Between working a truckload of dogs everyday and a washout on Friday, we had to rescue Big Thud and his RV Saturday evening which meant we didn’t get to eat the lobsters he brought until after 10 pm. All the dogs are making progress here at camp. The one disappointment of the summer is the size of the broods we’ve been finding. The biggest one was 7 birds the average seems to be around 3 or 4 young grouse in a brood. This can be attributed to a number of factors. First there was a very poor mast crop last fall and the birds may not have been in top condition going into the winter which the studies say results in a reduction in the number of eggs laid the next spring. Add to that a cool and damp end to the nesting season and there was most likely a pretty high mortality rate for chicks in the first few days of life when they are most vulnerable.
Fortunately we literally have hundreds of native woodcock around in various covers that we rotate our training schedule through. Today was the perfect example as we moved 14 or 15 woodcock and 9 or 10 grouse many of the grouse were singles or pairs. There was one brood that had four and the hen.
Today a couple of the young dogs made real progress. Jagger was really hunting and found 7 of the woodcock — he pointed most of them and is standing them longer all the time indicating to me that he is now ready to get back in the bird field and get staunched up on pigeons. He would have easily been dog of the day if Brandy hadn’t had a big breakthrough. She’s been finding both woodcock and grouse as she is hunting the cover hard but has been only flash pointing them until this weekend. Sunday Big Thudd and I sent her into a patch of cover and followed her in and were rewarded with her slamming on the brakes and twisting herself up like a pretzel as she had her first pointed woodcock. Today I ran her in a new place where she found and then knocked and chased a grouse then looped back around and boosted a second one in the same area. A little bit later in the workout her bell stopped to the left of the skidder road I was on. When I got to her she was high and tight on both ends and then broke when I flushed the grouse. We’re going to have a lot of fun with her this fall!!!!
We also spent time this weekend clipping dogs. Here’s Max with his new haircut. He must of felt turbocharged by the clipping Big Thudd gave him as he was really a handful in this morning’s workout.