Elation & frustration. Day 6 of our fall hunting trip …

Fresh woodcock splash in the alder cover
Fresh woodcock splash in the alder cover

So far, it’s been several days of ups and days. We’ve been finding birds, but not many. Some of the woodcock have been holding for points, but the grouse have been flushing wild.I saw these birds flush on their own, so I know Lexi was not pushing them up. I’ve never seen such skittish grouse.

It wasn’t until today that we got into a significant number of woodcock. They were right where they should be this time of year – in an stand of Alders – and in about 30 minutes we put up 12 birds. Lexi had solid points on three of them. I missed them all. On the others, a couple flushed wild and Lexi bumped the rest.

Lexi standing over the splash
Lexi standing over the splash

Bumped birds are one of the frustrations of breaking in a dog, and it’s hard for me to remain calm and patient when I see Lexi pushing birds into the sky. She’s also had her share of long pauses/false points. After a while, these things drive me mad.

I strapped my pointer cam on her so I could get a better look at what she was doing in the woods. The videos below are what we shot. There’s a long and short version. Take a look and let me know your thoughts.

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6 thoughts on “Elation & frustration. Day 6 of our fall hunting trip …

  1. The frustrating reality is that it just takes time. My two GSPs took until New Year’s Eve for it to click. From early November until the end of December it was almost a weekly crucible of bumped birds, false points etc. Even now getting ready for their second season there are so many things they will get better on. Focus on the process, not the outcome. Also just enjoy it, even the frustrating parts. And I say this as a guy with limited time and resources so time in the field is marked at a premium.

  2. Hello Gregg,

    Unfortunately I can’t offer any advice, as my 7 year old Brittany still bumps plenty of birds. Mostly, I think, due to my poor training as well as skittish birds. She’ll point planted birds 100% of the time because they hold tight. Late season wild birds are a challenge without some weather to encourage the birds to hold.

    However, after watching the videos I have a question/request: can you show a picture of the go-pro setup/harness you use with Lexi? The harness I have doesn’t work nearly as well.

    Thanks and good luck!

  3. Well I’m not sure I would call it a tip so much as commiseration with some words of encouragement.

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