Saturday, June 23, 2018

Larry's a happy man.

Things have progressed even faster and better than I thought. Although Grady has yet to point a wild bird, he has honored Jake several times and loves the smell of upland birds. It's as simple as getting him to point, than a flush followed by a shot and a thrown dead bird. A few reps of that and we'll be ready to start the season and with patience by me to only shoot pointed birds and hopefully some good shooting Grady will be on his way to being a top notch bird dog.

I put in a 2 1/2 minute video showing him honoring once and getting a little ahead of himself on another flush.

I told you about Grady first and saved the juicy stuff for the end. Our last couple of trips have come up with more young birds this early in the season than I've found in the past. Blue grouse hunters should especially be excited. Lot's more blue grouse broods than I've seen in a long time. Chukars have exceptionally large broods and every bunch I have seen has two different aged chicks. Most covey's only have one adult. There's a theory about that and I only hope it's true.

I haven't got much footage but have seen baby grouse, turkey, chukar, elk, deer and coyote so far this year. I'm still looking for some baby rough grouse, huns and quail and will passing on what I see when it happens.

I hope you enjoy this short clip and it helps get you excited for the upcoming season. Some how I'm out of touch again and you'll have to look at the upland babies of 2018 post to see the video. Sorry.


Upland babies of 2018

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

93 days and all's well in southwest Idaho.

I've been getting several requests about Grady's progress, so before getting into our last couple weeks of scouting I'll share a little bit about him. He is very intelligent  and has learned all the commands I require of a hunting dog, but with that intelligence comes the ability to figure out when he wants to comply and when he doesn't. What he doesn't realize is that I have just ordered an alpha which has the training ability as well as tracking. He just thinks he has the upper hand.

Jake has learned how to play and play hard thanks to Grady. He doesn't hold back and knocking Grady half way across the room is a lot of fun because Grady keeps bouncing back for more. They have become best buds. Grady no longer follows Jake on the mountain but does his own searching but reacts quickly to anything that Jake may show interest in.

As far as progressing in hunting talent, there hasn't been much. He still retrieves dead birds shot with a blank pistol but only when he has the desire. No point on a wild upland bird yet but he has a stylish point on the kill deer and robins around here. It always amazes me how the flushing sound of an upland bird can excite a bird dog and Grady loves that sound and chases with exuberance. This last week he has bumped a rough grouse, a blue grouse with chicks and some chukar and his excitement rivaled mine.

Last week Barb, Jake, Grady and I spent four days in Stanley Idaho hiking the mountains and we got to watch Grady get initiated to many new experiences. The most comical was watching him sprint back to Barb and I with a cow elk in hot pursuit. His legs have grown faster than the rest of his body so I don't need to say any more about his style. We never found the calf, but the cow stayed around keeping an eye on us. We also got into some pretty deep snow and he and Jake both took to some otter like playing.

Grady showed a little sign of flinching at the sound of a twenty gauge so we're backing off that until we get into more birds.

Now, what most of you really care about. The birds. Not much to add over my report a couple of weeks ago but the condition's seem optimum to me. Yesterday, we hiked a familiar chukar mountain and were pleasingly surprised at how green everything still is and the amount of grasshoppers. They were literally everywhere. Although we saw several chukars, there was no sign of a hatch yet. However, we did have two blue grouse flushes and with them were about 12 or so chicks strong enough to fly 75 yards or so away. Things are progressing right on schedule. We always see the turkeys hatch first followed by the grouse and then chukar seems to be just shortly before the huns. I can't give scientific proof, but that's how I usually see it.

As far as the out-of- staters planning your trip over here, I'd say this is a pretty normal year as far as precipitation and if you usually depend on certain waterholes or seeps that is where the birds will probably be heaviest this year. Remember last year followed a very wet winter and the birds were scattered as was the water sources.

I have not been to the Owyhees yet this year but I heard the grasshoppers aren't doing as well there but I also heard the crickets are. Chicks don't care what kind of insects they eat so hopefully that area will be good also.

We'll be hitting the hills as often as possible for the next 6 weeks and hopefully will be able to pass on some good news, but for now we're looking towards the end of July and first of August to find the large young covey's of chukar to train Grady on. That's when I'm going to find out whether putting up with his cockiness is worth it.

I hope the rest of you training new pups are having as much fun as I am and everyone is as excited as I am about the upcoming season.