Saturday, November 8, 2014
Shawnee Creek Revisited
With the threat of rain and high winds Emma and I took a chance and headed for Shawnee Creek Friday morning. The rain mostly stayed away, a ridge protected the covert from most of the winds and we had a fine morning hunt. I decided to hunt the covert "backward" from the way I had always hunted it. I found the shallow riffles, waded across the creek and started hunting along the creek toward the southern end of cover. Emma was soon on point in open cover and with the confidence of killing the last 3 woodcock with 3 shots I walked in with The Twigg and promptly missed the bird with both barrels. Emma soon found another bird this time in thicker cover and the 'cock used a hawthorn tree to evade my right barrel shot and was gone. We were nearing the end of the cover and Emma's beeper went off again. This bird proved to be even sneakier than the last two and flushed without giving me a chance to shoot. We turned and started north through a large field of goldenrod growing back with pines when Emma's beeper sounded in the distance.
I had a hard time figuring out just where she was pointing and when I finally found her the point was an empty one. We hunted on toward the northern end of the covert and was approaching the end when Emma found another bird. I walked in pushing my glasses up onto the bridge of my nose, tugged at the brim of my cap, and shrugged my shoulders to loosen up my strap vest all in an attempt to get a good gun mount and drop this bird. The 'cock lifted and made it's escape toward a pine tree. My right barrel load passed harmlessly behind it. As the momentum of The Twiggs long barrels caught up to and passed the bird I dropped the left hammer and saw the bird tumble to the ground. Here's Emma making a nice retrieve.
We crossed the creek and headed back south toward the truck. After a long spell without any birds we were approaching the "hottest corner" in the covert and sure enough Emma found a bird. I moved in, flushed the bird and dropped it with the right barrel, my confidence in The Twigg restored.
Emma soon found another woodcock in this "sweet spot" but I took too long thrashing through the thick alders and the bird flushed without a chance to shoot. With that I decided to call it a day and headed for the truck for the standard "bored Emma" tailgate pic.
Back home Emma got one last sniff of her bird while Thicket waited her turn.
The future (Thicket) and the past (Hattie) enjoying the scent.
Both my birds were hens, if the bill length vs. width of a dollar bill measurement is accurate. With the cold weather that they are having up north and the northerly winds we are having I would guess these to be flight birds.