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.
James Lee Mansell, RIP
1 week ago