Northwoods Bird Camp 2010 Days 4-5

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Howdy, All!

Well, things are coming along here in the North woods. The weather has been fantastic—cool, mid-50s during the day and upper 30s-low 40s at night—and a little rain and drizzle here and there. It is just perfect and a nice gradual change for the dogs. I’ve been able to get out for at least half-days this week and things are going very well.

The dogs are doing great. I am really very pleased with all of them. I have been trying to work as many as possible every day. Mostly individual hunting right now, too. Although, I usually always run Luke and Midge together and as we progress through the season, I will start running the dogs in braces. Right now, I want to work with them individually.

A few highlights from the past two days:

Steele continues to take my breath away. I am in awe when I watch him cover ground. I really love his style, speed, range, nose—all of it. He’s running like a well-oiled machine. He did very well today.

Santana is running like a dream–she is so stylish, quick, and determined. I have very much enjoyed her runs, her incredibly intense points, and her desire.

Ike has had great runs as well–he has an effortless gait, high head, and is a beauty to watch work. I am very comfortable with his range and he is very smart with a fantastic nose. This is my first season hunting with Ike and I am enjoying him very much.

I was also impressed with Ranger’s work today. He has amazing speed and stamina. He is very agile, very bright and a lovely, trustworthy dog. He had a great day today and wore me out! We went on a very, very long hike lasting several hours. He went in the box just as he came out—agile, light-footed, and raring to go.  Love it!

Most all of our dogs are like that—they are able to pace themselves and rarely do I see one get worn out. Wish I could say the same for this old chubby  girl!!! Wow, I am not the young pup I used to be.

The cover is thick, grass is high, ferns are turning brown, and the leaves are beginning to change. It is quite pleasant hunting, really. Shots are very difficult (or at least that is the excuse I am using!). I’ve barely seen another hunter until today. Town was bustling with people! Wow. Diner parking lots were rather full with vehicles, the motel had many more autos parked in their lot, and the market was really busy!

I saw a lot of trucks in the forest areas, but I think most of them are bear hunters. They were trucks with ATV trailers and such and I only saw one truck with bird dogs and fellows in orange with shotguns.

The puppies are doing great and are so bold that I really have my hands full. I will have to stop trying to run all three of them at the same time, now, though. If I take my eyes off of them for a second, two of them are off exploring the high grass or a trail together. One will stay with me, but two or more together  and they become a bit too brave for me—considering the coyotes in the yard every night, I think I have something to worry about with curious pups going off exploring on their own!

I met a woman at a bank yesterday and somehow she knew who I was. She said, “Hello neighbor!” I suppose a gal dressed in hunting garb wheeling into a bank with a trailer full of barking Llewellin Setters might attract a bit of attention, although I sure wish it didn’t and I sure wish the dogs would stop the barking… It turns out she lives at the neighboring farm (whose silos are in most of the photos I take here from this farm). One of the next things she said was, “Have you seen the wolves, yet?” I said that I hadn’t and she assured me that I would be seeing them as she does several times a week. Bugger! I really don’t want to see them… they may like puppies, too!

That is all for tonight. Tonight I have a trailer full of tired doggies, and a very tired handler. OH—guess what I had for dinner tonight? You betcha–Grouse! It doesn’t get much better than that, now does it?

Hope you all are getting out there–somewhere–and enjoying your bird dogs!