Northwoods Bird Camp 2010 Day 15

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I have been thinking I was updating the blog via my cell-phone application for several days–I don’t know where all the posts have been going, but they are obviously not here! 🙁

Well, I have been here two weeks already. I can hardly believe how fast the time is flying by. The leaves are changing quickly and the action is heating up. I have seen more and more hunters, but most of them are still bear hunters although I am seeing more and more bird hunters as well. The weather has not been far from perfect most days. I’ve only had a handful of days that I could not hunt because of high winds and/or pouring rain.

I have been having a blast. The dogs are doing very well. I still have a lot of work to do with them, but there is nothing like the Ruffed Grouse and Woodcock to bring it all together for a bird dog.

I am really impressed with all of the dogs. Most noteable from the past few days are Santana, Boone, Steele, Mia, Citori… it’s hard to just pick out a few… Ike had a fantastic day today as did Boone. Steele was a phenom yesterday. Mia got her nose full of birds yesterday. Luke and Midge are just unbelievable as always. I could talk about their afternoon yesterday for the rest of my life. I love this game!

My shooting has gone downhill. I actually started out better than I have been doing the past few days and we have put up more birds in the past 3 or 4 days than any and I have only put one in the bag! It’s not about how many birds get put in the bag at all, but it’s hard to teach a bird dog much beyond this point without downing a bird on occasion for him. The dogs are doing their job and I am not doing mine!

It is a brutal daily schedule, but I am getting better at it, finally. I wish I could hunt longer each day than I am, but when I really push it and do hunt all day, I can’t work at night. So, we are getting out for at least half-days, most days. There were two-days last week that we were unable to hunt. One was pouring down rain and storms and the next was a bit of the same but when the torrential rain stopped, the very high winds moved in. We stuck around the farm those two days.

The puppies are doing great but I really feel like maybe they should have stayed home. It’s so important for them to have a lot of socialization at this age and I don’t think I am able to give them enough. And, they need more individual attention instead of the three of them all the time. It’s very hard to work out time for everything. Keeping all the dogs into birds and exercise, and keeping them groomed, the chores all done, and work is a bit overwhelming–don’t get me wrong, I really wouldn’t have it any other way–I just want to do it all and can’t. I can admit it. Somethings suffer some days and other things other days. I just don’t ever want a minute of precious puppy learning and socialization time missed. These fellows are really something else! I absolutely love every one of them.

Speaking of the puppies… Copper is  back! It didn’t work out with his family, so he is back in PA with Scott and will come along with him later this week. He will be made available to a new family as soon as I get him here and get to evaluate him. For now, he is still being spoiled getting to sleep with Scott every night and getting to play with the big dogs every day. Everyone at home says he is doing fantastic and they are having a blast with him. Scott and my boys keep saying they are in love with him and are keeping him!

Company will begin arriving the day after tomorrow so things will really get exciting here. I’ll keep everyone informed as much as possible.