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The first place we hit.

The first place we hit.

Lexi and I headed out for our first day in the field last Saturday. Lexi did well, but the birds were scarce. We moved two grouse and zero woodcock (and we hit two of my best woodcock spots).

The day started in some classic New England upland coverts – overgrown farmland broken up by plowed fields — plenty of tumbling rock walls and old, craggy apple trees. Lexi hit the first spot with crazed exuberance, bouncing and leaping like she was electrified. She seemed thrilled, but not sure why. We hunted into a birdy looking tangle and after a few seconds of high-octane tail wagging, she popped into a point. I thought she had her very first bird. It turned out to be a dud, though.

Lexi began by ranging out 10-20 yards and keeping a close eye on me. I walked her into the birdy-looking spots and tried to show her where to hunt. By the end of the day, she had started to hunt on her own. Her range was about 40 yards, and she was more independent and bold. She came when I called her, and quartered on command. Not bad for a five-month old pup.

The past week has real warm throughout New England, and I’m not hearing a lot of good things about the woodcock. I’m hoping to find some migrants tomorrow. We’ll be pushing further north and hitting spots that should have some local birds. With a little luck, Lexi may have her very first point. My fingers are crossed. Wish us luck.

Apples from an old apple tree

Apples from an old apple tree

A birdy looking spot

A birdy looking spot

Nice cover. No birds.

Nice cover. No birds.

 

2 Responses to “We’re off to try again…”

  1. Nick Kenney says:

    I just returned from central MN yesterday.
    We hunted with Steve Grossman out of Staples.
    Steve is a well known dog trainer, who specializes in
    English setters.
    In two days of hunting, we moved 20 grouse
    and 31 woodcock.
    Not quite the “good old days”, but enough shooting to keep
    us happy.
    I was shooting my Merkle 200-e, 16 gauge.
    I can’t say enough good things about the gun.

  2. Gregg says:

    Glad to hear you had a good time. I’ve heard good things about Steve. I would love to hunt with him one day.

    And I love those Merkels. Great doubles.

    Thanks for the comment.

    Gregg

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