Yesterday found me sticking pretty close to home. I had two hospitalized patients, one of which was in really rough shape at our local Emergency Hospital. After my morning rounds, I did find a couple of hours mid-day to sneak the dogs out for our traditional New Year’s Day hunt. I decided to head to an area I had not hunted this year in hopes of finding less pressure than in some of the areas I had been hitting recently.
I found what I was looking for on the pressure front, but I think it was because I found an area that had been pounded by snow. Lily continues to amaze me, and though she has no idea yet what we are doing, when she does quarter, the cover and snow don’t seem to slow this little pup down:
I’m still only carrying the blank pistol with her, and the snow cover and birds in the cattails have made for a less than ideal introduction to birds. We still have fun though, and I am increasingly excited about her intelligence and progression in the field.
Belle was up next, and she was raring to go. We managed two hens, but the roosters avoided us. I hate hunting the setters in the cattails, and so we could only manage the thick edges and I’m sure the wise, late-season birds just scooted further in to their burrows as we passed by. Maggie has been making these little excursions with us, but up to this point it has been as an observer. Yesterday I decided to run her very briefly to see how the leg responded. The deep, crusted snow was a less than ideal “recovery” exercise but she did have fun for the brief 10-15 minutes she was on the ground, and I’m happy to report there was very minimal limping afterwards.
To continue with the theme of my last post, not only am I a dogaholic, I’m also a bit of a nerd. Lining our downstairs are 8×10 pictures of the dogs. I take one in-the-field picture of each dog, and print and frame it, to serve as a pictorial walk down memory lane. In addition I take one group shot of the dogs that serves as the separation at the yearly breaks. Since this was the first time this season all three dogs had a spin in the field, here will be this season’s shot:
You try to get three dogs all to look at the camera at the same time. Maggie hadn’t run by this point so I think she was still a little disgusted with me.