Thursday, February 7, 2019

Cleaning up late season habits

Seven days ago, I had hernia surgery with three 4 inch cuts and three arthroscopic cuts. Six hernias in all. The Doc said walking was allowed so I decided to go on a short jaunt with the boys and let them run. It was a mistake to go to chukar country and think I could stay on the low road for long. It wasn't long before the dogs and the country started acting like a magnet, drawing me upward on any trail I could find that seemed safe. By the time I returned to the truck I had covered four miles and somewhere around 800 feet in elevation gain.

I felt pretty good throughout our hike but am paying for it today so I decided to sit here and show some of the footage I took yesterday. They show some good and not so good dog work and why I love being behind these dogs on the mountain.

This first clip shows the difference between the two dogs when it comes to paying attention to me. From the other side of the draw, notice how Jake stops and watches to see witch way I'm going so he can hunt that way while Grady goes like a bat out of hell until he finds birds. Too often this year, Grady was on point a couple hundred yards in a direction I didn't care to go but had to get there because he was on point. Yes, there are worse things that could happen.

The next video is like what most of us face towards the end of the season. Wild and running birds creates this action along with our unwillingness to not shoot when the dogs help us bust the birds.

As you can see, it doesn't create safe shooting and this shot should never be taken for that reason. But if your dog has been whoa trained it is a very easy situation to change back to how it should be. In this next video, Jake was honoring Grady's point as I moved in.

Jake remained honoring as I passed him towards Grady and when I finally got to Grady I decided not to move down the hill further. I think the birds were probably by those rocks below us but I figured I might blow a stitch or two if I slid going down there. So I healed the dogs on.

Here again is how it should be. Jake is out front and if you look hard you can see Grady honoring behind him. They relocated a couple of times behind me and I finally flushed a small covey which I didn't get on film because I turned the camera off too soon.
The last clip is Grady on point with Jake honoring. Although Grady broke in the end it was acceptable for me. There were two birds that flushed before he broke. One, when you see Grady look over at me, flushed from behind me and the second just before Grady broke, took off from below. Grady broke on flush number two and bumped the original bird he was pointing. Things can't always be perfect and I'll always be satisfied with this kind of dog work.

We all expect different things from our dogs and when it comes to hunting there is no perfect way. If your dog is making you happy as you hunt than that is the perfect way for you.

I did find out another important fact yesterday. I covered some chukar country yesterday while I was crippled up some. Even though it wasn't prime chukar country, if I could hike these trails in the shape I'm in now, I'll be able to cover these magnetic mountains in 12 years when I'm 80. So, don't be surprised in the year 2031 when you see an old grey haired and old boned fellow hiking the mountain that it is me following a brown shorthair pup.

Also, I know as many post as I've been doing this year, it has to get a little boring for you. Iv'e figured out that this blog is the only way to keep my stuff permanent. I seem to find ways to erase most of my memories from the computer.

1 comment:


Get well my friend. In 2031 I hope to be the guy on the downhill side with the white dogs, picking up birds rolling down the hill and occasionally swathing one too!