Saturday, March 25, 2017

Renewed threats to Public Lands and cyanide bombs

I expect that most people most likely to be effected know by now that public lands are again threatened by the very short term thinking (thinking??) of Washington politicos. It's the Sagebrush Rebellion all over again. Cliven Bundy must be thrilled. Well maybe not, because he would have to actually buy, or at least pay taxes on, the land that he has grazed so long for free.

That's right. The pendulum has swung back to those extractive industries that currently pay bottom dollar to graze, scrape, dig, and log our public lands. OUR public lands. That they view as potentially THEIR PRIVATE lands.

Turning Federal lands over to the states is a potential bonanza for the states and their special friends. How long would it take for these states to sell, or even give away, these lands. And our access to these lands would be done. Forever.

Please support groups who are opposing public lands transfer - Trout Unlimited and Back Country Hunters and Anglers This is the least that you can do.

I have also been reading Greg McReynolds latest post on A Mouthful of Feathers about the continued use of cyanide bombs that are deadly to anyone who stumbles across one. They are designed to kill coyotes but are just as attractive to your bird dog - and just as deadly. There is no excuse for setting these deadly booby traps on any land - public or private.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

L. J. -- lucky dog!

L.J. has a new home with a bird hunter in Colorado. He gets to go hunting quail, has a nine year old playmate, and gets to live in the house with his (very happy) new owner.

Pointing quail...

Friday, December 9, 2016

Black Brant

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...

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Pete has gone over to the Dark Side

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.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Re-homing L.J.

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)

Friday, October 28, 2016

Can you find the 'doodle?


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

In New Hampshire

I'm vacationing in New Hampshire with my wife Dianne and she let me spend a couple days hunting grouse and woodcock.  Lots of fun.  The lodge keeps a blog, here is their post from yesterday.

tall timbers blog