Midway Through the Season

  So here we are, the holidays are behind us for another year. The bird season in some parts of the country has come to an end, either because of the actual end of the season or the snow that is on the ground makes it so you can’t follow a bird dog. Even after snow roosted Ruffed Grouse.

  Here in this part of the country we still have two months of wild bird season and then another month to chase the birds around a preserve. So there is plenty of hunting left to enjoy this season. 

  With that being said I thought I would give  a mid season update on how my dogs and I are doing.

  Since the start of the season we have hunted a few preserves as you have read about here. We have been out after the wild birds however, not as much as we should have been so far. That will be rectified for the second half of the season.

 We had one really successful hunt in November after the wild bird season opened. I put both dogs on the ground and headed into the piney woods in search of our opponent. 

 After the first ten minutes my older dog does a back cast and ends up about 65 yards away, according to the tracking collar.  So I bring the young dog around and he goes over the rise that is in front of us. I come over the rise to see my older dog on point and the younger one backing him. This is the first wild bird contact for Max. I was very excited to see this scene.

 So of course I take a picture and then move around to the front of the dog  to get the flush. Up goes a large covey of birds. I pick my target and pull the trigger. Success! Down comes on bird from the covey and I get a retrieve from the old guy. 

  We headed in the direction of the flush but the birds  had flushed into an area where it was all but impossible to get to them. So we moved on.

  After about another thirty minutes we break through some thick stuff and cross a creek and now I go uphill. After a few minutes the dogs go on point again. Now why this is exciting is this is the second point in under an hour. That is pretty big in this area. So again I take a picture and move in towards the dogs as they are downhill from me.

This time the birds go up and I miss with both barrels. I was so disappointed but we had a great hunt. After the hunt II was pretty happy having found two coveys and the young Max being in on the action.

  We ran in the inaugural Keith Pittman Memorial field trial. Took second in the puppy. Which was exciting. Then we didn’t fare as well in the Derby but it was a good learning experience.

Max with his trophy. He looks pretty proud of himself.


We got out a couple of times after that with our friend and his GSP. Then when the holiday season rolled in it was hard to get together so we had a hunt on our own.

 These times we weren’t successful but it was the first time that I took the puppy out on his own and put the entire weight of the hunt on his young shoulders. He hunted hard and covered a lot of ground in some great cover. Unfortunately the only success was a beautiful point as a result of a stop to flush but the flush was a hawk leaving a tree. It made for a nice picture but not the bird we were looking for.

  Recently we have had a couple of trips to our local preserve to ensure that my pup Max is getting bird contacts, that he is finding and not just running around behind another dog and backing. He is finding the birds but is a little impatient on point. So this is what we are working on. He is learning that he finds them I flush and shoot them. Each time out he is making gains so I am happy with the progress and he is making the training fun because of his biddability.

  That is what has been going on for the first half of the season and it has been fun. So what is in store for us for the rest of the season. The highlights will be running on some Junior Hunter tests for Max and hopefully we are successful. We will run a couple of more trials and see what we can do there and of course more hunting. 

  I will be sure to take you guys along. I will talk about the habitat, the clubs and the places  we run as we continue the second half of the season.

  I hope everyone else is having a good season so far and I wish all success for the rest of the season.

 Make sure you follow on Instagram and leave a comment and let me know how your season is going.

The featured image is by Newton Smith from NS Sporting Art. Check him out on Instagram as well.

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