Friday, February 22, 2019

Staked-out

Stake-outs are a great option when weather and ground conditions allow for a good spot to get the truck off the road; in the late season a nice dry wide-spot is often hard to find. The stake-outs give crated dogs an opportunity to stretch their legs and lay in the sun, recover from an earlier hunt, relieve themselves, and get watered-up and fed. The stakes should be kept far enough apart so that dogs can't get tangled in each others chains; this could be disastrous, if not deadly. Each of my stakes has a 30-inch chain on it, and I generally space the stakes about 7-feet apart. With that chain length, and that distance between stakes, dogs can generally just touch noses or paws.  Dog stools are picked-up as generated, which generally occurs within the first ten minutes of being staked-out after the morning ride to the grounds. Bring along a shovel to scoop the poop, and to fill any holes your dogs may dig while stake-out.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Arizona quail

I spent the last 4 days of bird season in SE Arizona hunting Mearn's quail with Pete and two of my dogs - Cody and Buddy. We had a great time and found (some) birds.

I also found a house that I made an offer on, The offer was accepted and we are proceeding to close in Spring. The house abuts the Coronado National Forest and includes about twenty acres of rolling oak savanna. looking forward to spending a lot more time in Arizona.

Cody ready to start  hunting

Sunday, February 17, 2019

TOAST!

Meg and Jill

These two pups had six covey finds in two hours, and covered a bunch of ground on fairly steep terrain. They were DONE! at the end of the hunt. Both pups are holding for the flush and chasing when birds are in the air. Before next season we plan to have them steady to wing and shot.
I like to line my crates with grass hay because, the dogs can burrow in it to stay warm at night, it provides a lofty layer for a dog to lay on after a hunt or while travelling, and it's relatively dust free. You can tell by the disposition of these two that they are perfectly content to be where they're at.....

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Geared Up


The truck was loaded with gear and dogs for our last excursion of the season, four days of hunting in the outback; chukar country. The weather was perfect; cool in the mornings (low 20's) and mild in the afternoons (low 50's); blue skies from dawn till dusk. Green-up from the precip and sunshine of prior weeks made feed plentiful, and sign was fresh in locations were not much had been seen earlier in the season.
We had 6 dogs loaded in crates in the back of the truck, under the canopy, along with our food and dog gear; one more dog in a crate in the back seat along with our personal items, and a puppy loose in the cab.
Seven bird dogs is just about right for a four day hunt; 3 braces a day, approximately 2-hrs each. Six hours of solid hunting each day. On an average day hunters averaged 7-10 miles on the ground; a dog in a two-hour hunt would cover twice that! Amazing! Dogs that were hunted early the first morning would be fresh and ready to go the following morning after being well fed, rested, and doctored; that same prescription goes for hunters. Ibuprofen and Carprofen containers, and wine bottles, were relieved of their fair share of the elixers they contained....


Thursday, January 17, 2019

News From Chukar Country

photo by Holly Higgins
The first half of the season was dry and coming across fresh sign of a covey was generally reserved for a location near water or, on the north and north-east slopes of chukar country. It seems as though some weather and a little green-up have had a positive affect on the birds activity and they are a little more dispersed now than they were earlier. Quite a few hunts early in the season left both hunter and dog with only a humbled heart and sore legs and pads. Finally the dogs have been rewarded for their amazing efforts, and some feathers have been added to the vest.....

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Reflections


Republished in late 2018 by Strideaway, this book is a must-have for the field trialer and bird hunter alike. In this book, the now late, Ed Mack Farrior reflects on the great handlers and bird dogs of a bygone era, resurrecting them in narrative form for our reading pleasure. It's a hard-to-put-down read with a ton of great illustrations. The book is available at www.strideaway.com.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Derby Winners

Photo by Jamie Marks
Both Indian Head Pistol (Pete) and Indian Head Intrigue (Jill) are coming along nicely. Although not completely finished on their birdwork, both have the necessary ground game to be competitive at the derby-age level; which is approximately two-years-old and younger. At a recent field trial Pete and Jill placed 1st and 3rd respectively (the second place dog is not shown in the picture). Derby's are not required to be steady to wing and shot in the fall, but come spring they should be "broke" and act mannerly at the flush and shot; which is to say, they don't break and chase the bird as it's flushed and a shot fired, they wait to be released.