Ted and I ran in the AFTCA Region 11 Amateur Walking Shooting Dog Championship at Little Panoche Wildlife Area this weekend. There were 16 dogs entered, all with AF placements and some of them already champions.
Ted ran for an hour, had four solid broke finds, two backs, a stop-to-flush and finished well with no errors. I was very happy with my young dog - his best performance yet.
The winner was Kelly's Rebel Maggie, pointer female, second brace--owned and handled by Sean Kelly. This is her 14th championship win! The runner-up was "Tuffy", a Sheldon Twer customer dog run by Jim Wolthuis in the 8th brace. Maggie had five finds and "Tuffy" had six. I could be ungracious and note that the six finds came in the final brace after the course had been 'reseeded' with birds multiple times... but I won't.
Chukars are a pointing dog’s delight. They covey in large numbers and provide great singles and doubles shooting after a covey flush. These great game birds are available on public ground to anyone that takes time to learn the trade.
In the Northwest, open, south facing slopes with rocky rims and outcroppings are good places to start searching for birds. Look for tracks in roadside dust, or droppings in basin heads, saddles and on rock outcroppings. When I find these signs, I park and walk a loop bracketing the elevation where I suspect the birds are, going out a quarter to half a mile or more, looping back above or below my original line of travel. Once you find the level the birds are at, hunt laterally across the slope at that level. Conventional wisdom, which is correct in my experience, says don't hunt up towards the birds, they will just run uphill and flush at the ridge top without (usually) offering a shot. I try to stay out of sight when working to flush birds in front of a point -- and approach from the side at (or slightly below) the level you suspect the covey is holding.
To kill chukars consistently, you must hunt them aggressively - cover all the likely areas in a basin head or rim before moving to the next area and pursue immediately after the covey flush. Remember, when that flushed covey lights, they will be scattered and will immediately begin to make efforts to re-assemble, calling and moving up-slope. By aggressively following up, you can disrupt their re-assembly and your dog can find and hold the singles and doubles. - Photo by Clair Kofoed
For more on chukar hunting go to the story Chukars! At UplandJournal.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"