Sunday, March 29, 2009

Last Woodcock Run

As March comes to a close I knew the woodcock would start to nest and I had to stop running Emma. I ended this springs training runs with a hike into new territory. A tip that there were woodcock up Bear Run lead me on a gamelands road up into a high valley tucked between two mountains. Spotty cover along the road produced several grouse and woodcock finds but no good points. Finally I came upon a beaver dam with some nice looking cover. We only found one woodcock there but saw some splash and placed this cover on next years list to hunt. The most surprising part of the day occurred when Emma bumped a hen and rooster pheasant out of the swamp. What those two were doing in that high mountain swamp surrounded by big timber I'll never know. Far from any grain and hay fields that would be typical pheasant cover.

As I look back over this springs training runs I'm very pleased with the progress that Emma has made. If there are birds in the area I'm confident that she'll find them. She needs to hold her points until I can walk in and flush the bird but with more bird experience I'm sure that she will. It's a long road from a pup to a huntable birddog but with patience the end results are a pleasure to behold.

The only picture of Emma on point today turned out to be an empty point.

The Beaver dam tucked away high in a valley between Lock and Brush mountains.

Some of the Bear Run cover near the beaver dam.

Fresh woodcock splash. What every woodcock hunter seeks as a sign of nearby birds.

A hen mallard keeps a wary eye on us as we pass by.

Upon seeing this old tree with its twisted branches I thought of Medusa the goddess with snakes for hair of Greek mythology.

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