Friday, October 21, 2016

New pup on the team

Buddy - Audubon Americus X Sunrise's Last Hope

Friday, October 14, 2016

Mapping applications and the iPad

I've travelled to many western states hunting upland birds and have used mapping applications extensively for several years.  My opinions:

OnX Hunt has great data.  The base maps are good and the ownership data is tremendously useful.  It all works well when you are online, either with LTE or with wifi.  However, the off line map feature is awful.  It is very difficult to select the data for download, the download process is horribly inefficient, and I've seen the saved data go strangely corrupt in the field.  I still use it but would prefer an alternative.

Montana Hunting 2016 is far stronger - but is only available for Montana.  I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to use public land or block management land in Montana.

There are other mapping apps with only forest service information but I've not tried that route.  The private land ownership overlay is key to bird hunters.

I expect that apps will improve over time.  Apps plus an iPad are definitely the way to go hunting public land in the western states.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Competition in the dove field

Pete and I had a great time on the opener in Imperial County, California. The weather was very warm (112 degrees F) by one o'clock on the 31st when we were scouting locations. The opener was a bit cooler with a slight breeze. We did well enough to return on Saturday to try for a few more birds.

During the Saturday shoot Pete downed a whitewing in heavy brush. Going to retrieve his bird he was warned off by the buzzing of a rattlesnake. Not long after we found this four foot long rattler swallowing a whitewing dove. This is likely the same bird Pete downed a little earlier. Be careful out there...

Monday, July 25, 2016

A dog's life could be a lot better

I was in Jamaica last month. Jamaica, like most third world countries, is hard on animals - especially dogs. Over the years we have adopted a number of dogs at our place in Jamaica and fed quite a few as well. Daily survival for many people in Jamaica does not leave much bandwidth for caring for animals. 

In 2009 Tammy Browne of Montego Bay, Jamaica committed to action on behalf of these stray animals that would otherwise have short and hungry lives. The Montego Bay Animal Haven began. Tammy funded this out of her own pocket and she shelters these dogs at her home near Montego Bay. Since 2009, approximately 1,000 animals have been re-homed. Tammy is active in education at schools in Jamaica and is promoting animal wellness with a rolling programme of clinics, run in conjunction with both local and overseas veterinary professionals. When I spoke with Tammy, she had nearly 100 dogs in her care. These dogs are mostly medium sized, brown "street dogs"… what Tammy calls Royal Caribbean Terriers. This work is a full-time job, but not a paying business. She depends on donations to do this work. 

Interestingly, and counter to the claims made by HSUS and other organizations that appeal for funds to 'save the animals', no kill shelters in many parts of the USA seem to have a shortage of adoptable dogs and are importing them from Mexico, the Phillipines, Bosnia, and Jamaica. Tammy has established a relationship with Baypath Humane Society, a no-kill shelter based in Boston, MA.

It is, in my experience, rare to find someone with the courage and commitment to act as Tammy has done. But knowing her, I cannot imagine that she would do otherwise. If you would like to help, send a check to:

PO Box 7022
Reading PO,
St James, Jamaica
I promise that your dollars will be well spent.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

A master passes

"It is easy to forget that we die only seven times more slowly than our dogs."-- Jim Harrison, The Road Home

Rest in Peace, Jim. You lived life and instructed us all.

Monday, March 14, 2016

L. J. -- First trial, first placement

The youngest of my dogs, L.J. (for Little John) is 14 months old. He is the pup that had his airway cleared recently by surgery on his elongated soft palate. He is still in Montana with John McItrot while I recover from surgery for back ailments.

I had asked John to put L.J. in the derby at the Great Falls trial if the entry permitted and he thought L.J. was ready. I thought it would be good experience for the young dog.

Got a text from John on the weekend. L. J. placed second in the All-Age Derby event with a nice run. So his qualification is now in hand and we can move forward with his training.

John McIltrot styles up L.J. in a training session. Leaving L.J. in Montana for development and training was the right thing for him, I think.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Eagles at work

Saw this on BBC this AM...

Eagles trained to take down drones

Continue on.