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Discussion in 'Montana / Wyoming Flyway Forum' started by Native NV Ducker, Sep 2, 2019.
First hunt for the new pup, with the old girl leading the way....
Nice. Blue or ruffed?
Those are blues. Got a singe Ruffed yesterday. Pup and I went alone. So, her first solo bird.
Copy. I've never seen a blue grouse up close.
They are huge, I've killed smaller roosters. And stupid. Sometimes you gotta practically hit em with a stick to make em fly.
That's the way the ruffed grouse were in Northern California. Just dumb as a rock. I had no idea how they continued to exist.
Today was amazing. Took just the pup. She worked in front of the ATV while we went up the hill, but no birds. I parked and we started walking further up. Just as I was about to turn around (another 40 yards to go) she was in the brush to my left. One Ruffed went out, and I dropped him clean. Stupidly, I tried to reload, and missed a chance at a 2nd. Talena was in them now, and as I closed the action, a 3rd went out. Hit him, but lots of brush, and didn't think it was a clean kill. Kept the gun closed this time, and a 4th went out and into a nearby tree. He died too. Talena saw that one go down, went right to it, and brought it to hand.
I sent her back up toward the 1st one, and she worked the hill perfectly. Went halfway up, came back, looked at me, and went further up. That is when she winded it, picked it up quickly and brought it right to me.
Then we walked 20 yards down the hill, and I sent her across the bottoms to the spot I thought the bird might be. Again, she worked the hill back and forth, and kept going up. Then I saw the bird flutter away from her, and she pounced. Brought it back alive, no hard mouthing at all.
I know that is just 'decent' dog work, but at only 9 months, and her first 'multi bird' hunt, and her first cripple, I was very pleased.
(She takes lousy pictures)
Time for Sharpies and Huns?
The pup is going to have a blast during pheasant season if you run her for roosters.
I think that is pretty damn good for a 9 months - she is ostensibly a functioning hunting dog at this point and she will soak up experience like mad as the season progresses.
Actually, I will be coming to your area in Nov. Have a buddy there, and I go down a couple times a year to hunt roosters, with a side of sharpies, huns, and ducks.
Upland is nice, but I am a duck hunter by trade. Taking her next Sunday for the youth opener. 8th grader here in Darby is an outstanding clays shooter (google Austin Ward) and a month ago we were talking about the pup, and he mentioned how he has never hunted ducks over a dog. Then he mentioned how cool it must be to hunt ducks over a dog. Then he mentioned how one day he would love to hunt ducks over a dog.
"Fine, Austin. Do you want to go with me on the Youth Opener?" All smiles. He can't hunt Sat, he has football (QB, of course), but we will go Sun. His Dad too. Had to build an 8' blind to hide us all.
My concern is decoys. She does multi-dummy water retrieves just fine, but the pond was too deep for me to set decoys. Wife told me I should go down to the bend in the river and set some dekes, then toss some dummies. Most times, my wife is smarter than me. Monday.
It could be a teachable moment.
Sometimes in the past I have laid out a bunch of decoys in the yard and then thrown bumpers amidst the decoys and worked on it that way before doing dummies in the water with decoys; it seemed to help advance their recognition that the plastic birds are NOT what we going for. You might try that if you have some spare time before the youth opener.
I am the opposite - pheasants and grouse first with waterfowl batting second. Ironically, some of my productive duck hunts have been while hunting upland games birds in prairie pothole country and along meandering rivers/creeks - I frequently jump mallards and honkers before ice up while looking for grouse and pheasants! Always weird to come back to the car with the vest weighed more down by waterfowl then upland birds.
Drop me a message in November if you would like to do a little walking with the dogs in some sharpie-pheasant-huns cover and are inclined to try hunting with a stranger. There is lots of public access areas surrounding Lewistown and it looks like there might be some new stuff worth at least ambling around on with a dog. I have a an eight-year old Lab female who is pretty chill and experienced with upland game bird hunting and a novice energetic two-year old male who I am positively convinced is taking doses of meth on the sly (I call him my "crack baby"). Both of them are very friendly to people and dogs (I won't say they are well behaved, because if I do that, they will probably prove me wrong). If I don't have to be back in Santa Cruz (California) in November for work, I will be putting miles on boots walking the prairie looking for roosters, grouse and huns.