We're not allowed to hunt in the national forest on Sundays, something I did for years until I learned about the rule. I always wondered why I never ran into anyone else. There's no rule against taking your dog for a walk, though.
Figures we'd stumble into a covey when I didn't have a gun on me. This photo tells the tale of just how fickle scent can be. When I rounded the corner and saw Wyatt on point, he was looking to the left, not the right as he is below. His head was gently drifting from side to side so I knew he didn't have the birds locked, but he wasn't coming off the point either. I stepped off the road toward him and the covey blew up about 3 yards off his tail, leaving him with the look below as they flew off.
I checked the wind and sure enough it was blowing left to right. My guess is the birds were feeding (it was about 4pm) and had just been in the area to the left. A few minutes after the flush the wind had shifted 180 degrees, so there's no telling what his nose picked up. I was extremely impressed he held point for as long as he did under those conditions.
This time of year you can occasionally find a few woodcock in the right places. They love the river bottoms and cane breaks and the shooting is usually pretty easy down there.
|Woodcock like this...|
|...and love this|
A machete would have been highly useful as I pushed and clawed and bled my way through and after a few minutes I heard it, the chirp of a timberdoodle taking flight, and looked up just in time to see it float over the tops of the pines. Gun behind me, a shot was not a remote possibility. This routine repeated on a second bird. Eventually we escaped from the wooded prison and got two more flushes, the last of which actually presented a shot but the bird would have dropped right back in the middle of the trees and vines so I watched it sail off. Woodcock hunting.
|Working the edge late in the day|
|Not all views are bad|
|Apparently they're not too concerned about the rider.|
I didn't see either of them.
|Maybe this way..|
|End of the day|