Finally, after a couple of more days with small bird counts we finally had a more typical morning with all dogs getting involved with birds and a morning total of 16 woodcock moved. Saturday our puppy Mariah got her first shot at a wild bird and slammed into a picture perfect point . . . that lasted about a ten count before she moved up to get a better whiff and the woodcock lifted. We then brought her on a find of Ginger’s and I was able to get a hold of her. She stood for the flush on this bird and then went a little crazy as far a her handling went. Monday morning she ran all over the place not listening nor staying with us. She’s back on the yardwork plan and off the truck for a few days. As you can see from the picture she’s pretty stylish on point . . . hopefully we’ll be able to get a handle on her soon so she can get the experience on wild birds before the guns come out this fall. Saturday we even had a gallery as our wives came along for the walk.
Trip is starting to get the hang of things and is hitting the cover more each time out. We have been calling her in to have her back the more experienced dogs and today she began stopping on her own and got her nose on a bird. She’s been running with Abbie who has pointed hundreds of woodcock and knows how to dig them out. The picture of Trip was when she was backing Abbie.
Sunday we went up on an old farm near here that at one time was good for double digit finds on grouse and woodcock in the early 90s. It grew up and then was re-cut. It’s starting to hold birds again although we were only able to dig out a couple of woodcock in locations that are pretty dependable. We expect the rain we’re supposed to get today and tomorrow to further improve conditions.
Mariah is going to get the double rope treatment for a few day to help collar condition her and hopefully get her a little more focused on me. the way we do this is to use two ropes. Tony held her close to him and held the transmitter. When I call her, he lets her go and pushes the button which he holds down until she reaches the safety of me. We’ll do this 2 or 3 times a session until she realizes that coming to me is the best place to be. I’ll try to get some pictures of this for a later post.