So today is opening day for Pheasants in Ohio. I didn’t plan very well and couldn’t take today off to go chase them on opening day. So it will have to wait until tomorrow. This year I have a new, to me, Setter named Nick, and we will see how he does on Pheasants. My plan is to go hunt the thickets for woodcock and hopefully not play out the missing dog scenario that we had a few weeks ago, and with any luck it will be the places that the majority of the folks out hunting the grasslands will avoid, and will find some roosters hiding out from the madness. That’s pretty much how it went last year.
Yesterday I went in search of Woodcock at what is said to be a good place to find them Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area. Now mind you, I had number of things working against me. Todays’ media would seieze this opportunity to use a favorite buzzword, “perfect storm” but I hate that phrase and think its overused, so I’ll just say that I had a few things working against me.
1. I took my 5 year old son. Caveat Emptor right? He actually kept up pretty well and except for one fall where he skinned his knee on a log, he didn’t whine once. That by itself, is a WIN! His official capacity was billed as “photographer” and he fulfilled his duties without exception.
2 . I got there later than I wanted to, so it was dry and windy. Not good scenting conditions for the dog.
3 . This is only my second “hunt” with my new “to me” dog Nick. For first hunt with Nick, see Dove post a few weeks back.
4. The place is north of a GIANT chicken poop farm, and the winds were not working in my favor.
After an hour or so of pounding around in the woods we decided to head to the truck for lunch, but apparently Nick didn’t want to so he stayed out. Where he was I will never know, hopefully not on point, because I gave him a couple good jolts with the E-collar to remind him to catch up, but he didn’t oblige.
After a phone call to a friend and some fretting at the car, I decided we needed to go back where we last saw him. On the way I remembered his enthusiasm for all things that go bang, and let off a couple of shots with my firearm.
As you might expect my 12 Gauge Dog whistle worked like a charm and he was at my feet in a minute.
I then leashed him up and we healed back to the car.
I probably did everything wrong, and we have a lot of work to do Nick and I. But the only way to learn is to get out there and do it right?
One bright spot is, I finally put my Android phone with My Tracks GPS mapping software to work. You can see EXACTLY where I hunted on the public Google map over here. I’m generally against detailed information disclosure of this sort but if ain’t a honey hole, then telling you where it is won’t really matter right? So there you have it.
The collage above shows the placement of the chicken poop factory due south. PEEEE-yew, burning nostrils, I’m sure it smelled heavenly to the dog though 🙂
I will post some photos of our hunt, from the eyes of a child later tonight.