After a big day on Monday with 16 birds, we only found seven woodcock this morning. Jack and Ginger had the day off but it was more humid this morning then it had been for the last couple of days — it was also very still. Ker-B had the first find of the morning with Wild Apple June backing within 50 yards of the truck. The find of the day came in the second brace when Trey’s bell stopped and then we called Abbie in to the area and her bell promptly stopped. I assumed she was backing until we found them both on the old sawdust pile looking into the edge in different directions (see picture) when we went in front of them they each had a woodcock.
After we had run the older dogs we got out Mariah for a little more double teaming on the rope. There are two points to this technique: one is to get the dog to recognize the handler as the safe base and the other is to get it to submit to your authority. Mariah is getting both ideas after two sessions. Tomorrow we will do it again and will let her go beyond the end of the rope. When she will finally come to me every time without stimulation it will be time to let her run in the woods again. When we pair a young dog with an older experienced dog in the woods for training and exposure to birds, they have to stay with you and come when you call them in to share in the birds. We’ve seen it over and over, after a relatively short period of this the young dogs will be hitting the cover on their own and finding their own birds. In the meantime, they have also learned how to back. With a young dog like Mariah the objective is to get her finding and holding birds well enough to give us shooting opportunities in the fall. We have a couple of covers that are pretty reliable for woodcock throughout the season that we reserve for the puppies — hopefully Mariah will be ready for prime time come October.