After 3 hunts out on our own, I found that there were a few things that we needed to work on so instead of hunting this weekend, I scheduled a training session with Brad. I invited Liz and Lyric to join us and have a joint session. Liz and I met early for brunch and a quick BWCA Board meeting and then we headed to Brad’s. After we briefed Brad on the previous hunts and all the things that went wrong, he concluded that the dogs did just fine, that it was handler error! So, we spent a few minutes reviewing the rules and when to correct and when not to. Then we got the dogs and practiced a steadiness drills with pigeons, while the other dog practiced honoring and steadiness. Both dogs did well with only minor corrections.
Then, we planted some REAL birds and Brad asked if either of us wanted to shoot. Of course I said YES! So, I loaded up, gave Liz the camera and Brad had control of the dogs. We took one dog out at a time. Lyric was first and he quickly found the bird and pointed. I walked up to flush the bird and when it flew, I went to shoot but DAMN!! Safety was on! The bird flew away and we went on the hunt to find it again. We found it and I flushed it again, raised my gun, fired and WHAT? I HIT IT??? WOOO HOOO!!! Yes, I woo hoo’d in the field… again. I’m just so shocked that I actually hit it and in one shot! Lyric did great and stood through the flush, shot and fall. I retreived the bird and gave it to him as his reward.
Next up, it was Roxie’s turn. We put Lyric away, I reloaded the gun and we headed back out to find Roxie’s bird. She also found hers pretty quick and went on point. And just like the last time, I walked up to flush the bird, it flew, I shot and it dropped! WHAT? I did it again?? Yippee!!! I don’t know what has gotten into me that I was able to shoot two shots and drop both birds. I’m not that good of a shot! I think it’s Brad. The dogs do damn near perfect when we are in training and I guess so do I! So now, if we all could do that well out in the real world then things would be just dandy! The really great thing about training now that I have some experience is that now, I can take the birds home and cook them instead of leaving them behind and wasting money.
Next up, wild pheasant hunting next weekend with Jimmy, Ryan and Aaron. I signed us up for a DFG hunt and we were drawn. We will head down to Sherman Island next Saturday and brave the corn stalks in search of some pheasant. I can’t wait!!!
Be sure to click on the Flickr link to the right to see the photos from the day’s training session/hunt. You’ll have to scroll past the Christmas party pics to see them in the photostream since the pics are sorted into several sets.