Over the past couple of weeks I have hunted black brant at the invitation of my friend Gregg Holland. Shot my first brant out of a layout boat - great experience. Brant are exciting and great on the table. I could get used to this.
Here is Gregg's hard working retriever, Riley, making a retrieve...
I just finished three days of great chukar and partridge hunting in northeast Nevada. The dogs did very well and we found about a covey per hour of intense hiking. One sequence stands out in my mind ...
Ryan's pointer Storm went on point 500' above us, up a steep slope, on the far side of 50' tall rock outcropping. (thanks, Garmin). So we suck it up, gain the altitude, and start to actually climb over and around the rock to ambush the birds. Storm has great manners and all goes well. Ryan generally goes over the top, I manage to find my way around about half way up the rock on the left side. We get most of the way around the pile and the birds finally spook, flushing from high on my right down the valley to my left, 35 to 50 yards out. Tough shots, but for the first time in my life I tripled on chukar. Storm did a great job on the retrieves; one of the birds had bounced 50 yards down the slope, but all were dead when he picked them up.
I doubled on another covey and finished that day with a Nevada limit, also my first ever.
But now I am firmly on the Dark Side. I really enjoy shooting my vintage 16ga SxS's but using those guns I probably would not have put even one bird in the bag. Last year I purchased a Benelli Ultra Lite 12ga semi-auto; it weighs only 6lbs and swings like a game gun. It also handles heavy loads: my first two rounds are 1-3/8oz of nickel plated #7 at 1350fps, and my last round is a Praire Storm #6. For the trip I shot over 50% and many of the shots would have been passed if swinging the 16's. And the Benelli has a nice sling which makes it much easier to scramble around in the nasty places where chukar hang out.
The SxS's are not for sale; they are the perfect guns for most of my hunts in Arizona and Montana and California and Oregon. But on those big Nevada slopes I'll be swinging the Benelli. Apologies to Obi Wan.
I have mixed feelings about this, but I am offering L.J. to a good
hunting home for a modest price. He is a friendly young setter that wants to please, but
will not be a field trial dog.
L.J. has been trained by
John McIltrot at Seranoa kennels in Broadview, Montana and is 'green
broke', handles, comes when called. L.J. is strong in Johnny Crockett, Sunrise,
and See Johnny Run. He does not run big or run off. He is not quite two years old.
I can't keep them all and need to find L.J. a home. If interested, e-mail me at mikespies45 (at) gmail.com.
Life is short Quit your job. Turn off the TV. Go outside and play.
The photo behind the title header was made by Clair Kofoed in NE Oregon several years ago - Jesse pointing, Huns flushing, and me thinking about the camera and shooting behind.
This century's quotes
"Over the long haul of life on this planet, it is the ecologists, and not the bookkeepers of business, who are the ultimate accountants."
- Stewart Udall, 1970
"Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end"
Ted is a from Crockett/Sunrise lines, with some Cover Dog blood from his dam's side. Ted has earned eight shooting dog placements in his career, and has a lot of wild birds shot over his points.
"Cody" - Wenaha Code Red
Cody is from Jetsetter X Johnny's Jewel. He has wins at the Western Open AA Derby Classic, the Oregon Shooting Dog CH AA derby, was R-U CH in the 2015 Pacific Coast CH and the 2015 California Quail CH.
"Andy" Wenaha Black Storm
Andy is 16 months old - a son of Tekoa Mountain Patriot X Iron Mistress - a daughter of Grid Iron.
"Buddy" - Wenaha Strongheart
Buddy is from Robertson's Kennel - a son of Audubon Americus X Sunrise's Last Hope - a direct daughter of Tekoa Mountain Sunrise. He was whelped in June of 2015. A really nice pup and I am having fun with him.
"L.J." Wenaha Little John
L.J. is by Cody and Crockett's Prairie Breeze, a daughter of Crockett's Deep Freeze. He is now living in Colorado and enjoying life as a family bird dog.