It’s been a different season for me and the boys this year. The heat, dryness and skittish birds have made for a slow start. It’s not that we haven’t seen plenty of birds but good points and bird cooperation has been few and far between. The many miles and different locations always produced similar results of tired dogs and hunter and not too many birds in the bag. It’s been difficult keeping a positive attitude. But two days ago we got a substantial front move through the valley and it brought plenty of the wet stuff. It was even white at about 5000 feet.
I had no idea the effect on me and the dogs until we started our hunt yesterday. Heading up the hill seemed almost effortless. Maybe it was because I only was carrying two water bottles but with a lighter pack and dogs that were fired up to get up the hill I was motivated to cover some country. The overcast skies and cool wind helped to keep me and the boys cool and wanting to find some birds.
It’s amazing how some good fall weather can change the attitude and suddenly that far mountain doesn’t seem so far and you become more positive about the amount of game you’re going to see on your trip there. That’s how yesterdays trip went. From a warm dusty hike with plenty of stops along the way to a cool steady hike and willing to try and keep up with the pups.
We hunted yet another spot that we haven’t seen yet this year and the bird numbers ended up good. I don’t think it was because we were in a better spot but the weather created more opportunities. Once we found birds it seemed more like chukar hunting usual is. You move one covey and shortly find the next. There still isn’t much cover so many of the covey’s still flushed wild but just as many held like a chukar will. It was super satisfying to see those staunch points by both dogs as well as some of the backing. I still don’t pack the camera yet this year but can’t tell you how much I enjoy walking up on a pair of dogs standing ten feet from each other like statues, flat backs, tail high and nose aimed at the same bunch of cover. They let me move in front of them for the flush and I do my job. To top it off they both pick up and bird and deliver the prize to me before heading off to try again.
That’s the kind of day I had. It erased the doom and gloom of the hot dusty days we’ve been having. What’s more, it once again showed me how important conditions can be for not only the dogs but the hunter as well. My old body suddenly had that 30 year old spirit that helped me get to the points. There’s three months of great hunting ahead and I’m fired up to be rid of this doom and gloom.