17 & 9

Seventeen and Nine is not our record – it is the score. Rich Claxton came up this morning to work dogs with Tony and I, and we made our last trip out to one of our training for the last time until July. We didn’t break away the first brace of dogs until 10:09 this morning and we picked up the last brace at 12:45. In between we moved 16 grouse and 9 woodcock on the way out we saw one more grouse in the road to make the count 17 and 9.

Mike backing his big brother Wild Apple Jack



Jack on a woodcock find this morning.

Rich and I started out with Wild Apple Jack and his younger brother Mike. Jack had a nice find on a woodcock and Mike came in to back. We left them down almost an hour and ended up moving 3 woodcock and 2 grouse. While we were off doing that, Tony spent some quality time with his charge Little Thuddy. Thuddy ran well handling pretty good and Tony has been doing a lot of yardwork with him. Today Thuddy had a nice point on a grouse and then ripped it out right in front of Tony. After he took out two more Tony decided it was time to move to the next stage in training. He spent some time heeling and whoaing Thuddy and then adding the bellyband. Now that Thuddy has been introduced to that Tony will start staunching him up with the bellyband. So, now we were at 3 woodcock and 6 grouse (counting the road bird). Frankie was next up and we ran him until he had a piece of bird work. He had a nice find on a grouse but the bird sat tight when Tony walked within 15 feet of it. Frankie bumped it when he was asked to relocate. Now we were at 3 WC and 7 grouse with one brace left to run.



Frankie on one of the 17 grouse moved today.

LJ and Trash were next and were broken away at 11:45 am with high bright sun and rising temperatures. This wasn’t exactly prime bird finding weather and we were running two puppies, but if you’d been up on the road while we made our way down through the cover you would have thought Northern New Hampshire was being invaded. Garmin buzzer kept going off and birds were flushing everywhere as the two puppies exchanged finds. By the time we came out of the woods we had moved another 6 woodcock and 10 grouse. On one of Trash’s finds the grouse sat extremely tight and turned out to have one egg under her when she flushed. Another hen grouse was flushed from a spot where she had cleared out a small depression in the gorund but had not yet laid an egg. If things go according to form, 41 days from now that egg and the rest of the hens clutch will be hatching out. If the weather holds we should have a bunch of both long and short beaked birds in that cover.

When the Grouse flushed, we found one egg in the nest she left.


LJ on one of his woodcock finds today.


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