I really need to get my dog out for a day of hunting. I just hope it’s not too late. Cricket has been pouting for months, and I realized a while ago it was because I hadn’t gotten her on a bird since last November.
I figured it out when I took her out to get her tuned up for the hunting season. I packed some bumpers and a dummy thrower in a bag and hauled her out to a chunk of state land not far from my house. She perked up right away when I loaded her in the truck, and she was absolutely manic when we got to the field. She happily retrieved the bumpers for about a half an hour, but then she kicked up a sharp-tail. When I didn’t pull up a shotgun and knock the bird down, she reverted to pouting again, and she’s been like that ever since.
That dog absolutely lives to retrieve birds. She seems to enjoy bringing back the bumpers, too, but only if there aren’t any critters around with feathers. Once she realizes she could be running around with a bird in her mouth, the bumpers no longer hold any appeal for her at all.
I can see already that I’m going to have to work a little harder at getting her out in the field this season. Luckily, Wyoming has plenty of upland birds and waterfowl, and our seasons are long. We can hunt something every day from September through February, and even well into April if you throw the light goose conservation season into the mix.
Luckily for Cricket and me, she got ahold of one of our chickens on Sunday. Well, it wasn’t exactly a pleasant experience for the chicken, I imagine. But Cricket has a pretty soft mouth, so aside from a little dog slobber and being hauled halfway across the yard, the bird was unharmed. And it gave Cricket the bird fix she’s been so desperately needing. I’m pretty sure we’re going to have to do it right pretty soon, though, or I’ll have to face those golden retriever puppy-dog eyes again.