ArtOC, one of my faithful readers took the time to send me pictures of his recent camping and bird hunting trip with his Gordon Setter, Erin, back in Maryland. Since things are pretty dull around here, I thought you guys might be interested in reading about Arts trip. What beautiful woods!
|Art and his Gordon Setter, Erin|
Just got back from my trip to Western Maryland. I didn't go as far west and decided to check out Green Ridge State Forest. It's in Allegany County and consists of 46,000 acres of mostly oak-hickory forest. Erin and I set up camp on Wednesday afternoon and spent some time talking to the staff at the ranger station. They were kind enough to provide a map with some highlighted areas frequented by grouse.
The next morning found us in a mature oak forest with a lot of grape vines that can hold birds if the grapes were productive that summer. We hunted for about two hours when I noticed Erin was getting pretty tired. She's like a perpetual motion machine when she is out but her age is obviously starting to catch up with her. We went back to camp and she took a nice long nap on her rug.
We spent the afternoon checking out some other areas but I thought they had too much heavy briers for her to safely navigate so we just enjoyed the rest of the afternoon riding around and checking some other likely areas. Needless to say, Erin was dog tired when we got back to camp and just took another long nap in the leaves as I started cooking and enjoying the sunset.
The following morning found us back in the grapevines but we didn't put up any birds. I ran into some bow hunters that had been there during the week and they told me that they had indeed put up a few grouse while they were hunting so the birds are there. Unfortunately, they had not seen a deer all week and the speculation was the heavy snow last winter took a pretty heavy toll on the deer.
Anyway, we had a good time but old age is definitely catching up with Erin (and me). She just turned 10 and I think its time for her to slow down a little and take it easy. The mountain terrain and heavy cover is a little too much for her to handle for very long. I know I certainly feel it and she covers 10 steps for every step I take. I'll get her out on some easier hunts but I'll have to keep and eye on her because she doesn't know when to quit. Hopefully, I should be getting a new pup or two in the next year so those birds had better watch out. I added a few photos but it was tough handling the gun, the dog and the camera all at the same time so a lot of pictures were out of focus, too dark to use or by the time I put down the gun got out the camera the opportunity was gone. Anyway the woods were pretty and the weather was great. Too bad I have to go back to work instead of hunting all the time.