Thursday, October 11, 2012

Sage Hens in the High Lonesome

Terry, Scooter, Smoke, Annie and I spent yesterday combing some of the highest, remotest sagebrush basins on the planet for sage hens. All day we found scattered singles and little bunches, some of which eluded both us and the dogs, most flushed wild although in early afternoon Scooter (6 mo. old German shorthair) and Smoke (3 yr. old pointer) combined on a small bunch and Terry did his part dropping a young cock with a single well-aimed shot. Scooter established point first (her first by the way) and Smoke backed, a pretty exciting deal for Terry and obviously a monumental moment in Scooter's fast developing career. The little rascal is really coming on, hunts all day, went from busting birds last week to what turned out yesterday to be a really fine performance for any bird dog let alone a young pup. Meanwhile Annie and I tramped miles of sage and when we finally decided to hang it up around five and head out had yet to see even one bird. But all of that was about to change. Driving out on a rough two-track we spotted a couple birds hunkered in the sage not far actually from where we had hunted earlier. We drove on a few hundred yards parked the truck, turned loose the hounds and... Soon we had points in every direction birds flying hither and yon and...when the melee finally ended we had three birds down and young Scooter's best performance about to unravel. Pointing staunchly Terry dropped the bird but only winged it scooted through heavy sagebrush with Scooter hot on the trail! Pointing and trailing like a veteran the pup finally ran it down but only after a 100 yards or more! Pretty damn nifty, eh? And yes Terry really is and deservedly so the Proud Papa...Go get'em Scooter... As for Annie and Smoke...well let's just say 'tweren't their best performances ever and leave it go at that...actually both dogs pretty much lost it somewhere between the first points and the 50 or so flushes followed...Still a pretty good way to end an awesome hunt in awesome country...sage hens,bird dogs, even the sometimes wayward sort ya gotta love 'em.

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