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This year's group: Debby, Judy, Jan, Mel, Joy & Sarah in the front row. Bob, Aaron, Scott, Linda, Parvin & Jane in the back row.


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FIRST DAY

15 November 2007
38 degrees, sunny & strong winds; reaching 58 degrees, sunny with diminishing winds

Aaron and I met at 6:15 to obtain our hunting sites. We chose 18. New people joining us were Jane from Louisville and Judy & Edj from Colorado. Jane has two wirehairs, Sophie and Shine, both bitches. Judy has a couple of dogs that Aaron has trained to master hunters. Aaron & Mel hunted with Rod & Annie and Judy. They hunted two dogs at a time.

I joined Jane and Sarah. We hunted Dart and Sophie in the AM. We took off east across the field from the parking lot. The other group took off south parallel to the road.

Dart went on point quite early. I missed the bird. She busted another down the field. No one had a shot for that one. Her third bird was running. We tracked it. She finally stayed on it. It flushed. I shot. One shot too! It dropped. Good retrieve. We walked north to objectives and down the tree lines of the next field. Dart pointed in the tree line. The bird popped into the woods. No shot. But it did not go far. She found it again. Pointed. It popped again in the woods. She went over and picked it up. It was one of those shot earlier with steel shot. Coming back down the tree line Dart had a nice solid point on a thicket. I slowly made my way into the thorny cover to find a covey of quail. We knew we’d bring the pups back for that.

We worked south down the east tree line. Dart pointed another pheasant. Sarah came through the tree line to flush it to Jane and me. But the bird flew back down the tree line. We continued down the tree line and found it again. But this time it flew into the next field. Dart found another in the same tree line, but it flew the middle of the south tree line of the next field. We hit the next field east and walked the fields. Dart went on point at the end of the field. It flew toward Jane and Sarah. They shot, but no drop. Sarah did one of those butt shots with steel shot. It made up for our other bird we picked up from someone else.

As we took the east tree line of the next field, Dart went on point again. This one flew so we could shoot. I shot, then Sarah. The bird dropped.

We made our way all the way east to the lake. Let the dogs drink. Then worked out way back to the cars. We saw a coyote run across the field.

We switched dogs. Took Shine the wirehair and Quinn. We ran for a short time and found a second covey of quail in the middle of the first field. We were defiantly going to bring the pups back now.

After lunch we took my Shine and Gibson out on 18. Gibson is four months old. Shine ran well. We walked the first field, south then north. Jane and Sarah bumped a quail from the middle of the field that flew to the tree line. I took Shine over to the tree line to find it. He went on a nice point. When I went to flush, I found it to be a pheasant. Shine got his first pheasant! It flew parallel to the tree line and shot my starter pistol. From that point on he stayed in the tree line and hunted it quite more turned on. On the way down another tree line, he found his second pheasant. I sure wish I could have used my big gun on them. He did so well.
Big guys with big guns then came on our plot. We got out of there. Then we took Dart & the two wirehairs & Quinn on of 25 to hit the back of 2 & 3. We found three birds there. One of the wirehairs flushed one and Dart found the other two. Time was almost up. I got one more 15 min run for Shine before we needed to check in.

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DAY TWO

32 degrees, calm; ranging to 58 and sunny.

Scott & Linda and Debby & Bob arrived last night. Debby & Bob lost Friday a couple of weeks ago and don’t have a good gun dog to start. We chose 13 because we needed some luck. We shared the site with a nice old guy with four pointers. He took the south tree line by the parking lot with two of them. Debby and I took the middle of the field parallel to the south tree line. Scott & Linda took the road side.

 

The old guy hunts there every day and knew he had a gold mine in the tree line. He hit his limit in 10 min. He switched dogs and continued to work them down that line.

When Debby and I got to the far tree line Wylie joined us and took our first point. Dart backed him. I went into the line to flush the bird out, but it took off into the trees. Neither one of us had a shot. I couldn't’t even get my gun up through the brush. So we went on down that line. Wylie left. Dart went on point. This time I went into the woods and flushed it back out to the field. Debby took the shot. One shot. It dropped. Dart retrieved.

