Today was the opening of waterfowl season locally, and Sophie, just two months shy of her 12th birthday, got the honor of ushering in the season. Wade, a friend of mine, arrived before sunup and we hit the field about half-an-hour after shooting hours began.
There was a good deal of shooting early on but none of it was ours. We did flush three ducks and then a single, but were unable to get off a shot. Then a loner came flying overhead. I missed my two shots but Wade hit on his first shot and with that, got his first duck.
The duck hit the water just a couple of feet from shore but Sophie was happy to make the short retrieve. We eventually set up next to railroad tracks that crossed a slough and got several more shots at passing ducks, mostly teal that dipped and darted over us.
Then a pair of pintail came over and I knocked out several feathers with my first shot but it was my second shot that brought it down. This time Sophie had a longer retrieve to make and although she’s slowed considerably with age, pulled off a nice retrieve for our second bird.
The weather was perfect for everything but duck hunting, and eventually they stopped flying. Sophie was also beginning to stiffen up, so we made our way back to the truck, checking several more ponds for ducks on the way back.
A Fish and Game officer was waiting upon our return, and he checked our shells, guns and birds. We visited for a few minutes, and he told us that someone had reported seeing hunters shoot a Pheasant and were searching for it with their dog; Pheasant season doesn’t begin for a couple of weeks yet. However we hadn’t seen anything.
Back home, Sophie got a Rimadyl first thing before we cleaned the ducks. But stiff and sore as she is, she loved every minute of it.
On Friday we had the stitches taken out of her ear from the hematoma; they were dissolving stitches but the knots needed to be removed. Earlier in the day, I had taken Mia and Doc partridge hunting but again, saw no birds.