Chad and I hit the road early last Thursday for a two day blast down south. Joining us for Thursday only, was another good friend Mike and his young yellow lab Alice. How was work on Friday Mike?
Chad also has a new addition to our hunting party. Baily is a spitting image of Chad’s seasoned lab Josie, and as things looked from the field, she’s gonna be a great hunter. At 1 1/2 she did a great job of working the field and finding us birds. Hitting the first field on Thursday morning with 3 hunters, 2 young dogs and 2 seasoned vets felt unreal. Watching two young dogs work with two seasoned hunting machine’s was an experience I have not enjoyed in a number of years. Watching the pups learn, work the field and flush some of their first birds was rewarding in itself, plus shooting a few roosters along the way, made this a fantastic trip all around.
We found a lot of corn standing, which made for a lot of miles on the hunters as well as the dogs. The first field we hit gave us a big goose egg, not a single bird flushed. We drove to our next field feeling a little down in the dumps based on what we just saw, nothing. Finding some hunters at our next location was not a welcome thing. This was a field that in the past has always held a lot of birds for us. We made the decision to hunt this field and learned a very important thing, good dogs and a well made game plan make all the differance in the world. We worked the dogs into the wind, slow and steady along the edge of the corn. It was not long and birds were flushing right under out feet. After a few “shoot and release” birds, we put the first one in the bag. The rest of the day was spent in run and gun mode. We looked for grass close to cut corn, it was hard to find, but if a guy was willing to put on some miles, it was there and full of birds. We ended the day right at sun down in a very wet WMA. This field was right across the street from a standing corn field that was being cut. We made the decision to start there in the morning. We cleaned our birds, had a few cold beers and shared things from the days hunt. Watching the dogs work is one of my favorite parts of the hunt. In our groups of dogs, the two old labs point, and it just does not get any better then watching them lock up on a bird, even better when that bird is a rooster. Man, I love this stuff!
Mike had to leave early in the morning on Friday to get back to work at 10-am. Chad and I left with the dogs for our first field. We had heavy fog and high hopes that would help keep the birds in the grass a little longer. It did! Chad’s dogs where the star of the show on Friday morning, getting 3 of our 4 birds. Baily was a machine on Friday morning working the field like a pro, at 1 1/2 she hunted like a seasoned dog. Her first solo flush and retrieve was fun to watch, even better to see the look on Chad’s face, rewarding would be an understatement. After all his hard work with the pup, it all came together over one flush. The rooster hit the ground on Chad’s first shot and Baily was right on top of that bird. I was just happy to be there to share this, Amazing feeling! Champ ended our days hunt with one of the best points I have witnessed him pull off. I was 15 feet from the edge of the cut corn in some tall red grass, cross wind, and the dog circled around and heads right to the edge of the cut corn. One small clump of grass on the edge of the field and the dog locks up and does not budge. I walked up and looked at this clump of grass, expecting to see the bird. Champ, solid as can be, holds point like a rockstar. I stood there taking as much of this in as I could, finally I could not take it anymore and told Champ to “get em” The bird busts out of the grass and all I could see was color against the blue sky. Beautiful point and its a rooster, the God’s are shining. I pulled up on the bird, let it get out a little ways before I pulled the trigger, down it went. Tag team action, great point by Champ and a great retrieve by Baily.
We ended our trip on Friday at 11-am with our 4 birds for the day, two tired hunters and 3 dogs ready and willing to crawl into their kennels for the drive home. Chad and I cleaned birds and hit the road. As we were driving down the dirt road we ran across this bird eating a snake. Really cool bird, even cooler to see this thing up close and personal. We drove home talking about the hunt, the dogs and poor Mike who had to work on Friday-
Great hunt guys, looking forward to our next trip!