We continued down that tree line. Then back through the woods to take the tree line the old guy had. He was still there so we decided to go further into the next field. His two dogs were on point in the tree line and he invited us to shoot, since he had his limit. Dart went in and joined the point. He flushed, I shot, it dropped, and Dart and Buck (pointer) went out for the retrieve. Dart brought it back.

We continued on with him down the line for another point. He flushed. Debby shot and Dart retrieved. We then circled the adjacent south field making our way back to the car when Dart went on point in the middle of the field. I flushed. I shot. Dart retrieved. It was 10:00 am and we had our limits.

DC AFC Jeb’s turn. We put the Garmin Astro on Jeb to find out where he was as we ran him. It worked out well. When we couldn't’t see him, I would report that Jeb was 100 yd away….then 150 yds….then 170 yds. Debby would start to call him in. But then he got 200 yds…..she called louder. Then 250 yds. She called louder. Then 280 yds, she call even louder. He started to turn back, I reported him closer and she gave him praise. It worked out very well. We repeated that scenario at least 5-6 times.

After we returned with Jeb, we took Shine out. He went down the tree line. Through the adjacent field. Back up to the road and into 14 up the tree line and circled have the field. He was hunting all the time, but found no birds. No birds were planted on 14.

After lunch I took him to 19 to walk the road between 19 and 21. But no brids had been planted at 19 or 21 for the last few days and finding birds would not be easy. We walked all the way to the end of the road and onto the island. He hunted the whole time. Had a nice point on a pile of feathers. Debby saw me from 19 and joined us. She reported Bea had her first bird shot for her and Jeb too.
Time to check out.

DAY THREE

36 degrees, calm & sunny; reaching high 50's

Mel & Judy joined us (Debby & Bob and Scott & Linda) on 21. Judy is a well known vizsla breeder. She owns Boulder Vizslas. She believes in the dual dog, but doesn't hunt. Mel & Aaron train her dogs in master hunter. She joined us so that she could see her dogs work. I admire anyone who maintains the dual vizsla.

Mel & Judy joined Dart and I with Thunder, Judy's dog. Debby & Bob took the middle tree line with Doc. Scott & Linda took the field parallel to the middle tree line. Mel, Judy and I took the area parallel to the road.

Dart was awful. This was her day to be a derby dog. She joined with Wylie and they cleared the field. We must have seen at least

eight birds fly away.

Everyone's plan went astray. Debby & Bob stayed on the tree line, but Scott & Judy crossed the field to the tree line in the middle of 22. We turned to take the middle of the west field of 21, hoping there might be a bird left. We turned west to follow the south tree line to the mid line of 22. Took that tree line north. Dart was even worse. She saw a guy shoot a bird for his golden and ran over to steal the bird. I told her she could get shot for that. She didn't listen. But I took the bird and apologized like crazy as I gave the bird to the hunters.

We went took the west side of the middle 22 tree line to the cover south of the big field. It was a great place for birds to hide. After following the tracking dogs through the groves of saplings, we found two birds. I shot one for Dart. Thunder and Dart trapped one on the dry lake bed.

Here's the picture of Mel & I with our birds and dogs.

We took Thunder back to the car and got both of Mel's dogs out (Kosmo & Remos) with Dart. We took the "shoot" of 21. We took them west into the second south field of 21. Back up the field to the middle tree line to the cars. No birds found.

Then we took the puppies and the gun-shy geriatrics out.

Shine, Bea, Rooster, Mosey & ?. We took the middle tree line down 21. Linda came to take pictures. Took them into the south field and back.

We didn't find much. Bea found a pair of boxers. Rooster rolled in some good things.

