Well..... It’s been a minute. 2019/20 preview

Chief checking out the quail we just bagged

Lately I’ve been thinking about what I should do with this blog. Should I kill it or should I start it up again? I’ve even contemplated building a dedicated site for Upland Utah and rebuild it from the ground up. Maybe create something that I could be really proud of. I’ve enjoyed making it and there seem to be a few people who have enjoyed reading it. My reader numbers are small but decent for what this blog is, even without any management from my end. 

I've decided that I'm going to roll forward with this format, try to post more often than once a year. Keep it journal based with a few articles and reviews and see what happens. If it grows, great! If not, at the least I'll have this record of my hunting exploits. I do enjoy going back and re-reading about past hunts and reliving those memories.

My brother Shawn and Oakley
It's been about 2 years since my last post and there is a lot to catch up on. We are still hunting and getting after it as much as we can. We've had some great days. I haven't lost any passion for upland hunting and it's about all I think about in my spare time.

Personally, it's been a tough couple of years. Health issues and job changes have played a big part in making it so. I was let go from my job at the end of last summer under circumstances that I had little control over. It was a job that I was good at and a job I was happy with. It sucked, it was totally unfair, and I was pretty bitter about the situation. I still am if I'm honest. I've never been without a job since I was in college but things worked out and we've bounced back better than ever. I did have a good chunk of last fall free from work so we got a lot of hunting in. Looking back, hunting season was a blessing and helped me get through it all.  I was so stressed out. However, the new job is great, it's much less stressful and If I'd been aware that this new job was available, I would have quit my old job to chase this opportunity anyways. Maybe it was all for the best.

My main health issue was that I got a foot infection a couple years back and I still feel some of the effects from it. Here’s my original post on the subject Lord have mrsa on me.  I had no idea when I wrote that post that it was going to become such a future battle. Basically, what's been concluded from the many doctor visits and many tests later, is that the bacterial infection I recieved at the end of 2016 really eff'd me up. It gave me nerve damage in my leg which in turn has caused my lower leg muscles to shrink about 30%. That in turn has left my leg weaker and put extra stress on my joints and such that has created other injury issues. I pushed through because what else do you do, I've gained back some muscle and have learned some things that I can do to maintain my body and still do the things I love.  Last season was cut short due to a surgery to fix an abdominal hernia that got a little out of control. It’s all been an eye-opening experience and has taught me never to take my health for granted ever again. 

There is a bright side. The past few months there has been a definite upswing and I’m feeling really good and I’m ready to get after it and do some bird hunting. I’m so stoked for this upcoming season. Good things are on the horizon for this crew. I’m excited to share some new hunts and record the upcoming season. This year is going to be exciting and full of firsts. There should be a lot to write about and share.

Jack my youngest, is nearly 12 and recently passed his hunters safety course. This season is going to be his first time firing a shotgun at a flushing bird.  There’s a lot tied up in that. I so badly want him to be successful and enjoy hunting. I don’t expect him to love it the way I do but I’m hopeful. I need to temper my expectations and make sure I'm not pushing him too hard. As a dad, I really want to pass these outdoor things down to my kids. Jack may be the last chance among my kids to be a hunter. My daughters have shown little interest in continuing to follow their dad around the woods so I'm down to Jack. Or do I need to wait for grandkids? Or will one of my daughters come back around? Time will tell. I just hope Jack has a good time and we can spend some quality time together. I love this kid so much. He’s a fun dude and would make any father proud. He will make a fine hunting buddy.

 Next, is I bought a new shotgun for this season. A CZ Bobwhite G2 20 gauge. I’m super stoked about it. I was looking to buy a lefty Beretta A400 at the local Scheels. I went and looked at it a couple times and it is a beautiful gun. Out of the current semi-autos on the market, that's my favorite. The left handed version is really appealing to me. It’s on the shotgun wish list - short list.

CZ USA Bobwhite and Ringneck
So... there I am debating when I'm going to buy the Beretta when I walk into the local Sportsman’s Warehouse and see the new CZ bobwhite on the rack. I asked the salesperson for a look. As soon as I shouldered it,  I knew that I was going home with it. The A400 will need to wait. I will give the Bobwhite a review after I’ve used it in the field and have a more informative opinion. My first impression is that it’s sweet and a total bargain for the price ($650). I've enjoyed the CZ ringneck 28 gauge I've owned for several years so I have confidence in the brand. They are kind of plain-jane budget side x sides but I really like them. So far my ringneck has proven to be durable. I’ve had the new Bobwhite out shooting a few times and I like it..... I like it a lot. We will see how I do on birds with it this fall.

Hazel with a great find on a wounded Rooster 2018
Chief and Hazel are both still kicking and doing well. Hazel will be 12 years old this September and it breaks my heart to watch her slide into her twilight years. She is actually doing pretty good for her age. The vet during a recent visit got her and Chief's chart mixed up and was surprised she was nearly 12 years old and not the eight Chief's chart was reading. She is still active and just does her thing but there is a definite slowdown and she tires much more quickly. She still has a ton of heart and drive and I will continue to hunt her at a reduced pace. She’s an awesome dog and brings a lot of joy into our lives. She's the best pet/birddog I've ever owned. She's never been a problem around the home, (other than being a tomato bandit) she's just a good dog.  I'm sold on the pudelpointer breed. Between Hazel and my friends dogs I've yet to see a bad one.

Chief sticking a covey of Duskys 2018
Chief at 8 years old still acts like he’s an 18 month old dog. He's always in your space, wanting attention. He’s a sweet dog and is such a good hunter. He's an old vet now. He’s still wired and driven and he's a lot of dog to handle, more than most people want in a bird dog and that’s what makes him so cool. He's my hot-rod, sports car dog and If I’m honest, he's become the favorite of all the dogs I’ve owned. He's crazy in the best way. He's also a good companion around the house.

And that brings us to the latest news. We are adding to our kennel sometime in the near future. I have another Pudelpointer female on order. So ya... that’s happening.  Hazel isn’t going to be able to hang in the field like I wish she could so I need to bring along her successor. It will be fun and it will give me a ton of content for this blog. I'm getting the pigeon coop back up and running so there will be some live bird training to do and write about. It will be interesting recording the pups progress as Hazels starts to fade away. The juxtaposition between the two Pudelpointers at such different life stages will be something to write and learn about. It’s going to be bittersweet.

I've written about this before but I love the Pudelpointer/Setter combo I currently have. These two dogs compliment each other so well. Where Chief is weak, Hazel has been strong and vise versa. They are both good at finding birds. Chief ranges big and Hazel is a closer working dog, Chief will hold point forever and Hazel would find anything we knocked down. I want to keep this combo rolling if possible. In a few years we will get another setter or pointer to fill Chiefs roll and hopefully keep this circus on the road. It may be presumptuous to think I can rebuild this brace of dogs by dropping in dogs from the same breeds but I'm going to try. The Pudelpointer I'm getting is pretty close genetically to Hazel and I've got a bead on some Setter lines that match Chief as well. However, dogs are individuals and each one is different so it will be interesting to watch going forward.


  1. I hope you keep it going. I like your reviews and have bought a couple pieces of gear based on your recommendations. It's opening day of dove season here in Ohio. I'll bee afield with my dog and Boker bird knife. Thanks!


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