One of the great pleasures of spring is listening to the woodcock sing. Last night I drove up to one of our training covers and waited for it to get dark. At 7:34 I heard the first woodcock fly and then begin his mating song. over the next 20 minutes I identified at least four different males around this large field. Tonight we stood outside the house at about the same time and eventually we could hear at least three different male woodcock. We have two more really hot days in the forecast and then we should return to more seasonable temperatures both here and in Rhode Island for the championship this weekend.
During the day today we worked dogs. Our first brace was Jack and Frankie in one of our regular covers and we moved five woodcock on three finds.
On the first one Jack was close to 500 yards away when the Garmin buzzed and Frankie found him and backed before I got to them. I waited a minute or two for Tony to catch and neither Jack who is 8 and Frankie who is still a puppy moved. You’d expect nothing less from Jack but to see a puppy Frankie’s age do it and stay broke for the flush and shot is pretty impressive. And to prove it wasn’t a fluke he back Jack on his two subsequent finds including one where the bird acted like a liberated quail on a rainy it day. It walked a
little then flew about five feet before bury itself in the grass on the edge of the field. Both dogs saw all this and never moved. Here’s a picture of Frankie on his first back today.
The second brace of the day was Tony’s other puppy, Trash, and my puppy LJ. They both ran well with no bird work until after I picked up LJ when we got back to the truck. Tony took Trash a little further on and was rewarded when she had two grouse finds in quick succession.
Tom Parker joined us for the final brace and we ran Trip and his dog Veronica. By that time it was getting hot and both dogs held up well with Veronica digging out a woodcock out on the limb late in their brace. The bird had apparently walked off as Trip almost ran over it before she knew it or Veronica were there.