If you’re jonesing for grouse season like I am, you’ll enjoy this video. Just released by the guys at Project Upland it’s a great look into what makes upland hunting so special–and a great reminder of what’s just a few months away.
The upland hunting season in Maine started on October 1st. But due to the crummy weather, my first day chasing grouse and woodcock was this past Saturday – 10/8. It was hot out all day – above 80 degrees at the peak – and the leaves were still up and very green. It looked like September. Right now fall’s about 2 weeks behind. I hope colder weather is on the way. I want those leaves down.
The hunting was hard. The thick cover and heat teamed up on us to make the shooting tough and the walking even harder. I went out with Master Maine Guide Bob Foshay. I’ve been hunting with Bob for the past 6 years. He’s 79 now and still going strong. We went out with his GSP Nelly and my girl Puck. In all, we moved 10 woodcock and 2 grouse – not bad. I shot two grouse. From here the season should only get better. Now if only those leaves would turn and drop.
What could be simple than a check cord? It’s just a chunk of rope. You attach it to your dog and train away. Of course, it’s not that simple. There are right and wrong ways to use this training essential. Here are a couple articles that point out some of those dos and don’t. If you’re training a bird dog, both are worth a read.
“Sometimes the more simple the tool, the harder it is to understand. The human mind seems to like making simple things more complicated. Maybe simple is more complicated. Take the check-cord. There are few pieces of training equipment as simple, yet this short piece of rope is the single most important tool you will own, and it is vastly misunderstood. Unlike a leash where the dog walks next to you, a dog should hunt in front of you while walking on the check-cord…”
“…In every dog’s training, there comes a time to ask the dog to work out away from us at a distance. This is best accomplished gradually and in small steps using a valuable tool called the check cord. Using a check cord gives us control over our dog’s movement at an increasing distance, reinforcing how and where we want the dog to work when hunting in front of us. This is simply an extension of the previous step, the command lead. If the lead work was done thoroughly and correctly, and we’ve developed a point of contact on the dog’s neck, then the check cord work will go easily. If it does not, it means more time is needed on the lead and development of the cue on the neck…”