Tuesday, October 29, 2019

strange month

More than a strange month, this has been a different year for me. After an exciting scouting season I was a little surprised as the season progressed at the fewer finds than usual. I caught Grady a few times chasing the birds and figured that might be the reason for fewer bird encounters. Add to that I wasn't seeing much bird sign. Weather wise, it's been one of the best opening month and a half I can remember. You name the conditions and we've had them. I don't always have great years but I can usually figure out why. Lack of birds, poor dog work or me being lazy are a few reasons I can speak of but this year too many variables had me scratching my head. But I think I have put a finger on a few of the variables affecting my success.

 First of all is Grady and the chasing birds. I don't know what I did to create his chase, but fixing this particular problem with a stern whoa has worked wonders. He's now back to a 20 yard chase before he starts back to hunting. I'm sure on some of his earlier chases he was busting other coveys and that's why I wasn't seeing many birds.

Next is the hatch. There were a lot of real late hatches this year. Just a couple of days ago I got a bird that had to have hatched in late August. In September I'm sure the dogs were having a hard time getting any scent form these young birds creating that lack of bird finds which we are not having that problem now.

Jake has the opposite problem of Grady. Suddenly he has slowed and spends more time close to me rather than hunting the whole time. He had a physical yesterday to check his thyroid etc. and has no problems so I've decided he is just smart and letting the young punk do the hard work. Two days ago Grady got 24 miles in while Jake got 15 and I made 7. Last year Jake would get as many miles as Grady. I'd like to see Jake range a little more like he used to but am perfectly happy if he stays like he's doing now.

Competition. Since last year I have done something wrong and created some competition with the dogs. At first I thought they were pushing each other on point but finally figured that I am the problem. They honor each other and don't budge until I get into the picture. If Jake is the pointing dog, Grady honors just fine until I flush the birds but if Grady is the pointing dog, Jake will break honor when I move ahead and try to circle and trap the birds. This makes Grady nervous and he starts creeping. Once again, I can halt any movement with a whoa but it's sure a lot more fun when nothing has to be said.
On this point I dropped to the right of Jake and he broke honor and swung behind me and reestablished a point below the rocks. Luckily Grady held point and we were successful.
Things are getting a little more back to normal for the three of us and we're having some great outings. I'm counting on November being a really good month with all these young birds being more mature and provide some good scent. The mornings are frosty and scenting conditions are becoming optimum. Those who saved their vacation time until November are going to be pleased.
Get out there and have some fun with your dogs and please stop by and say hello if you see my camper or truck along the road. You'll know me by my TUCKOTA plates. Good luck hunting.


Burk said...

My 13.5 yr. old PP mostly walks along side me now while the EP ranges out 500-1000 yds. But when there's a bird to retrieve the PP becomes like a puppy again for a few minutes. When I left the EP home yesterday to recover from an injury the PP ranged out 25 yds.

Tuckers Chukars said...

Burk, How did you do with the PP. My boys only range out to 300 yards which is fine with me but I always wonder if a guy would find as many birds if his dogs only ranged in the 100 yard range. Sometimes a 300 yard point is like forever with the topography of a chukar mountain.

BKondeff said...

I've mostly deer hunted since 10th, but spent time down low for deer the last week where we say a lot of chukar last year and are only seeing huns this year, but lots of them.