Christmas eve goose hunt

Although I’m not a goose hunter I won’t pass up an opportunity when it presents itself. So December 24, I took my little huntress Mia and set up on some bluffs overlooking the river, hoping to bag some geese during their morning flights out to the fields.

Mia finds her own tree to wait under, while goose hunting

Mia finds her own tree to wait under, while goose hunting

It seemed as though the flocks were flying everywhere I wasn’t, so I moved from place to place in an attempt to position myself under their flight path. I would set up under a Juniper tree and then shoot as they came overhead. After missing several shots, I dropped a big Canadian goose and Mia did a nice job of finding and retrieving it.

That was one of the last flocks of the morning, so we returned to the truck and I drove about a mile down the river to hunt ducks. As Mia and I walked the river bank searching for a place to get down to the riverbed, she went on a solid point. I assumed it was a Pheasant hiding in the brush and since the season was closed in this region, praised her and called her off her point.

Mia listens to the geese down on the river

Mia listens to the geese down on the river

I found a way down to the river and we waited for awhile but no ducks flew within range, so I decided to go down the river where there was more open water. We hadn’t gone far when a wounded goose flushed from the brush – the goose was what Mia was pointing earlier.

I dropped it on the edge of the ice and Mia made a nice retrieve. With two geese in the bag, I was done hunting for the day but Mia wasn’t.

Returning to the truck with my gun unloaded, carrying the goose, I wasn’t paying attention to Mia who went on point, and I stumbled onto a flock of partridge. I watched them land on a knoll so after depositing the goose at the truck, we went after them. The birds were still on high alert and flushed well out of shotgun range. I didn’t see what direction they flew but we spent the next half hour or so hunting them without any luck.

Mia with the two geese she retrieved, 12-24-16

Mia with the two geese she retrieved, 12-24-16

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Elvis goes to school

Elvis romps in the snow before therapy visits

Elvis romps in the snow before therapy visits

Elvis conducted his therapy visit at the VA home on Friday, then followed it up on Monday with a trip to school. We were invited to the Idaho Science and Technology Charter School to give presentations on therapy work, and Elvis was a big hit.

Elvis is saluted for his service

Elvis is saluted for his service

I gave an overview of the Spinone breed, training therapy dogs, types of therapy, and the impact that therapy dogs have on those whom they visit. Elvis demonstrated some of the tests that he needed to pass for his certification, followed by a question-and-answer session.

Discussing therapy work with Elvis

Discussing therapy work with Elvis

They all enjoyed petting him and were amazed when I demonstrated how to strip a Spinone. Everyone got a laugh out of Elvis when he made himself at home in the “poof” chair, which was much too small for him.

Elvis takes a nap during a presentation

Elvis takes a nap during a presentation

It was a visit they’ll remember for a long time to come, and we opened their eyes to the world of both therapy work and the Spinone.

Elvis claims the "poof" chair

Elvis claims the “poof” chair

The functional fanny pack

Although fanny packs have become passé, they’re still included in my standard hunting gear. There are times when I don’t want to be encumbered by a hunting vest – maybe I just want to travel light, or maybe I’m bundled up in heavy winter gear.

A fanny pack with each pocket containing shells with different loads.

A fanny pack with each pocket containing shells with different loads.

With a fanny pack, I can fill it with shells and they’re secure, easily accessible, and not cumbersome to carry. The individual pockets allow me to keep different loads separated, for example, one pocket containing goose loads and another duck and Pheasant loads. Incidentals such as a protein bar, wet wipes and so forth can also be included.

While it may be considered a fashion faux pas, the fanny pack was designed for efficiency and it’s use is limited only by your imagination.