe that I'm reassuring Jake that we will get the birds without him having to relocate. The second part of this is don't miss. A few repetitions of this with the dog getting the bird in his mouth solidifies the team relationship.
The training part of the trip was very successful as well as getting some birds. We found good number of birds just about everywhere, some more cooperative than others. Not only did Jake find a lot of birds, he wore himself out putting on 133 miles in five days of hunting. He's laying on a heated blanket as I type licking his feet.
The hunt also had a diversity of weather. This is what the weather looked like as I headed into my hunting area Monday night.