Lightbulb update

This afternoon Nim and I guided a hunt at Pheasant Valley Farm. After the client had seen all the birds planted for him I offered to continue to hunt, and asked if I could put down my second dog, Shelby. He agreed. So we hunted the edges, and both dogs hunted nicely. Nim located and pointed two more pheasants and two Chukkars. Then, surprise! Shelby, my 4 year old rescue Britt found and pointed a pheasant!

Nim hunted so well today, retrieved every bird to hand, I hate to diminish his fine work; but Shelby found and pointed this bird all by herself (Nim honored too!)

I guess it doesn’t take all that much to make me feel giddy.

Too bad it is ‘bad form’ to take photographs of your dog while being paid to hunt.

I suppose that what is most important is that the client had a fun, safe hunt. I believe they did. But this guide had a fantastic time!

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The light bulb goes on, and other small victories

Today I took a friend out to the preserve for a pheasant/chukar hunt. See earlier this week, during my staycation, he helped me go pick up the kubota 40 miles away, helped me haul away the wood from the five 30′ spruces hurricane Sandy blew over in my yard by loaning me his dump trailer.

The day began about 8:30 after Mark Wolfskill planted our birds. To say that Nim hunted well today is an understatement. Just as one example, we got into some ‘leftover’ quail from another hunt. Nim went on point. I walked in, ahead of him so he could see me coming. I looked down, there were 6 quail all covey’ed up. One quail flew off. Nim remained steady. Another quail flew off. Nim remained steady. I yelled to my friend, “Don! I could use some help up here!” Nim remained steady for the next 4 flushes…none of which I shot at, as I was so in awe of this dog.

We found every bird that was planted, plus some. Did I say he hunted well today?

And Shelby? The lightbulb went on. Before we started this morning I told the outfitter that she has just been along for the ride, not really hunting. She must have heard me, deciding to prove me wrong. She hunted today! She pointed, which she has been doing. She also honored one of Nim’s points (after I had whoad her up on a couple of his previous points).

Yes, she went swimming in the water barrel again today.

The icing on the cake was that my friend’s 6 month old Springer came along. We ran him after I picked up my two at the end of the hunt. He showed little or no reaction to the blank pistol. That’s a start!

Beautiful crisp, cool, day in Pa following two Brittany’s. doesn’t get much better than that.

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First Preserve Hunt of the Year

Today was a planned hunt with my two youngest boys. Unfortunately, no. 3 son’s overnight festivities prohibited his participation (he had the virus).

We had a great hunt.

I recently read an article in The American Brittany magazine about ‘intense dogs.’ (Actually it was Training Dogs With Rick Smith: Stubborn Dogs, originally printed in Pointing Dog Journal, Vol. 16 No. 1 Jan-Feb 2008) It was suggested that rather than letting your headstrong dog ‘burn off fuel’ prior to beginning, you should put him on a lead, make him heel about, whoa him up a time or two, reminding him who’s in charge.

This seemed to work well. Nim was excellent on the hunt. Many points, and several ‘stop to flush’ on Chukkars that were not scented, but bumped. No birds were crowded into flushing. I think the bumped birds simply showed his lack of experience.

Retrieves were not completely ‘to hand’ which means he will be ‘force fetched’ this winter.

At the last ‘recon’ swing through some corn, I put Shelby down. Several of the earlier wild flushes had flown up to this patch. She enjoyed it and cooled off with a dip afterwards (never mind it was in the 40’s).

Good day with my son and dogs.

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