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Unread 10-25-2023, 08:29 PM   #11
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Great pics congrats on a great hunt !
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Unread 10-26-2023, 11:30 AM   #12
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I appreciate the kind comments from folks -- thanks!

We are closing out our two week hunt, which has offered us some memories of great weather, beautiful country, wonderful dogs and the birds we love so much. We also met some great people here in the Northwoods. This will be a trip to remember.

Our Fall color is pretty much gone now, and we are seeing the muted, rich color of the later season, remarkable in its subtle charm. Leaf drop happened pretty much over night, and with it the temperatures will drop, and, hopefully, the woodcock will be waiting for us in home coverts, which we'll hit next week.

Enjoy your season. Get out every chance you can.

Photos:

1. Sometimes I cannot believe how special it is to live with gun dogs. Having a puppy and a seasoned dog, seeing the future and its potential is a marvelous gift. Chris and Aaron, if you read this, I hope you've had some special moments with your pupils in training. Remember these days. They go by too quickly.

2. We switched out guns for this last week. One of three Parkers I have from this, one of my favorite, engraving periods. This gun, a 1918 CHE 20 that we call Reggie's gun is about as perfect a bird gun as I can imagine. A privilege to hunt with and care for.

3. We were able to catch up with PGCA member Bruce Day and Joe Weidle for dinner one evening. What a pleasure to visit with two gentlemen who love double guns and bird dogs. I got to see and hold a couple of Bruce's bird guns and now have dreams of a 24 inch 20 gauge bird gun. Joe is real dog lover and Elaine and I got to learn more about his dogs and Bruce's -- always a treat.

4&5. A trip with wonderful memories of beautiful country and the drama of nature. The last photo is the Big Fork river that we cross every evening on our way back to the Cabin. The view from the bridge is ever changing and never gets old.
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“Every day I wonder how many things I am dead wrong about.”
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"'I promise you,' he said, 'on my word of honor, I won't die on the opening of the bird season.'" -- Robert Ruark (from The Old Man and the Boy)
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Life Journey with Hunting Dogs
Unread 10-26-2023, 02:41 PM   #13
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Garry- My wife and I brought our first bird dog with us on our Honeymoon on an island off the coast of Maine many years ago. We figured it would be a good introduction for him in a small boat on the ocean for future sea duck hunting trips. That's how bad we are!
The joy they have brought to our lives in the years since at home, on the road and in the field is immeasurable.

1) But here's another thing...we absolutely draw the line on not letting the dogs on the furniture at hunting camp!

2) Our 5 year old Griff demonstrating the proper hold technique to our 7 month old in Pittsburg NH a couple weeks ago.

Sorry about the sideways photos- still have not figured that out...

And thank you Garry for the incredible photos on your posts!!
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Unread 10-26-2023, 09:30 PM   #14
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I knew you were a good person. Any guy as “strict” with his dogs as you obviously are is okay by me 🤪

I’m looking forward to reading more about your pups in the near future.


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Garry- My wife and I brought our first bird dog with us on our Honeymoon on an island off the coast of Maine many years ago. We figured it would be a good introduction for him in a small boat on the ocean for future sea duck hunting trips. That's how bad we are!
The joy they have brought to our lives in the years since at home, on the road and in the field is immeasurable.

1) But here's another thing...we absolutely draw the line on not letting the dogs on the furniture at hunting camp!

2) Our 5 year old Griff demonstrating the proper hold technique to our 7 month old in Pittsburg NH a couple weeks ago.

Sorry about the sideways photos- still have not figured that out...

And thank you Garry for the incredible photos on your posts!!
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“Every day I wonder how many things I am dead wrong about.”
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"'I promise you,' he said, 'on my word of honor, I won't die on the opening of the bird season.'" -- Robert Ruark (from The Old Man and the Boy)
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Unread 10-31-2023, 08:35 PM   #15
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At the risk of "wearing out my welcome" I'd like to add a postscript to our hunting posts. We are finally home after enjoying a wonderful trip that included so many firsts for us. We have already made plans to return. I hope I'm still here when the next Fall comes around. The older I get, the more I hope.

I feel like we had good grouse numbers, but to check my reality, here are the numbers: our flush rate for the trip was 2.7 flushes/hour, but I teased out the difference for our experienced dog Aspen, and little Rill, for whom this was her first real hunt. With Aspen our flush rate was 4.4 flushes/hour -- as good as I could expect on a year forecast to be moving to the bottom of the cycle (for what that's worth). My shooting was pretty much standard for me: 53% on grouse and 75% on woodcock ( a small sample size).

The weather was the real hero in this trip -- Indian Summer to start, and brooding cold to end...just as October in the Northwoods should be. The leaves were both brilliant, and then, gone (like gypsies as George Bird Evans would have said).

