Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving Chukar Hunt

Got out yesterday for a chukar hunt. Just me, the dog and an entire mountain to ourselves. I was reminded why I enjoy chukar hunting so much. The solitude, wide open spaces and lonely yellow hills where the chukars live was just what I needed. The hike was strenuous but rewarding and my knees actually held up throughout the hunt.
My dog Hazel did great! She had good range, hunted hard and was always in control. She is such a good dog. Me, I was not so good. I totally screwed up and learned a costly lesson. She had a beauty of a point on top of a ridge. I walked up to her from the side approaching where I believed the birds would be. I was about 20 feet in front of Hazel and I walked around and around expanding expanding a circle about 50 feet out in front of her nose but no birds. ?! Hazel was still pointing solid and not moving so I kept looking around. Still no bird. I was confused and made the mistake of releasing Hazel from her point. I called, "Hazel, Free!" which is my release command and she took off like a shot past me another 50 yards and and locked up on point again just before 20 plus birds came up about 20 more feet in front of her. I shot in desperation but I was a good 50 yards out when they flushed and I missed with both barrels terribly. Lesson learned; trust your dog. I paced off where Hazel originally pointed the covey to were they flushed and it was approximately 65 yards! I was amazed. Hazel is really showing me something this year. She really has matured and is handling her birds better than ever. I need to have more confidence in her and her abilities. If only I would of followed the nose and left her in place I would of had a terrific opportunity. 65 yards though, I never would have thought. I was totally surprised and amazed.

Hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving. I'm still enjoying the leftovers.
Happy Trails,

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Utah Pheasant Hunt Continued

Having a great time chasing pheasants this year. My brother and I are getting out as much as we can. The dogs are doing great for the most part. They are young so they still have their moments but overall I'm pleased. Pheasant hunting in Utah is a challenge. Reduced habitat, populations, and finding land available to hunt on make it hard. But, if your lucky enough to bag 1 or 2 it makes it all that more rewarding.

I've developed a healthy hate for phragmites. This invasive plant is taking over the shores of our lakes and wetlands. It has totally changed the landscape in the area we hunt pheasants. Its rough stuff that beats the hell out of your dog. Hazel looks like an MMA fighter after a 3 round beat down. The state has been trying to burn them out with some success. Hopefully they can come up with the proper solution.

Monday, November 8, 2010

2010 Utah Pheasant Opener

Had a great time hunting pheasants with my brother Shawn and his son Michael. It was a rough go in the morning but the afternoon made up for it. I must brag on my dog Hazel, she was awesome. She showed me a lot Saturday and I'm very proud of her. After lunch she was on fire. She hunted hard, had many points on wild pheasants, held her birds and gave us opportunities. I love that little brown dog. Shawn's shorthairs also did well. I wish I could say the same for our shooting but we killed enough and had enough excitement to satisfy. Can't wait to do it again. Pheasant fajitas for dinner this week!