It’s been over two years since I wrote last. A lot has happened and, at the same time, very little has happened. I’d like to say that this post marks the turning of a new leaf – the renewal of a commitment to writing and to recording my hunting adventures. They are, after all, a reliable journal and it’s always nice to go back to recount past lessons. If I’m being honest, I’m here because I’m bored. The Jazz aren’t playing, I don’t care about the football game that’s on, and my family is out of the house. So, here I am….
I guess we’ll start with the “big” stuff. Had another baby, put down a dog, started a new pup. That pretty much sums it up. Spike was getting more and more anxious with the hustle and bustle of our large family and slew of young children and eventually he started to get testy. One day he went after and bit one of my girls. I don’t know if he felt threatened or what but in the end I don’t care. You bite a child and it’s game over. It was very hard to let him go but it was the right decision. The safety of my kids is number one. And, the more I look back at things, I feel that he was so unhappy and so nervous all the time that it was probably a merciful release for him. Maybe that’s just something I tell myself to cope. I don’t know and, again, don’t care.
The new pup’s name is Oliver’s Cash Me Outside How Bout Dat, call name Cash. He’s the most hard-headed, stubborn, mind-of-is-own dog I’ve ever had or seen, at least as far as Brittanys are concerned. I’ve had Beagles that were much worse but hounds are another story altogether. I brought him home in late winter and he’s a hell of a dog. He is the exact opposite of Spike – he’s driven, hungry, loves birds, and never tires. He’s everything I was looking for. With a lot of help from Curtis he’s doing very well. He was able to catch a few pigeons in early training and we’ve been working him with remote releases since then and he’s doing well. In fact, a week from yesterday we were able to locate a covey of chukar several times and put three of them on the ground. We’d have likely had a limit but he broke point the last two times we got on them and I don’t want to reinforce him by putting a bird on the ground that he didn’t point. Curtis and I have talked long and hard about that theory and I’m not sure where he ended up but it’s my belief that it’s a case-by-case thing. Where Cash has previously caught birds on his own and has a good chance of deciding he doesn’t need my along to get birds, I think it really matters. A dog that has always pointed and happens to bump a few birds, maybe not so much. It certainly isn’t going to harm him to not shoot them and there’s a chance, even if slight, that I could harm him by putting them down.
Anyway, great hunt last weekend. This weekend we went back to see if we could relocate those birds. Again, with direction from “The Dog Whisperer”, the idea was to keep him on birds as frequently as possible. That covey was easy, accessible, and gave him quick success and a lot of learning opportunities in a short and close-to-home hunt. We’ll try a new area or two over Thanksgiving weekend.
That’s going to do it for tonight. I doubt that Curtis will ever post again and maybe I’ll fill you in on some our exploits when I get bored again. I don’t feel it’s my place to share his stories (although he told me a humdinger last night about a deer and small misunderstanding between him and Gunner). I’ll leave you with a few pictures of the recent trips. Maybe it’ll encourage me to work harder when I log back in two years from now…