|Wild Apple LJ|
The title of this post may sound like a football score but it is in fact the number of birds we found today. We started off with Trash in a cover that produced no birds and then ran Lj in the No Name Cover. LJs first find was a group of six grouse he then went on to have a number of grouse finds ending with one almost back to the truck to give us a bird count of 16 grouse moved. We then went to Red Barn to run Frankie because it’s relatively flat and at this time of year pretty easy running. Remember Frankie is still recovering from pretty serious training injury. I haven’t been in Red Barn since hunting season started but Tony often runs a dog down through it at the end of the day and claimed he’d been averaging five or six grouse a hunt. Right now the grouse are still eating ferns, cinquefoil, and catkins especially alder catkins which makes Red Barn prime grouse habitat now. We broke him away at 12:30 and within ten minutes he pointed a single, then there was a group of 5, then 2, then more and more and more. It took us a long time to get to the end of the cover and back — we crossed the bridge into section 4 — but by the end of it we had seen, shot at, or heard 24 grouse.
Even more amazing then the number of grouse we moved is the fact that Frankie won’t be 2 until January 10 (really), 2013 and LJ won’t be 2 until May, 4 2013. LJ pointed his lsat bird as staunchly as he pointed the first bunch of twelve and maybe the most amazing find of the day was Frankie on bird number 20. He was more than 200 yards away when the Garmin buzzed in Tony’s pocket and by the time we got to him the bird had run out. When Tony sent him on he went about 75 yards and pointed again. When we got to him the bird flushed. I don’t know many shooting dogs that could have seen that many grouse in one hunt and not had the wheels come off. For both these young dogs you can attribute their abilities to three things: First, they are genetically programed to be great grouse dogs — Wild Apple Jack and Stokely’s Al B are two of the best grouse dogs I have ever known. Second, they have seen more grouse in two seasons then most dogs see in a lifetime. And finally, Tony and I have put untold hours and miles into bringing them to this point. Today was just one more step along the way but it’s definitely a journey that we want to continue.
When I got home I ran Trip around a shortened loop on the Home Course and she pointed a couple more grouse to give me a daily total of 42 grouse. Not Bad!
Thursday, Trip and Veronica are headed to see Dr. Pratt over in Vermont for their Ovuplant implants. If things go as they did last time we used Ovuplant (there’s an article about it here on the blog) they should be breed in a couple of weeks making for February puppies. Trip will be bred again to Jack and Veronica (Wynot Ace X Angela’s Wild With Style) will be bred to LJ. I already have a number of people who have expressed interest in puppies — with two litters we probably have a few still available. There is also rumors of a Frankie litter in the near future. Stay tuned for details.