Tony and Thudd rolled in about 8:30 this morning ready to work dogs. We put six dogs in my truck and headed for the woods. We were trying to avoid the covers we normally train in and really didn’t expect to find many birds today. The fact that we found as many as we did where we did is just another testament to the strength of the grouse and woodcock population this spring. We started out with LJ and Trash running in a cover that was cut really hard a few years ago. We went further in and moved four grouse back up the brook and then came out to the edges of the biggest opening where small clumps of whips are starting to take hold. Here we moved four woodcock and a fifth grouse most of them pointed. Giving us five grouse and four woodcock with a couple of puppies. We then moved to a cover for Little Thuddy. Tony gave him a little more rope and he ran well. We flushed a grouse and he found three woodcock. Trip and Frankie were up next. It wasn’t looking good for them as we were headed back towards the truck. Big Thudd saw a grouse running on the ground and it flushed with neither dog involved. Frankie got out a couple hundred yards and went on point. When we got to him Trip came in and backed. Whatever had been their was gone as Tony made a flushing attempt that covered a rather large area. The dogs crossed the road and Frankie locked up about fifty yards from us. Trip backed again and a woodcock was flushed.
That meant all five of the dogs down had been involved in bird work. That put the pressure on Big Thudd and Rigby who was also running alone today. Tony thought he heard a grouse flush at one point we counted it but couldn’t give credit to Rigby. Late in her run, she was only about ten yards away when she slammed into a point that left her twisted a little bit like a pretzel. The three of us surrounded the small clump of cover she was pointing and a woodcock lifted. I think Big Thudd let out a big sigh of relief as he was beginning to think Rigby would be the only without bird work. Shortly after her woodcock a grouse flushed out of a tree to give us one more bird to add to the count. I think that totals out for 9 grouse and 9 woodcock for the day. Not bad when you think about the fact that we are staying out of our “good” covers now.