An Evening with Dogs and Elk

I had a very enjoyable hike with the dogs this past weekend. The weather was overcast with a cool breeze. We had the occasional rain drop but nothing heavy. It was perfect for a evening walk in the mountains. As I've said before, the mountains here are amazingly green and lush this year. We went to one of my favorite off trail areas and the foliage was so thick and tall that it was difficult to walk through. We came over a rise into a nice little hilltop valley and walked right into a herd of elk. We came within about 40 yards of them. With the ground cover being so thick and tall the dogs never saw them or knew that they were there. The elk looked great, very healthy and beautiful. There was some very healthy looking calves within the group. That made me smile. After snapping a couple of photos we made an abrupt about face and let them be. If you look at the top photo on the right hand side you can see one of the calves eyes glowing from the camera flash.
The dogs were great and got in a good run. Dogs like mine need to run a few times a week. They have to really stretch out and just run, run run. It does them so much good mentally and physically. Nothing is happier in my opinion than a tired dog. It makes me happy to. Even though I'm just a spectator of it all.

Chief is still doing great and isn't intimidated by the thick cover. He is searching through it all like a bird dog should. He stays close but not too close for a dog his age. He gets upset if he loses me. I let him search me out and find his way back. But if he takes off and heads the wrong way in search of me. I will then call him in. I don't want to get him lost. He minds really well when we are out and about. Around the house… not so much. He's progressing every day and has been a fun pup to own. Now if I could only get a decent photo of him.
Hazel is in her prime and is amazing and a thrill to watch. She is so smooth and fast. She looks like she's gliding across the cover. But when she runs past you can almost feel the ground shake. She is such a cool dog. Hazel had one solid point. I don't know what it was she was pointing. I made a fuss over her and told her "good dog" then I pulled her off and walked her out of that area. I don't want her scooping up any baby grouse or rabbits so I find it best to just leave it all alone and not pursue game animals this time of year. Towards the end of August we will start going into the grouse coverts and start getting serious about all of it. Hopefully we can get both Hazel and Chief into some wild birds before hunting season opens in September.


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