Saturday, February 27, 2010
Well the hunt is over and neither human nor canine was in any way hazarded--though we did put a hurtin' on a few birds, pictured in breathless repose on the fence.
We went two rounds on a hunting preserve about twenty minutes from where I live in Easton, the first with John's dog Cappy (pictured) (a superbly trained Spinone) and the second with Hugh's dog Ollie--a beautiful little black lab. It was a big, beautiful farm ringed with woods and a few nice border-making tree-lines.
The Spinone is a pointer--he'd get on the scent of a bird and go into a point beautifully. John or Hugh would walk toward where the bird was, and then it would either start running out of the brush or immediately take to flight. Once he/she was up in the air and a safe line of fire was established, Eric and I were the shooters--depending on which side of the brush/tree line that bird exited.
I missed my first four shots (two birds, using an over/under Baretta). Eric on the other hand, was hot early, hitting five birds in a row. I improved as the day wore on, and eventually bagged five or so myself.
Contrasted with deer hunting from a stand, the hunting we did today is downright social. No one seemed terribly concerned about being loud or spooking the game, though obviously we got serious when one of the dogs got "birdy". The Lab, Ollie, was a bit younger and less experienced than Cappy, and he "flushed" the birds rather than pointed them. This was a problem every now and then, as he'd get a bit in front of us and flush birds at too great a distance for a good shot--though the birds were often downright accommodating and would fly back toward us, as if offering themselves for our shooting/eating pleasure (I've got quite a bit of breasted pheasant and a few chuckers to enjoy...).
Always great to be in Mudge's company, truly one of the most simpatico gentlemen I know. Hugh's a long-time Easton/Eastern Shore resident, and he told wonderful stories of how the area used to be. John put the trip all together and proved an able and amiable host. All in all, a superb day. Thanks to all involved.
Posted by The Conservative Wahoo at 2/27/2010