Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Failure & Success

My last several trips afield have been birdless with Emma hunting her heart out to no avail. The woodcock flights always thin in my Allegheny Mountain coverts have been nonexistent this year. Today we tried the Buffalo Covert in hopes of changing our luck. We hunted through the beautiful crabapple-alder cover with no success. Just to try something different we hunted back toward the truck through mostly open timber with a scattering of saplings.

It was in this unlikely cover that Emma gave me two solid woodcock points with me missing them both in spectacular fashion.  It was my poorest shooting attempts of the season and I tried to figure it out as I approached the truck. I had just purchased a pair of Cocoon "fit-over" sunglasses with yellow lens for eye protection against the twigs and limbs that make up much of my coverts. Some years ago I had scratched my cornea going through thick cover. It was a painful experience and after my eye had healed I started wearing a pair of Cocoon's so it wouldn't happen again. Several years ago I lost that pair and I finally got around this year to replacing them. This I thought may be the reason for my dismal shooting and I vowed to remove them when Emma pointed another bird.
Back at the truck I decided to try the Shawnee Creek Covert as it was close by.  Not long after we had left the truck Emma's beeper went off and I found her locked up on a solid point. As I walked in for the flush I remember the Cocoon's and quickly took them off and stuffed them into my game pouch. The bird flushed at my feet and flew back over my head making me twist completely around and take the shot as it flew away. I pulled the front trigger and saw the bird drop. You can be sure that from now on when Emma's beeper goes off and Cocoon's will be coming off too :).
Emma making her usual excellent retrieve.
We hunted the remainder of the covert with no more points, but I was pleased with the way the hunt had turned out. 3 beautiful points by Emma, 2 horrible misses by me that had clouded my day, but the tough shot that I made turned the day around and I came home a satisfied  hunter.

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