I'll start looking for flight woodcock in home coverts, and hit the quail fields and duck marshes prior to the firearms deer season. What a rich time of year this is. I give thanks for it all.

Thanks again for reading my posts and commenting.

Photos:

1. For Chris P.: Here's Aspen enjoying time on the couch at the Cabin. He will always tell you he doesn't get enough couch time.

2 The leaves turned gypsy and were gone by the end of the 2nd week (thank you, GBE), and the "birches looked dream like on account of the frosting" (yep, James Taylor, thanks to you).

3. This is a frame from a nice video that Elaine caught of a grouse pointed by Aspen that crossed in front of me on the trail. Look closely and you'll see it just over my left shoulder. I felt like I was in a William Harnden Foster drawing when this bird decided to give me a shot...and I made it (not always the case)

4. Rill strikes a point that Elaine was able to capture on camera. She's stylish, but, unfortunately, I could not get a shot at this bird which was flushing too far out. Still, I hope this foreshadows a good future for this little pup.

5. We rode by old landmarks to commemorate our last day, something we've done for 20 years or more. It's nice to have a sense of place.

6. Aldo Leopold wrote so beautifully of grouse hunting, and the "red lantern" blackberries that led him from covert to covert. Like Leopold's guiding lights, the lanterns were dimming with the end of Indian Summer, but hopefully they will burn bright again next year for all of us who love to follow bird dogs in grouse coverts.
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“Every day I wonder how many things I am dead wrong about.”
― Jim Harrison
"'I promise you,' he said, 'on my word of honor, I won't die on the opening of the bird season.'" -- Robert Ruark (from The Old Man and the Boy)
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Unread 11-01-2023, 07:48 AM   #16
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Garry-

Once again, terrific photographs. Your spouse has a wonderful touch with the camera.

All I can say about that pup on the couch is that he has those “did I do good today” tired eyes that are adorable…and they appear to also be saying, “…and tomorrow I might see if I can find a skunk for you” devil eyes…

While our pup “Fish” had his share of bumps, hare chasing and snacks on turkey poop (caviar to a dog), he also had a number of solid points that he held. One occurred when I heard his bell stop about 60 yards ahead of me. I’m still recovering from a torn Achilles this past May, so it took me a bit to hobble up through the thick covert as quickly as I could to find him locked up solid. I had time to praise him and give him a couple strokes while my buddy came over with his 4-year-old Boykin. He sent the little flusher in and she put up the woodcock which my 28 ga repro fortunately connected with and “Fish” went and made the retrieve. Something as simple as that will be remembered for a life time. We are lucky.
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Unread 11-01-2023, 09:27 AM   #17
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As far as i am concerned there is no way you can ''wear out your welcome''. I look forward to each of your posts and the great photos with them.
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Unread 11-01-2023, 09:41 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Pope View Post
Garry-

Once again, terrific photographs. Your spouse has a wonderful touch with the camera.

All I can say about that pup on the couch is that he has those “did I do good today” tired eyes that are adorable…and they appear to also be saying, “…and tomorrow I might see if I can find a skunk for you” devil eyes…

While our pup “Fish” had his share of bumps, hare chasing and snacks on turkey poop (caviar to a dog), he also had a number of solid points that he held. One occurred when I heard his bell stop about 60 yards ahead of me. I’m still recovering from a torn Achilles this past May, so it took me a bit to hobble up through the thick covert as quickly as I could to find him locked up solid. I had time to praise him and give him a couple strokes while my buddy came over with his 4-year-old Boykin. He sent the little flusher in and she put up the woodcock which my 28 ga repro fortunately connected with and “Fish” went and made the retrieve. Something as simple as that will be remembered for a life time. We are lucky.
Chris, you have apparently done a great job of training your pup. The scenario you describe is a great example for what's to come for you. You are a lucky man.

Rill had her moments, but she is still trying to figure out what hunting is all about. I hope running her with Aspen on wild quail (assuming we have any!) will continue her tutelage. Dogs really learn from each other (and there are no expensive training fees)

As for the "pup on the couch," Mr. Aspen has been known to hog the couch and assume some ungentlemanly positions to keep his perch. (Don't tell Elaine I posted this picture!)
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“Every day I wonder how many things I am dead wrong about.”
― Jim Harrison
"'I promise you,' he said, 'on my word of honor, I won't die on the opening of the bird season.'" -- Robert Ruark (from The Old Man and the Boy)
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Unread 11-01-2023, 09:41 AM   #19
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As far as i am concerned there is no way you can ''wear out your welcome''. I look forward to each of your posts and the great photos with them.
Thanks, Daniel!
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“Every day I wonder how many things I am dead wrong about.”
― Jim Harrison
"'I promise you,' he said, 'on my word of honor, I won't die on the opening of the bird season.'" -- Robert Ruark (from The Old Man and the Boy)
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