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.