Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Day 3 Still Smiling

I started day 3 by taking Hattie and Emma to my Warrior Ridge covert. After about 1/2 hour Hattie gave me two nice points with Emma running in and bumping the birds. We made the trek through some open woods to another covert that turned out to be empty of woodcock although I did wild flush a grouse. On the way back through the open woods Hattie drew to a point with Emma stopping and backing her. I tried for a picture but in my excitement it turned out poorly. I circled around both dogs looking for the bird but it turned out to be an empty point. Still I was happy to see Emma backing instinctively. We were approaching the truck when Hattie went on point again in a typical low crouching woodcock point. After I took a couple of pictures of Hattie Emma suddenly appeared from in front of Hattie. She immediately slid into a point and held while I walked in and flushed the bird. The air was filled with "Good Girls, Good Girls" and the morning run ended on a happy note.

After lunch Emma and I headed for my Hickory Leaf covert. The wind had picked up and the temperature was rising as I entered the wet bottom. Half way through the first section of this covert I walked into a woodcock that flushed back toward the truck. We then crossed a hay field to enter the larger portion of this covert. A large wet lying old pasture field filling in nicely with hawthorn, alders, and briers, if it hadn't been for the distant traffic noise I could have believed I was in the Canaan Valley. We followed the perimeter of the field with Emma hunting creditably but finding no birds. As we were completing the circle Emma's beeper suddenly went to point mode. As I hurried along a rusty wire fence her beeper kept getting louder and louder but for the life of me I couldn't find her. Finally I made out her form in a mass of alders and multi-flora rose. As I moved in from behind (it was the only way to reach her) she backed out and relocated to the one side of the tangled mess and locked up on point again. On my second step into the dense cover the woodcock erupted up and away and for the second time today "Good Girl, Good Girl" filled the air. The rest of the circuit was uneventful until I started the final turn toward the truck. In a scattering of hawthorn with little ground cover Emma suddenly threw her head to the right and slid to a stop just as a woodcock rocketed away. So ended the afternoon run with some nice progress made. As I unloaded Emma at home I noticed her limping and removed a hawthorn from her left front paw. Depending on how she's moving tomorrow morning the little girl just might get a well deserved day of rest.

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