A Hunt for the Big Birds
Every hunt needs a leader. And what better leader than a veteran. At 12 years of age, this guy is my "Mr. Man". He has been my go to for a long, long time. There may be dogs that are better trained. There may be those with more birds retrieved. There are none with more heart. This will be his last long walk. He'll get some more hunts, but none as tough as this was.
Every Hunt Needs a Support Crew, or, Good Friends.
A great dog to hunt with, and good friends to hunt beside. What can be better than that? Especially when they are game for a grand adventure?
Got to Keep the Boss Happy
The old man should not have to lay on the cold ground. He gets the brand new high end rain gear that was a Christmas present. The coat still smells like wet dog. I hope it always does.
The old eyes can still spot the birds. Even though deafness is coming, I think he hears the birds pretty well too.
The Big Birds Delivered to Hand
That is what we came for. Big Birds. Sandhills no less. And my partner did his job, or at least he thought so. Huffing and puffing, sounding like an old locomotive, he took the line and picked up the birds. As he came back I could see the shine in his eyes over the big load he carried. His neck was arched in pride as if to say, "See, I can still do it."
All of us got in some great shooting. The birds co-operated. I think the guys learned that carrying Cranes on a day pack, or on a neck strap designed for ducks leaves a bit to be desired.
The Birds, The Guys, and the Boss
What a night! What a great experience! Not just because of the birds taken, but because of the whole package. I can't remember ever working that hard for any birds, including ptarmiagan. I hunted with 2 really good guys. They stuck with it, laughing as the sweat poured over our eyes, tripping on willows, tussocks, and swamp. None of it was too tough, or too much to handle. We got out well after dark, me leading the way, them trusting that I knew what the heck I was doing. This hunt makes it into the Hunt Diary.
Ebonies Last Chance with His Birds
That is his given name. We call him "Chance". Like I said, his hard hunt days are over. Due to a partially paralyzed larynx he can't swim, and we have to monitor how hard he works, or his throat closes and he can't breathe. It is hard on me, and him too I think. But we'll find ways to get out and spend time in the woods, or on the sandbars, or on the mountain chasing something feathered.
I hope you enjoyed the story 1/2 as much as we enjoyed our night after the Sandhill Cranes.
Have an older lab as well...be proud...great story. Thanks for sharing.
Make sure to put him on the heat blanket...lol
Fun stuff Greg! Hey I need your number again, we both ran the other day before I could get it. Got on geese, trying to get them down enough to shoot.....got some minor adjustments to make, maybe tthis morning. I NEVER get up this early for moose LMAO!
Great look dogs too!
Amazing how fast they are
One of the guys had a tough time hitting his birds. He has not had a lot of experience H2O fowl hunting yet. I kept telling him to get out in front of the birds more, and to make his first shot a bit earlier.
He'd wait till they were right overhead, and then struggle to catch up to them. His follow up shots were always as they were going away. You watch those big birds come, and their wing beats are so slow it looks like they hover. I think they are way faster than they look. Later, a flock came by with a lone goose. That goose was working to keep up. I think that was what really made the difference for him.
I know I pulled through one of my birds, and still centered his chest. His head did not drop, so I did the same thing again, thinking I was further forward, but my shot again centered him. He was dead on impact. All 3 of my birds were solid kills. I was using Triple B, while the others were using 2B. At least 2 of their birds were still pretty lively when they went to pick them up.
I also kept my shots pretty short. I really did not care if I came home with a limit, so anything that was slightly long I just let go. All 3 birds landed within 20 yards of me, the closest was about 4 yards away.
Great story and hearing it from all three of you is awesome. Wish I could have been there!!! But you know where I was!!! Wish I could have seen Chance work it is great you got him out for another hunt!! I wish I had been able to get my Chessie out again before she passed..wish I had known it was too happen..I wouldn't have given the young dog so many birds that final season.