The last couple of weeks hunting with the dogs, and Leslie, have been swell. They’ve also been some of the most beautiful I’ve witnessed, perhaps a (very minor) upside to global warming. And we’ve seen lots of birds, which has made the dogs happy, which makes me happy, even with my typical streaky shooting. Friday after school, for example, we went out for a rare evening hunt, saw lots of chukar, and I shot 0-8. The next time we went out, yesterday, 7-7 (which included a 2-for-1 on the last shot).
But it’s getting to be less and less about the shooting and more about watching Angus bounce back from a serious injury and Peat develop into a phenom. Friday was Angus’s first run in the field in two weeks, and he did well but covered less ground than normal; Peat outran him by a half-mile – the first time Peat’s run farther than his brother. Sunday, both dogs ran their PR, and again Peat bested Angus by a wee bit. Both dogs found birds – 5 coveys in the first hour. Fun.
Hunting solo with Peat while Angus was recuperating was a very good thing. Earlier in the season, Peat was letting Angus do the hard work, watching him from above, and then moving in to back Angus’s points. But when he found himself out there on his own, it was like watching a kid who’s just been given the keys to the ice cream parlor: he’d go wherever he needed to to find birds, and he did it, sometimes ranging out close to 200 yards, whereas before he’d stay within 50 yards. So yeah, I feel pretty grateful for how things are shaping up with Peat, as well as for Angus’s recovery and – at 9-1/2 years – his still-excellent work and condition.
Curiously, though, Peat is letting Angus outdo him on retrieves; yesterday Peat brought back just one of the 7 birds I killed. He still seems to have a tough time finding downed birds, something I hope to see improvement in. But at least he’s not assaulting Angus and stealing birds from him any more!
So here’s a longer-than-usual video, mainly because of the increased action of late. Enjoy.