Shine ran the whole tree line down. My astro said he was 300 yds away. I saw him take turn to take

east-west tree line. His break-a-way was fantastic. Then he came back and stayed with the crowd. But he and Bea hunted the whole time.
After lunch, Debby and I took Shine on 18 to find a pheasant to shoot for him. I have had difficulty figuring out when to shoot the big gun. He's only had the pop gun for one month. He never acknowledged it. But, when he hears the big guns he jumps straight up. And sometimes he runs in the direction of the sound. I can't interpret it. George Hickox says that if the dog acknowledges the sound, it's too early. Debby interpreted his reaction as liking the sound. I called Randy and talked to him. He interpret the response similar. Plus, Shine's response to the first

pheasant he found was also an indication he could handle the shot gun. His intensity increased after each pheasant find. I have never seen him so intense after that first pheasant.

So, Debby & I thought we'd find him a pheasant to shoot. We walked east from the parking lot on 18. Walked the top tree lines of the second field. Walked the next north tree lines of the third field. Then to the lake for a drink. He didn't drink.

We were all board on the way back. Shine would look at us trying to figure out why we were still there. But then he found a pheasant in the milo in the field right by the lake. It flew too low to shoot. Shine followed it, then ran across the field and bumped one up. It was too far away to be the same bird. That bird flew into the next field. As we were looking for it, Mel & Aaron flushed one into the north/south tree line between the third & fourth fields of 18. We decided to look for it after we couldn't find the one he had flushed. We took the tree line. You could see Shine pick up the scent. He followed it. Pointed. And sure enough, there was a bird there. He picked it up. It had been previously shot and was too hurt to fly. The good thing was he got a pheasant; the bad thing was we didn't shoot it.

Time was up too soon. I was disappointed we worked so hard to not shoot one for him.

Pictured is Dart & Shine with their pheasants of the day.


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DAY FOUR

45 degrees, calm & sunny; ranging to 65 degrees

It turns out that Scott & Linda, Debby & Bob and me were the only people assigned to Area 3. As soon as we parked, we could hear a cock pheasant talking to us in the tree line right by the cars. Because no one else was on the plot, everyone offered to set up Shine for success in getting his first bird shot for him. These people are definitely generous!

I took him to the end of the tree line (marked "1" in the figure). Bob took the south edge of

the tree line, I took the middle with Shine, and Scott took the north side of the line. Somehow the cock pheasant was gone. As Shine moved down the line, he found a pair of birds right by Bob. He pointed. Bob said it was a beautiful point. Both birds went up; one flew right in the tree line all the way down the line while the other flew across the line toward Scott who had now stepped into the line. Bob took one shot. Scott raised his gun to take a second, but had too many trees in the way. The bird flew out of the line and flew west across the road with Shine in hot pursuit. My biggest fear was coming to be real. Here he was running out in the road chasing a bird. Luckily, there were no cars. I got him to come back into the line. The first shot that Bob took did not phase him. So, I told t he others to bring their dogs out.

Scott & Linda took Taz & Wylie down the south tree line. Bob took Doc on the north side of the north tree line. Debby & Jeb stayed with Shine and I continuing down the north tree line. Bob & Doc were the only ones who found birds. Jeb kept on running bigger than Shine, so we split up around the end of that line. I took Shine back up the line in the field to the south of the tree line. I saw a hen fly into the tree line and knew we'd come across it as we continued up. He found it. Pointed. Then picked it up. Someone else had shot it, but it flew away. This happens too often with the steel shot.

We met up with Bob & Bea (he had changed dogs) coming back down.....and Scott & Linda still working the south tree line. Bob and I then went through the line to work the field south of the south tree line. Bob worked the south side and I worked the north side of the field. As I walked to the end of it, I flushed a pheasant. Shine saw it and began to chase. So, I swung around and shot. One shot. It dropped. He thought that was great. It dropped in front of him. He picked it up. Bea joined him. They played a little keep away. I finally got it from him.

So, now it's 10:00 am and I have my limit with Shine! He took a big step off the porch to run with the big dogs. It was a good day. Shine and I are pictured with his limit and first shot bird.

It was a good hunt in every aspect except Cathy Kottmeier was not there. She died in April. We truly missed her.


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