Need some birds….NOW

Anybody else sick of deer hunting?  This year has been especially torturous to me due to terrible acorn crops in the woods and the fact that the 3 deer I passed up early and the one that I shot that dropped on the other side of the property line I hunt were the only deer I’ve had opportunities to put in the freezer.  Normally, I would be long done by now, but alas…I feel the need to spend a couple more days and hopefully put one or two down.  The end can’t come soon enough.  Last Tuesday I did opt to take a quick bird hunt rather than sit in the woods with my muzzleloader…”For the dog”…you understand of course.  It was a nice day, too nice to deer hunt anyway.  We hit the woods only to find a truck parked in one of my favorite covers.  2 miles up the road I put the dog on the ground for the first time in well over a month.  We did a little obedience testing on the way back to the brushy valley I wanted to hunt and it went well.  It was the first hunt with the Sportdog 2525.  A beep was all it took to ensure compliance when excitement got the better of my partner and it was shaping up to be a fine hunt.  We made it about half way through the thick cover with no signs of life when Gus got a little too far ahead of me.  I whistled to him to bring him back.  I heard him turn and then run by me.  As I called again it was apparent he was not able to get a fix on my position although he was looking for me.  I shouted WHOA and beeped his collar.  Then there was no sound at all.  I tried again to get him to come…nothing.  I circled back to his last known position and found nothing.  This is not terribly unusual for Gus…once in a while he realizes I’m not in sight he keeps hunting while he’s trying to locate me…no sense in being inefficient he figures I suppose.  It should be said that even 40 or 50 yards in this cover can keep even a white dog against teh brown background pretty well concealed.  It’s THICK.  More than once I’ve had trouble finding him after the bell went silent on a point. After 25 minutes I was getting a little nervous.  I finished my cast and then walked the fire road back towards the truck calling all the while.  As I got within sight of the truck I noticed a white ball curled up by the driver’s door (near where I had earlier relieved myself of the mug of coffee I drank on the way up incidentally) As he heard me, he rocketed to his feet and came to a perfect heel tail wagging furiously.  The rest of the day he never got out of sight range of me.  I think the garmin and maybe a remote activated locator moved up the “gear to get” list.  We did finish the day with one good point on a bird that as near as I can figure was on the run ahead of us.  I think he flushed wild but I can’t be certain.  Hopefully the coming weeks will yield some better times in the field with birds cooperating, and better dog/handler work.  

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