Although we’re always serious about the dogs we’re training, amusing things still happen. We were running LJ and Frankie together when Tony asked me to keep an eye on them both as he wanted to make a detour to check on a woodcock nest that we found last week. I took the dogs on and handed him my camera with the instructions to get a shot of the bird if it was still there. He managed to turn the camera on and take three pictures. This is the best one. I guess I should have been more specific about which way to point the lens.
Later in that same run LJ had a nice find on a woodcock. Fortunately I know which way to point the camera.
In the next brace Little Thuddy came prancing out of the woods after the find of the day with something in his mouth. As he got closer, I could see it was a grouse. He brought it right to my hand and fortunately it was stone cold. It was also headless. I told him he was a good dog and Tony sent him back in the woods. In the past I have had two dogs kill grouse in summer training. One was Diamond Solitaire (a setter I had by
’s Blue Diamond) and the other was Autumn Moon in the summer before his derby year. Thereafter, if he screwed up on a bird, Jack Harang and Scott Chaffee always blamed me for “letting” him catch the grouse. I can show you exactly where it happened. He went on point in a stand of poplar whips and I started to him. Suddenly it was like a linebacker had been turned loose as he went forward full blast and then came out trotting with glee as he brought me the ¾ grown grouse. Had he been able I’m sure he would have done a fist pump and a happy dance. Hamilton
Looks like a nice stretch of good weather with a few showers here and there and relatively mild temperatures. The woodcock should be hatching out in numbers soon. The good weather ahead will mean plenty of native woodcock for summer training. If we can get another good stretch in late May and early June it will be a heck of summer and fall for grouse as well. Makes me wish we had gotten Trip bred last winter. We will definitely do it for next year.
Finally, here’s a picture of Rick Claxton’s dog Mike, a younger brother of Jack’s, pointing a turkey in his yard in southern New Hampshire this morning. The turkey hunters are definitely winning as the state fish and game dept. here in
had an aggressive stocking program for turkeys a number of years ago. I keep hoping for a good old fashion winter with 6 or 8 feet of snow and two weeks of temperature below zero to wipe them out up here, but global warming seems to have turned the New Hampshire North Country into turkey habitat.