This past Sunday Sand Spring Chesapeakes went to Lone Oak Shooting Preserve. All four dogs got to go along. This would be Glory’s first time at a pheasant farm. She retrieved one pheasant when she was 3 months and one pheasant during the Wisconsin pheasant season, so this was going to be a real big treat for her. I asked my nephew Joey who is 15.5 yrs old if he would like to go along. He likes hunting and doesn’t get to go bird hunting unless he goes with us. This was his early Christmas present from John and I. Joey has never been to a pheasant farm either and has only been out pheasant hunting once with no birds shot.
Our game plan was that we were going to take Norman out hunting first on the close field, that way he didn’t have to walk so far as he tires easily. We hit the field and only had to go about 20 yards and Norman picked up a scent and he was off. We had to dang near run to keep up with the old man, when he catches a scent it’s amazing how his legs begin to work. He flushed up a pheasant, it headed straight into the sun, it was on my side so I took the shot and I got it. It was so great to see Norman go out and make that retrieve, he was so happy on the return the look in his eyes made my heart melt. We hunted a bit longer with a couple more flushes but the gunners weren’t doing their jobs and missed so no more retrieves.
Next was Nellie, she was so excited to go she quartered and quartered nose to the ground checking back to see if we were following. When she would get on a scent her tail would wag even faster and then she was on hot pursuit. I told Joey you need to keep up with her she is on a bird. You need to trust your dog and stay with them, if you don’t then the dog gets ahead of you and flushes the bird to far up ahead of you and you don’t have a shot. She did a nice job flushing but once again the shooters were not on. She managed to flush up one bird and we got that one so she got a retrieve on her first time out, time to go back to the truck and if there is time then she will get out again.
Now it was Gamblers time. This young man had to sit through 2 dogs out hunting and he was not happy. He was doing his sad Gambler scream while the others were hunting. When he got out he was hell bend for wire and he was like a greyhound, just a speed demon. He would flush up a bird, we would miss and he would follow the bird into the next county just so he could see if he could get it since we couldn’t. He would come back when he realized he wasn’t going to keep up with it. This happened a couple more times. Joey got his shooting eye on and got a bird for Gambler as I did also. Two birds and one tired dog from doing so much chasing back to the truck with you.
We saved the best for last! Glory’s turn now and she was a rock star! We were walking to the field where we left off and in one minute she managed to flush up 2 birds and we got the 2 birds in such a short period of time. She was a natural, went in the cover with her nose down and tail wagging and flushed up the birds. She then would retrieve them and carry it back to me with her whole body wiggling. She was so happy and proud of herself as she should be. We continued our hunt, we got to the end of the field stopped and decided where we were going to go and where was Glory? She was still hunting and flushing up birds a ways away from us. Sorry Glory we should have told you we were stopping for a discussion break. We then got our game plan in order and off we went. We hunted and got 2 more birds for Glory. She was in the lead now with 4 birds. When we needed to pass by the pheasant pen Glory ran over to the pen and would watch the pheasants flying around the pen. There were some pheasants on the outside of the pen and we told her “no birds” and she just stood there and watched, she was such a good girl with her bird restraint. Back to the truck for a rest.
Nellie, Gambler and Norman got to get out one more time to finish up our hunt. Nellie got 4 more birds on this time out. She managed to get a hen that was weed laying without us shooting at all. Gambler got 2 more birds, we were better shots this time so he didn’t need to run amuck after the birds when we missed. Norman got to go out and get some more exercise. No birds for him until the end when we were walking back to the truck and he stopped, ran into the corner of the field and flushed up a bird. There was a tree in my way so I missed the bird and off Norman went chasing it thinking I hit it (wonder where Gambler gets his chase from)? I went and got Norman told him no bird and we walked back to the truck my friend and I.
We ended up with 14 birds, 4 dogs and 2 hunters. Joey had a great day on his first pheasant farm hunt. The dogs also had a great day as I did to. I love to watch the dogs work and was so proud of Joey and his hunting abilities.
Enjoy the slide show.