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.


Greg said...

Larry: Good news on birds and how grady is progressing. I got permission from The Boss to pursue getting a second GSP. Found a local 1 yr old female being trained by a well respected trainer. Will decide soon whether to pursue that or look for an upcoming litter of GSPs with smaller size I prefer. Stay tuned.....and more fish stories developing on a regular basis.

Tuckers Chukars said...

Great to hear from you Greg and hope we can get a hunt together this year.

Ben said...

Larry, I really appreciate the updates as always. Bernie is coming along nicely. I tested her in the NAVHDA NA test a couple of weeks ago with Treasure Valley chapter and she did really well except for pointing which is my fault since I never introduced her to pen-raised chukar beforehand. Only chukar she ever smelled were the frozen ones I keep. So now I guess I have to find a re-test that works for my schedule since I don't like failure and it wouldn't be fair to Bernie otherwise.

Tuckers Chukars said...

Sounds like she's doing great. I might also have to buy a few pen raised birds for Grady since he never really got a chance to find out about wild birds earlier before they started sitting nest. I've always been fortunate enough to get my pups on pairing birds early in the spring but Grady was a little too young. It kind of depends on how early the young birds can fly a distance now. The worst that can happen is that I have to hold up on shooting more flushed birds this year than usual when the hunting season begins. Keep me posted and having fun.

Hanson said...

Good news on the decent cover and insects. It is very green and lush here in central Montana. If the ranchers could just hold off on haying for another 10 days or so........

My pup is 4 months today. Time to get serious and trade the stuffed animals for feathered ones.

Larry said...

I made a quick trip to Boise last weekend for a funeral for a 96 y/o friend, and got to see a couple of my hunting buddies. Also enjoyed my first look at the litter my next pup is coming out of. Cute 4 week old guys and gals! Griffon Pup, female, should be here around the end of July.

I haven't been in Idaho in June since 1980. It was relatively cool and lots of green. I liked it!

Thanks for the report Larry!


Weston Hatten said...


Love to hear the updates on chukar. The hatch has not happened here in Nevada yet either, I presume in the next two weeks it will and will take some drives in chukar country. I hunt with a 2 year old English Pointer named Lucy and try to get her on pen raised birds every two weeks in the off-season. I do not know how this will transfer to the hunting season since this is my first off-season doing this but it sure is fun for the dog. I am heading to Boise next to do some fly fishing but will be taking drives on dirt roads in northern Nevada and in Eastern Oregon. Will let you know what I find.