Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Upland Hunting 1/22/14- Rye's First Hunt

   My dad and I took advantage of the "Snow day" yesterday and headed down to Shags Run to bird hunt for a bit. We left about 12:30 so the sun was starting to come out and we were both looking forward to the day.
Rye getting ready to hunt

  After taking a bit of ribbing from Billy and my Dad about spoiling the dog we suited up and headed out to the field. I always enjoy hunting with my dad but today was special since it was the first time we had hunted our own dogs as a team.
    From the start Rye did really well. Shortly after entering the field our wirehaired pointer , Elsie went on point. Rye followed up behind her and backed the point. I was pretty amazed. I wish I had a picture of it but I was pretty focused on the dogs and the birds.

      Despite temp's in the low teens, we had a good hunt. Billy set us up so that much of the hunting was in a valley. Being down there was nice since we were protected from the brunt of the wind. The rest of the day went pretty much the same, Elsie would point birds, Rye would back and we killed a few chukar.  Chukar was a great bird for the day since they can deal with the cold and snow better than the quail and are not as difficult for an inexperienced dog as pheasant. Also, on a side note, they are my favorite to eat.  I can't wait to convert those birds into some wonderful dinners.

     For me, the major highlight of the day happened about an hour into hunting. Going into the day I wasn't really sure if Rye was ready to hunt or not. After the first point I felt much better. She wasn't busting birds either. Keep in mind, she is about 4.5 months old and this was 4th experience with live birds. Obviously, I owe a lot to Billy's breeding program. He is breeding and training some wonderful bird dogs that also make great family dogs.
   Anyway, we were hunting uphill with Elsie out in front of us working and Rye sticking a bit closer but still beginning to quarter when I looked over at her and realized she was on point. I looked a bit in front of her and sure enough the bird was sitting tight, just a bit in front of her. It was pretty cool. That pretty much made my day. I'll try to get some better pictures next time.
      After hunting, Dad and I were happy to head into the guide shack and warm up around the wood stove. It was great to sit around and tell stories with Billy and my dad. I have learned so much from these two guys. Rye didn't miss an opportunity to come snuggle up in my lap.
      Shags Run is really a special place.

I still have two hunts left for this year on February 8th and March 16th. I'd love to have you along. You can also head down there anytime on your own to hunt behind Billy's setters. You'll be glad you did!


Hyde Park Shop Hours:
Monday-Thursday 10-8
Friday -Saturday 10-6
Sunday 11-5

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