Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Great Training For Young Bird Dogs

Photos By: Karen Thomason

We decided to go for a drive yesterday, with the Gordons, of course. It was about 45 degrees and cloudy. Weatherman says it's going to rain for 3 days then get worse! Better take advantage before it gets worse. So we packed up dogs, guns, water and snacks and my cameras. Headed to Fat Man mountain. It's one of my favorite places to look for grouse. It's really beautiful and has more light for better photography. It's not too far from home. We drove the whole mountain, then turned around and drove it again. Nothing. Not a thing. So we took the van up the highway and got some gas. The weather was looking like it could rain any time, but we decided to hit it one more time before going home.

Driving the roads may not seem like fun hunting, but it is great training for young bird dogs. When we come up on a grouse, I usually get out and try to get a picture or two, of the grouse, then when the bird runs off the road we get the Gordon out. We don't let the dog SEE the grouse. WE know there's a grouse there and we want her to use her nose. On young pups, we bring them in on a leash for full control.

We drove around a total of 3 hours and did not see a single grouse. Not one! The clouds were getting lower and the rain was coming so we decided to head home. We pulled into the drive way and there were 2 grouse on the side, about 40 feet from the kennels! So THAT'S where they were!! All that driving and they were right here all along. We got Mickey out and let her have a little fun. Several nice points and reposition. Long enough to get several pics. I guess it doesn't matter where the bird is, as long as she gets to point it. Two more birds under her belt. Experience is key.

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