Early in the season, I dropped a duck on dry land but Doc refused to retrieve it (although he pointed it beautifully). Friday’s duck hunt was a whole different story and Doc did an excellent job of both duck search and retrieve.
I took him on an early morning hunt to an area called “duck point”, a finger of land that is in the flight pattern of ducks and geese as they travel up and down the river. I was surprised to find only one other group of hunters and while they were doing a fair amount of shooting, they weren’t hitting much.
I don’t have a lot of patience for sitting in blinds so after a few minutes of no ducks flying over, I took Doc on a quasi-partridge hunt while hoping to wander under some fly overs. With snow covering the ground, I avoided the lava flows as much as possible since it can make them extremely hazardous.
We were about to climb a lava ridge when a large flock of Mallards came over and flared upon seeing us. My gun was loaded with BB shot for geese so I decided to take a long shot and dropped a hen Mallard out of the flock. It fell over the ridge so neither Doc nor I saw where it went down.
I sent Doc a little downwind of where it appeared to go down and followed him. There is no doubt that I would have lost the bird had it not been for his determined searching. After several minutes of searching, Doc rooted it out of a thick sage brush and made a very nice retrieve.