I took Roca, my 17 month old lab out today for her first upland hunt. We managed to find some ptarmigan, and I was lucky enough to hit a double. The first bird fell into an open area, the second just over a small rise.
As I had seen the birds before they flushed, I was able to give her a sit command, which she obeyed. Once the birds came up, and I shot twice, she was able to get a good mark on them. I lined her, and gave her the retrieve command.
WOW. She loves birds. She hit that first bird at full speed. It was about a 40 to 50 yard retrieve. She brought the bird back to heel, sat pretty as you please with the bird, and delivered to hand.
I knew the second bird would be tough as the line went through the fall of the first bird. I lined her, sent her, and she did get hung up short in the old fall. No issue. I walked up slowly, and encouraged her to hunt over the small hill. She did, spotted the bird immediately, and made another pretty retrieve.
What a great moment! A beautiful young dog was able to bring back the birds, just as we had trained. My first ptarmigan of the year, her first white birds ever in a hunting situation. Very nice!
I love paydays!