A blustery bird hunt

Mia on point

Both wind speed and temperatures were in the 30’s for our pheasant hunt last Monday and perhaps invigorated by the cold, Mia brought her A-game.

Mia exits the slew with the pheasants

Mia retrieves the pheasant

While hunting cattails near where I had parked, Mia went on point but lost the scent in the heavy wind. She continued working the cattails and kicked up a nice rooster. I dropped the bird in the slough and it took Mia awhile to find it, but she did and made a nice retrieve.

Mia refuses to come off point, but no birds

We continued hunting and Mia went on point again. I searched the brush and found nothing, but she refused to come off her point. It took awhile before I was able to convince her that there was no bird, and after doing her own search just to make sure, we moved on. It must have been a real hot spot.

Mia on point

Mia quartering nicely with the wind to our back

Hunting with the wind to our backs, we put up two hen pheasants and a rooster. By the time I put a bead on the rooster, it was flying away with a 30 mile-per-hour tail wind, so I let it go.

Mia on point in a grove of Russian Olive trees

We then hunted a grove of Russian Olive trees and put up two more roosters, but the trees were too thick to afford a shot.

muddy Mia and her pheasant

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Doc’s Pheasant hunt

Doc pointing where the winged pheasant had been hiding.

Doc retrieves a winged pheasant he tracked and retrieved.

Doc working the grass for pheasants

Doc masters the fence ladder then pauses to enjoy the view.

A Great Horned owl.

Do with the pheasant, bagged without firing a shot.

Mia’s duck hunt

Mia enters cattails on her duck search

The difference that a couple of days make. Saturday morning was warm and windy, hunters lined the ponds and ducks filled the air, but Monday was 20 degrees colder, perfectly calm, few birds flying and fewer hunters shooting.

I missed several opportunities on flyovers and a couple of ducks that we flushed, much to Mia’s disappointment.  We had been hunting awhile when Mia went on a nice point and I flushed a rooster Pheasant. Unfortunately, Pheasant season wouldn’t open for a couple of weeks.

Mia on point

I dropped a hen Mallard on the far side of a large patch of cattails. Knowing it was asking too much of Mia for a blind retrieve through acres of cattails, I took her around to the opposite side to begin our search.

Mia with a flotilla of ducks behind her

It was about a quarter of a mile to where we could cross, but once we came to the general area where the duck fell, I sent Mia in to find it.

Mia with the duck she found and retrieved

Mia is a very cerebral hunter and has developed an interesting way of searching. She would wade through the cattails a few feet then stop, sniff, listen, and proceed a few more feet. I enjoyed watching her work the cattails in that manner and it wasn’t long before she burst out of them with bird in mouth.

Opening day duck hunt

Saturday was opening day of waterfowl hunting in this region of the state, so I loaded Doc into the Toyota and headed out dark and early.

sunrise, opening day of waterfowl season

We arrived just as shooting hours began and the ducks were flying. Other hunters had already claimed spots around the ponds so I decided to hunt the drain ditches.

We hadn’t gone far when some hunters dropped a couple of greenheads and wounded another.

The wounded duck did a long glide and landed not far from us. I could tell it was hit too hard to take off again, so I sent Doc on a duck search while I waited and recorded. It took about five minutes of searching before he found and retrieved the duck.

Doc’s head held high scenting the wind

We continued on, and I dropped a duck in a small drain ditch. I saw it splash down between two small clumps of cattails and sent Doc to retrieve. He was too excited to take my cast and it took several minutes to get him over to where the duck landed.

Doc searches cattails for the lost duck

No duck. We searched quite awhile without any luck then followed the ditch as far as we could, and still no sign of a duck. Doc caught a scent, but nothing came of it.

Doc retrieves his second duck through a forest of reeds

Parliament in session

Elvis works into the wind.

This past Friday I took Elvis partridge hunting, it was the first time I had taken him to that area since he was caught in an illegal snare several years ago.

One of the owls we encountered

I haven’t seen partridge there for a few years but it was a conveniently short drive. We found no sign of partridge, but ran into a parliament of 11 owls. I’ve seen parliaments of this size in December and January, but never this early in the year.

Doc partridge hunting

To catch up with Doc’s hunting, I took him partridge hunting to another area where, again, I haven’t seen birds for a few years. We saw no sign of partridge but Doc went on point and I found fresh Sage Grouse droppings nearby.

Doc checks out a lava tube

Several hail storms dumped on us while hunting so we didn’t stay long.

The Snake River Comic Con

Pirate (hiding a donut) with baby

Witches, wizards, Hobbits, aliens, superheroes, even actors and those in the writing and film making industry converged at the Red Lion Inn for the first annual Snake River Comic Con.

Paparazzi catches Green Arrow at lunch

With presentations on everything from wand making to film making, plus a special gaming room for gamers, it had something for everyone.

The dog costume was most authentic

Although I wasn’t an attendee this year and stuck with the free stuff, it’s something I may attend next year, as organizers are already lining up guests.

Costume repair room for attendees

Elvis’ Certificate of Achievement

I’d like to thank the SCOA (Spinone Club of America) for recognizing Elvis’ therapy work with a Certificate of Achievement for his AKC Therapy Dog Advanced title.

Two days after receiving his certificate, Elvis assisted in a patient’s physical therapy. Ok, all he had to do was lay on the floor, but during our therapy visit, a physical therapist who was working with the patient asked Elvis to lie on the floor. The patient then had to lean over and pet Elvis as a means of helping her regain balance.

Elvis’ certificate of Achievement