Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Old dogs rule

I have two setters in my life: Rosie (7 years) and Silk (13 years). Rosie is a wide-ranging, stylish girl, and I love to watch her cover open ground. Silk works much closer - a good match for quail in our California chaparral. Though she is intense on point, she does not have Rosie's style or grace.

It seems strange that I kill about as many birds over each of them. One might expect that Rosie's wider range would give her an advantage but it just doesn't work out that way. I hunted chukar over the weekend and Silk had more points, including a single bird on a hillside that she relocated three times before pinning. Rosie inadvertently bumped one covey - there was almost no breeze and I think she just ran over them. But cautious, slower Silk never had that problem.

Rosie hunts the hillsides way over there and I appreciate that she saves me the steps, particularly on steep chukar slopes. Sometimes she'll find birds that I would have missed. Silk hunts nearer to me, and since I walk through the most likely cover, she spends more of her time in amongst the birds.

So, I love them both for what they are and don't worry about what they aren't.


danontherock said...

I have always loved my older dogs


Dale Hernden said...

Your absolutely right. We should appreciate our hunting partners as individuals and work with what they are. Each is an individual just as we are.

jeff said...

"Loving them for what they are"

Excellent all-around advice for Thanksgiving.

Shawn K. Wayment, DVM said...

Never met a bird dog that I didn't love! My ol' Ginny Girl was my true soul mate! I like a close working and one that gobbles up (appropriate for today...being turkey day)the'll find lots more birds that way specially out here in the West!

Mike Spies said...


Do you think this could be stretched to include old hunters?

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Ron said...

" them...for what they are and don't worry about what they aren't."

That says it all, doesn't it? Bird dogs, spouses, children, friends.

I really enjoy this blog. I am relatively new at "living with bird dogs" and I find the writing by all of you to be very inspiring. Thanks!

HD55 said...

I really enjoyed this post, and plan to spend a good while going through this whole blog. Thanks

Keep up the good work