Closing Out the Season

  Here we are and the bird hunting season is over throughout the country. This is the time of year that the projects around the house that were put on hold during the season have to get caught up on.

   It is also a time for reflection on the season that has ended and see if you accomplished everything that you wanted to. 

  Since the mid year recap that I talked to everyone about I am going to talk about how the year ended for us here at WSF.

   At the last update we talked about the plans for the rest of the season. Since that last conversation we had a few hunts at local preserves and one trip into the national forest that isn’t too far from the house. This trip was unfortunately unsuccessful. Despite the fact that there were three dogs on the ground.

  There were a couple of hunts at preserves with a good friend and his Pudel pointer. This dog has hunted with my old dog quite a bit, this however was the first time that he was on birds with Max.

  They hunted well together and we were able to get some backs from my friend’s dog.

  One of the preserve hunts that stood out was a hunt that was donated to me from the owner for helping him out at a field trial.

With me going to hunt my friend contacted the owner and had some birds added and we made a day of it. 

   What makes this one stand out is not just the dogs getting used to each other but the fact that my friend has an affinity for Chukar and he had a couple put out. These were the first Chukar that Max has encountered.

 He definitely likes them and the one he encountered made him turn to stone with a really staunch point. It was great to see that he likes every game bird he has come across.


  We did another hunt at another preserve and the dogs worked better together this time. I guess that they knew each other and didn’t worry about how the other was going to behave. This was a fun one because of the dog work and the cooperation between them.

  We guided a hunt for the first time. We went on a training run and just let Max stretch his legs and work on turning when asked to. After our run the clients showed up and part way into the hunt the guide asked me to get Max out because his dog was tired from a big hunt the day before.

  It was fun to get Max out in front of people that aren’t bird dog people hear them say how exciting he was to watch and hunt behind.

   On the testing side we started on the road to Junior Hunter (JH). The first run was with the Tarheel Weimaraner Club at the Sandhills Pointing Breeds Club. This was a two day event. 

   Day one Max ran his brace wonderfully. He found his first bird very fast. I think he was maybe a minute into his run. So with the pressure of finding that first bird out of the way we had a fun run. He handled well and ran fast and to the front. He had two more finds before time was up and got three nines and an eight in trainability. 

  Day number two he was full of himself and ran all over the place uncontrollably and he even ended up on the Master Hunter field. I was able to call him back and while he was returning he went on point and that was thirty seconds after the time was up. The judge saw the point but told me the time and so there was no credit for the find  and so no pass on this attempt. 

   It was quite frustrating that he didn’t handle the way I liked but  hey, that is how it goes with bird dogs and testing sometimes. Even at the Junior level.

  About three weeks and we ran a one day event hosted by the Sandhills Pointing Breeds Club. This was a one day event and so we drove out to the grounds. Max was in brace number two. We cut them loose and he ran like he was shot out of a cannon. However this time he checked in and stayed in control. About five minutes in he gets his find. I walk over a little rise in the field and there he is on point right at the edge of the tree line. I flush the bird, shoot the  gun and  turn around to see the judge is right there to watch the whole thing unfold. Now that the pressure of the find is off we head up the field. We get two more finds and the last one is in the trees but the judge is right there to see it. At the end of the run the judge says that he is a nice dog and was fun to watch and his scores reflected it. He got a 10 in hunting, 9 in pointing and bird finding ability and then an eight in trainability.

  After that the season was pretty much over for us to get out and hunt anymore so all that was left was one more field trial that was rescheduled from the previous month. 

 This trial was at Oak Hill Shooting preserve. These are familiar grounds to us and anyone that has been following this blog for any amount of time.

  The morning comes and we enter the puppy stake this is his last time running as a puppy. We are the first brace of the day and he runs big and gets a few points so I am happy with his run.

   Next we enter the Derby. This was not his best run. He ran a little big and didn’t handle as well as was necessary so he had a few finds but they were out of bounds so no credit.

   Lastly just to give it a try we enter the shooting dog category. I know he is nowhere near a shooting dog as far as training goes but I figured why not.           

  We did our run and he had two finds and a back. The back was from a good distance and I could hear the gallery say nice and I think the judges were a little impressed by it also. To brag a little he did hit it hard.

 So how did it all play out we finished with a second in the puppy and to my surprise we took home third in the Shooting Dog. I was pretty happy at the end of this one and it was a great way to end the season.

 Now it is rest and refit time for the dogs and I. I usually take the month of April off from bird dogging just to give everything a break and get caught up on some long overdue honey do projects around the house. 

 This summer will consist of some retrieving training, steadiness training and putting a handle on the young dog so he doesn’t run out of control . These are the goals to get ready to finish Junior Hunter in the fall and get after some more trials and start competing in UFTA events.

  That is how it all ended for us, let us know how it ended for you. 

  Make sure you keep checking back in here to see how our summer is going and some other things that I hope you like. 

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