A Very Good Day

Habitat
Habitat

After last week’s lament on discovering I was shooting cross-dominant, I went out and shot three doubles on beautiful points by both Angus and Peat. On each one I got the end of the barrel on the bird and a little voice said, “It will fall.” And it did. The only misses I made were on the last covey, which Peat had found on his own and must have been locked on them for at least 5 minutes. He was up the hill from me, and I was trying to keep an eye on Angus who was roaming around well upwind. But since Peat was solid I started moving up the hill toward him. When I got within about 15 yards of Peat I started to doubt him, but I kept moving. At ten yards, the birds launched, Huns, and that little voice was doing something else, probably writing a press release about Peat’s impressive point.

Reward
Reward

I’m getting used to the Garmin Alpha with Angus. Yes, I have gone to the dark side, as Chris pointed out. It has reduced the stress of wondering where Angus is, and has already produced a few points I wouldn’t have seen without it. It might also be making me younger, because for some reason I seem to be hiking more miles and elevation gain than I ever have. Ponce de Leon should have checked into one of these numbers.

Sparrows or something
Sparrows or something

I went out again on Sunday with The Kid. We hiked our butts off on the same ridge I hunted the day before, but lower down. Excellent habitat, tons of cover, greenup, and rarely hunted. At the top Angus and Peat pointed one covey, and it held long enough for The Kid and me to get in good position. The birds went up and we each shot, but neither connected. We hiked another three hours without seeing any birds except for a few way down low.

Summiting
Summiting

My reputation as the world’s worst chukar guide, when it comes to The Kid, is pretty safe. He’s got a great new gun of his own (which he bought with some of the cash he won for winning Grand Champion Steer at the fair; not bad for an 11-year-old against all comers!), and I’m feeling the pressure. The line, “We’ll get ’em next time,” is getting old. I’m just grateful he wants to keep trying. We will get them next time.

On the cusp
On the cusp

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10 Replies to “A Very Good Day”

  1. Great post! I love reading about your experiences with your dogs and your son.

    I have a 5 month old Brittany I am trying to train and he and I are both learning all about Chukar hunting together, since we are both new at this… I take him out for runs in the hills behind our home where we often hear Chukar but have rarely found them. Yesterday we had a breakthrough as we climbed a hill I thought looked like prime chukar habitat. The higher we climbed I could hear them calling until finally my dog (Jackson) busted a pretty good size covey. He didn’t point, but when he saw them, just chased them all over… He chases everything from rabbits, tweety birds to butterflies. But he has become more and more obsessed with birds… I’m hoping the pointing will eventually come.

    I also have an 11yr old son, and we are both taking our hunters ed together, and we can’t wait to officially get out there. Maybe I’m crazy to want to dive right into Chukar, but everything about it sounds great! Even just being out there with my dog on our scouting trips is a thrill that I look forward to.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences, keep them coming!

    Jon

    1. Thanks, Jon. Sounds like you’ve got your hands full of great things to come. I’m no expert on dogs, obviously, but I’m excited to see my 7-month-old Peat pointing so well on game birds. He doesn’t pay any attention to tweetie-birds or other stuff when we’re out in the field. He comes from a good line of solid hunters, and I worked with him quite a bit when he was real little using a chukar wing on a fly rod to bring out the pointing instinct. Have you tried that?

      1. I have seen him point quite a bit out in the field (and at house flies in the house), but he just doesn’t hold it for too long before he will take off after whatever he caught wind of.

        I was impressed that your dog can hold point for 5min, and I’ve heard others talk about their dogs holding point for up to 30min… Blows my mind!

        I will try the wing on a fly rod. I’m reading “Gun Dog” by Richard Wolters and just read about his method of using that. Seems like a good way to go. Thanks for the tip!

  2. Enjoy following your posts and occasional you tube videos. I hunt chukars here in central Washington and also had a good weekend. I have a rescue german wirehair that I got at 8 yrs old who had never hunted, and is now 12 so has been a bit of a project, BUT this weekend he pointed and held point on the birds perfectly!!Think he was channeling my old dog who is laid to rest on a ridge near where we were hunting:) We don’t put as many miles on per day as we once did but still nothing beats a good day on the slopes with your dog.By the way, you are very lucky to have a wife that enjoys taking pictures of you and your dogs, she takes some fantastic pictures. Thanks again for your posts, enjoy the rest of your season.

    1. Wow, what a beautiful story that gives me hope I have some more good years with Angus. Fantastic to hear about your 12-year-old wirehair! Are you near Vantage or Ellensburg? What are the bird counts like over there this year?

      1. Pretty close to there. The bird numbers are pretty good, not like they were 12 to 14 years ago but definately better than around 07 or 08. One nice thing about hunting with an old dog, gives you a good excuse for a break or maybe even a nap! I use to have to tie my old dog to a piece of sage just to take a break, but not with this old guy, he’s all over a good 10 minute nap on a nice day.

  3. Bob this is Derya ,avid chukar hunter ,originally from Turkey ,there are some superb chukar habitat and beautiful country side ,you guys are very lucky to live in ,close by and hunt the most challenging upland birds in the world , the habitat is the same as it would be in Turkey . Best Regards .

Chirp away