Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Shawnee Creek Revisited

With snow forecasted for my northern coverts I decided to stay close to home and hunted the Shawnee Creek covert. I entered the cover at about 11:00 with the temperature at 35 degrees and a stiff breeze blowing. Just minutes after we left the truck Emma bumped a woodcock and I wondered how the wind would effect my hunt. I hunt Emma with a bell that my worn-out ears can hear out to about 50 yards. She also wears a Lovett Low-Tone Beeper collar set on point mode which about doubles the range that I can hear her when she goes on point. As I reached the nice cover I hear a strange noise and realize it's Emma's beeper. It doesn't sound right and I soon surmise that the battery is going dead. It takes me a little while to locate her pointing in thick alders and as I try to force my way in the bird flushes without giving me a shot, but at least Emma did her part and held the bird for quite some time. We continued northward through nice looking cover.

 Although Emma is hunting hard the cover holds no birds until Emma suddenly comes in to me with a dead woodcock in her mouth. It's still limp and has a broken leg. I had heard no shots this morning so maybe the bird was wounded yesterday. I didn't notice her catching a wounded bird so I don't know how she ended up with it.
We reached the end of the covet and cross the creek and head south back to the truck. As I weave my way through the crabapples I notice something on the ground.
Someone else has found game in "my covert". This is state owned land and I have found numerous treestands set up by deer hunters, but this is the first sign that I've found of a small game hunter. It could have been a rabbit hunter but the fresh low brass 7 1/2 whispered "woodcock" to me.
The only bird we find on our return hunt on the far side of the creek is a woodcock that I walk up. We reach the stream crossing and make our way toward the truck through the final bit of cover. Suddenly Emma becomes "birdy" and in a few seconds goes on point. I walk in for the flush and realize the bird is already airborne. I fire the right barrel as it tops the alders and at the report another woodcock flushes close to me. I swing on the second bird and drop the left hammer and see the bird spiral down and Emma has it.

We searched for the first bird that I had fired at but to no avail and decide that it must have flew away unharmed. So ended another successful hunt. No bulging gamebag, just a single woodcock taken over a beautiful point with a lovely old gun.  Yes a successful hunt indeed.

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