Wednesday, February 24, 2010

catching up

The club hunt test went pretty well. I was assigned to help the bird planters. I learned quite a bit from Gary Wilson from New York. Really nicy guy and willing to help you learn. The hunt test on Sunday morning had some issues with the birds not wanting to fly. The trialers seemed to think it had something to do with the planting. This was not the case. Even thought they bitched about it. A new set of planters didn't make the situation any better.
Dolly did ok on her final puppy stakes. She had a fantastic find of a big rooster Pheasant. The gunners were not allowed to shoot and Dolly thought that just wasn't right. She decided she wanted to go find that bird that got away. Not what you want at a trial.
North Tx. had a practice day about 3 weeks after that. I got to do a bunch of gunning. Much more than I really should have. But I just couldn't miss. I came home with a bag full of Pheasant and made pheasant salad.

Dolly and I made our debut at an HRC event. I entered her in a started event. Pretty easy stuff for her. The judge was very impressed with her. He told me he would go hunting with my dog any day. She got her first pass and brought home a ribbon. YAY

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Training day --- whoopee

Our club is having our first hunt test and trial in about two weeks. This weekend we are gonna have a training day / dry run. It ought to be real interesting. We have several personality types that go together like gasoline and matches. I mostly try to do my part and keep my mouth shut. It keeps me warm.
I show up for the shooting and the practice for the dog. She is having steadiness issues right now that require an in her face attitude.
I really would like to take home a Blue ribbon in the puppy stakes. That would look so good!

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Well whoda thunk it was possible that Ft.Worth would ever get a blizzard. Yet here it is Christmas eve and I just heard on the radio we are to expect snow, ice and 40 mph winds. It was 65 degrees out yesterday. I almost broke out my shorts. Well if you know about Texas you know what they say about the weather here. Just wait a few minutes and it will change.

Monday, October 26, 2009


Finally competed in my first field trial. Rode with my puppys breeder all the way from North Texas to central Kansas.
We decided to stay at the "Barn" instead of going back to the motel in Harper. Not a completely bad idea. It was plenty fun and we had a great time. The drawback was that this place was LITERALLY in the middle of nowhere. it was so remote that there was no electricity. When we needed to have light or hot water we had to run the generator.
Dolly had a small foul up in her first puppy run. actually she did exactly what she was trained to do but failed to mark her one flushed bird. So we waited til Sunday for the North Oklahoma trial. To say I was nervous is an understatement. Dolly finally opened up and her pattern got real smooth and fluid. She made two traps without doing anything crazy. I cast her off after bird number 3 and she made all of 5 steps when I saw her head snap left -- she broke into an up field run and I about had a heart attack!!!
At over 30 yards out she made a maneuver I have never seen any other dog make. when she came up to the bird she planted her right foot while the rest of her body was in motion around the bird. The bird flushed just as her butt hit the ground in this wild maneuver. The bird was shot and she retrieved to hand completing her run. I was so pumped going back to the trailer I didn't know what to tell Dolly -- So I looked at her and said "that'll do Dolly"
We decided to leave Kansas behind shortly after and headed for home. We got the news later from Dolly's trainer Mark who stayed for the awards. I think everyone was shocked at the announcement of that one Most especially me.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Kansas here we come!

Just getting all that I will need for the next four days together. I will need to look at what the weather will be like there. I will pack for warm, rain and cold so I should be covered no matter what. Seems I need way more than I can carry.
The excitement is starting to build, but I will just play it cool like nothing is up. I don't want to get the dog all nervous. That would be all I need, a nervous dog!
I'll be alright -- just remember to use the whistle and hand signals. Remember 1 for stop 2 for turn 4 for come back --- simple --- yeah right.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

practice day

Took Dolly out to the grasslands to run her on some live birds today. She is doing quite well but, she is having some obedience issues. Steadiness is not a problem, once a bird is put up she puts it in park just like she has been taught. The problem comes afterwards. Laser beam focus on marking the bird seems to distract her from listening to commands. If a bird is not hit she will want to chase after she is released, instead of returning. I suppose you could chalk it up to determination and drive. Not a big deal, just one more item to add to the list of things to work on. All I can hope for is that the gunners in Kansas put down all the birds she puts up. We will add working on "gone away" to our list.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


The cool weather has decended upon North Texas. It feels wonderful not to be broiled on a daily basis. The cool weather also signals the start of hunting season.
My prodigal bird dog has returned home. Having spent the majority of the summer in Mississippi, she seems to be wound tight. I think being housed in a kennel for the past three months with minimal exposure to play and love has a bit of a brainwashing effect. Now that she is out of the cage and and moving around more freely, her wild, unruly side has returned. We are traveling next week to Kansas for a big field trial, my hope is that a portion of the training she had is still in there.
I had an invitation to hog hunt with a co-worker this weekend. He produced pictures of a monster he had recently harvested. If this is one of the many feral swine present in Texas, all I have to say is we are not removing nearly enough of them.