Irish Setter, German Shorthair (GSP), Brittany Spaniel, and Doc made up our collection of dogs for Friday’s early morning training session.
I wanted my trainer, Chris Colt of Cove Mountain Kennels, to evaluate Doc on his hunting since he scored low on that in his last hunt test. I’m not concerned with Doc’s steadiness since he is very solid on steady-to-shot-kill-and-retrieve.
We began by bracing Doc with a young Irish Setter pup. The Irish Setter was kept on a check cord while Doc hunted the field. When Doc went on point, Chris would bring in the setter and work with her. We were both very pleased with Doc’s field work.
After Doc and the setter, we worked the GSP on several birds just to reinforce a couple of areas, then went back and worked Doc on a blind retrieve and another planted bird. Doc occasionally confuses blind retrieves with pointing and will sometimes point a dead bird, but this time he handled it perfectly.
Doc’s blind retrieve was about 75 yards and I was hoping that he would have to spend time searching for it. Instead, he found within a couple of minutes and retrieved it to hand.
The breeze was becoming fickle, sometimes dying and often shifting directions, which presented a real challenge in finding the planted bird. Although I marked the area where the carded pigeon landed, we were unable to find it.
That was where the Brittany came in. Chris brought her out to help Doc and after extensive searching, she found the bird and went on point. Doc did a nice job of honoring even though he often looked back at me for direction.
Following training, our oldest daughter and I drove to Spencer and hunted for opal in a “mini mine”, which is a fenced area containing tailings that are trucked in from the mine. For a fee, one can dig for opal and we found a couple of nice pieces. At one time the public could drive up to the mine and hunt the tailings – where I found all of my high quality opal. Regardless, one of the pieces of pinfire opal that I found would pay for the trip.