I finally got my dog out for a day of hunting last week. It was almost too late. She’s 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 near 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 stayed that way until last Wednesday, when the dove season opened.
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.
After Wednesday’s dove hunt, Cricket seems to be more content, though I don’t think that’ll last very long. I’m already looking at maps and calendars to see where I can go an when for grouse, geese, chukars, pheasants and ducks in the next few months. I can’t take much more of her golden retriever puppy-dog eyes.
At least, that’s my excuse. You’re welcome to use it yourself, or come up with your own to get you outside this hunting season. Good luck!