Friday, December 31, 2010
The Final Bird Hunt
The Christmas and New Year's holidays are always bittersweet for us bird hunters. At the same time that we are celebrating with family, enjoying a few days off from work, we are also trying to fit in a final couple of days hunting. Often, these final days afield are cold and miserable, providing plenty of excuses to stay home, if needed.
My final hunt in 2010, was on Christmas Day, just a few miles from town. It wasn't meant to be an all day hunt, just a quick walk to exercise the dogs and give myself a bit of breathing room between excessive bouts of eating. In fact, I didn't don my usual hunting vest and just threw five shells in my pocket.
The morning was only offering temperatures in the single digits, but without any wind, it was a nice day to be following dogs, carrying a shotgun. As soon as we crossed the first wind-swept ridge, the dogs were rigid, both looking downhill and upwind. Just as I spotted a flock of sharptail on the ground, the birds took flight, giving me a long shot at one bird, but to no avail. A few minutes later, Abby was locked up again, this time with a covey of Huns in front of her. I managed to drop two of the birds, one of which was retrieved by Abby, the other one I picked up, after the fact.
I continued my walk, encountering more sharptail, but not needing to pull the trigger. I had all I needed in my brief walk: fresh air, good dog work and one day closer to the 2011 upland bird season.
Posted by Jay at 9:03 AM