yes, I know - I already typed this up though, so I'll post it then go back to adding more pictures and video's of the puppies, which takes some time... thanks for hanging in there!
Friday, October 22, 2010
Today was a great day. It was, to me, the epitome of why we came here. Our young string of dogs has had hundreds of bird contacts and gradually, they are putting the pieces together. It was a day of singular hunting. Rod and I have very much enjoyed each other’s company – today I yearned to just spend time alone with my dogs, and Rod felt the same. To come to this place, be alone with your thoughts and your dog is an enormously fulfilling and satisfying experience.
Hank and I went to a several hundreds of acres open prarie field that had old coal diggings at the back of it. He launched with exuberance having had Thursday off and swallowed the dry grassland with each powerful bound. Not long, he passed over a rise and I could only see him on the Garmin Astro receiver I carried. He swung left to right and passed over the coal dig tailings at the rear of the property. Here movement slowed, then the Garmin chirped that he was on point. I could not see him, he was beyond my sight and nearly 400 yards out. I began resolutely to walk towards him, mostly expecting another bump or wild flush. The yards ticked down slowly on the Garmin and between us now was a large pond, which I had to detour, backtrack and resume my long trek to the standing dog. Climbing up the rise I reach the top after at least a five minute hike and the Garmin indicates he’s about 34 yards away – I see his flash collar through the brush, still unmoving. As I approach, two pheasant give wing. The first breaks from cover to my right – a hen. The second pitches up and straight away downslope and my shot finds it’s target, tumbling the bird among the broken sage and grass slope. These are the moments one hopes for when hunting. At that moment, all things came together. The dog suddenly understood fully the aspect of hunting together and for the remaining hour and a half he stayed in contact with me as he never had before. We were becoming a team. Finally.