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12/14/08
Calm Before the Storm
Filed under: General, Hunting, My Dogs
Posted by: The Gundogdoc @ 6:20 pm

I was scheduled to work a half day on Saturday, and our office Christmas party was in the evening. That meant I had a very narrow window to try to get out to chase some roosters. On top of that, the forecast for Sunday was negative temps, snow and howling winds. Needless to say if I was going to hunt this weekend, Saturday was going to be the day.

One of the fortunate parts of my job is that I get to meet a variety of people with the common interests of hunting and good dogs. Over the last couple of years I’ve gotten to be good friends with one client in particular, who happens to have two dynamic little Pointers. We shared one bitterly-cold, late-season hunt last year, and other than that our paths hadn’t had a chance to cross in the field, because I spend most of my time chasing prairie birds while he chases pheasants. As luck would have it, Saturday afternoon worked for both of us. We loaded up the dogs and headed for an area close to town.

I love the breeds of dogs I’ve chosen…obviously; however, there is just something about a pointer that screams bird dog:

When we arrived at our chosen location, the cover was shoulder to head high. As most of you know, I primarily hunt prairie birds, and one might say that I have injury-prone dogs. So I elected to let Belle sit the field out while we ran Ryan’s pointers, both of which were seasoned, thick-cover pheasant dogs.

We proceeded through the switch grass jungle, and I would never have expected, with a blizzard set to arrive in hours, that I’d overheat in just my sweatshirt. The day was almost too perfect, and with my eternal thoughts of negativeness I figured that meant we’d go birdless. Those thoughts quickly vanished when Daisy’s beeper went off. I had the audio cue; however, it took me a while to find the little pointer in the thick cover. She held pat while I made my way in front of her to flush the first rooster of the day. Thankfully my shooting woes of this fall did not continue, though I was grateful for having the auto and not the over-under, and I broke the ice with the first rooster of the day, which Copper made a beautiful retrieve on.

The action wasn’t hot and heavy, but it was nearly perfect with the dogs going on point every couple hundred yards on a variety of hens and roosters. Somehow Daisy managed to produce most of the successful rooster points, and by the end of the field we were one short of our limit thanks to the little female:

With the sun rapidly setting and a Christmas party to get to, we decided to give Lily one chance at producing our limit bird. We turned the power weasel loose in a low spot with high hopes of the pup coming up with one lonely rooster. Unfortunately though we weren’t meant to end the day in storybook fashion, no fault of the pup.

Counting our blessings for the day we loaded up the trucks, and I headed for a quick shower before speeding to the Christmas party. As I type this the wind is gusting near 30 mph and the windchill is -30…here’s to hoping the season isn’t completely over.

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