Posts tagged: hunting dogs
HUNTING — I'm getting few messages from wives of hunters after they read my outdoors column today, “Hunters need financial planning to cover expenses.”
They're pointing out that more and more women are going hunting, too. In fact, a survey last year found that about 11 percent of the hunting licenses sold across the country were sold to women. Cool.
But the women giving me a buzz today are chuckling with me.
“Thanks for reminding me how much money we put into hunting this year,” said Robin, who says she hunts big game with and without her husband. “Problem is, I spent most of it.”
HUNTING — Eastern Washington's pheasant season ended Sunday in a weekend of winds gusting to 70 mph at the top of the 49 Degrees North ski area where they toppled a cell phone tower.
I figured I had a better shot at chukars in the Snake River canyon where I could loop into bowls out of the wind.
Indeed, I found some pleasant hunting interspersed with high-wind exposure as I hiked around basalt bands on the ridges.
But I was surprised that in 4.5 hours of covering a lot of ground, my English setter, Scout, found only two coveys of chukars. The dog locked up solid 80 yards away from the first cover as the strong winds telegraphed their scent to his nose. But the covey flushed wild as I approached, caught the wind, and appeared to be setting wings for a wind-assisted flight to Montana.
The other covey cooperated in making my hunt successful.
But that was it. I covered some great private land where I've hunted with permission numerous times and never have found fewer than three coveys.
So now I'm wondering: Should I have been hunting the highest slopes that were open to the high winds? Is that where the chukars were hanging out?
The hunting season for partridge and quail runs through Jan. 20.
HUNTING — I started low along the Snake River and climbed high into the basalt cliffs for chukars on Saturday.
It was a perfectly sunny but cool day for working my English setter, Scout, who was on his game.
HUNTING — When I heard the weather report calling for nasty weather today I looked at Scout and said, “Sounds like a perfect day to call in sick and go hunting!”
I was right. Perfect morning, except for the roads on the return trip.
My advice now: It's a perfect day to stay home!
HUNTING — While hunting pheasants on Sunday, this is how my English setter, Scout, defined the idiom, “Got 'em dead to rights.”
HUNTING — I've been exploring some of the properties in the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Private Lands Access Program this week.
While there's some good habitat holding upland birds on these lands, the thing that strikes me is how much “filler” there is in the acreage listings. I hunted a property on Monday that lists a sizable acreage, but 90 percent of it is cultivated, and recently plowed so that there's no holding cover.
Just be warned. All the properties listed aren't winners.
HUNTING — My English setter, Scout, had six consecutive points on hens, then one solid find on a solo rooster.
Stir-fry dinner coming up.
HUNTING DOGS — Even if the pheasant hunting season weren't days away, Jack Dolan and his wife would be sick that their six-month old German shorthair pointer has gone missing.
The dog ran off after it was lightly struck by a vehicle late Sunday afternoon just west of Medical Lake and the Veteran's Cemetery near the Dolan's driveway at Hallet and Espanola roads.
The dog's name is Chip. His collar was broken off by the impact. He panicked and ran across a field and out of sight. Although there's no collar on him now, he has been micro-chipped and can be identified by a veterinarian.
The family points out that Chip could have covered a lot of ground, so they're posting signs in Reardan, Airway Heights and around the region.
If anyone sees, finds or hears anything that could lead to this dog, please call Dolan at (509) 389-8481.
Dolan, 72, was featured this summer in an S-R story about the extraordinary hunter education course he's been teaching as a volunteer leader for 26 years. This dog, shown in the photo above, is his prized possession.
Many hunters get all excited about opening days — forest grouse and mourning doves open Sunday.
But the best and safest hunting for a bird dog is later in the seasons, when the field is cooler, damper and there's been more opportunity to get in tip-top shape after the dog days of summer.
HUNTING — I marvel at my English setter, and all the various faithful breeds preferred by my friends. Here's one angle on why.
If you can…
- Start the day without caffeine.
- Always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains.
- Resist complaining and boring people with your troubles.
- Eat the same food every day and be grateful for it.
- Understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time
- Overlook it when those you love take it out on you when through no fault of yours, something goes wrong.
- Take criticism and blame without resentment.
- Ignore a friend’s limited education and never correct him/her.
- Resist treating a rich friend better than a poor friend
- Face the world without lies and deceit.
- Conquer tension without medical help.
- Relax without liquor.
- Sleep without the aid of drugs.
- Honestly say deep in your heart that you have no prejudice against creed, color, religion or politics.
….Then, you are ALMOST as good as your dog.
HUNTING DOGS — The national plant of veterinarians across the West is in full bloom.
Cheatgrass that was only a spotty problem two weeks ago has been cured by the recent heat wave and I can tell you from personal experience that it's at full capacity to inflict harm on your dog's ears, toes, nose and other body parts.
I'm plugging my dogs' ears with cotton for even the shortest romp, and checking them thoroughly afterward, especially between the toes.
I'll be suspending most field dog training and doing most of my dog's physical conditioning by taking him hiking in the mountains and throwing retrieving dummies into lakes.
The extreme danger to dogs will continue until some point in August when wind and pounding thunderstorms drive most of the seed spears to the ground.
HUNTING — I had some interesting conversations over meals with a professor from Iran a few years ago centered on our common love for hunting chukars. We don't hear much about that part of Middle Eastern culture, but he was a solid enthusiast for walking the steep river canyons and swinging a shotgun for sport.
I made my gaffe when I expressed dismay that he hunted alone without a bird dog. He winced a bit but was polite.
Still clueless, I invited him to hunt with me and experience the excitement of hunting behind a pointing dog.
He respectfully declined and that was that.
Later I learned that buying and selling dogs is illegal in Iran. Iran’s parliament also passed a bill to criminalize dog ownership, declaring the phenomenon a sign of “vulgar Western values.”
Pursuing birds without a dog would leave a huge hole in my experience, so I'll be hunting my chukars here in the United States of America, which has the highest dog population in the world.
France has the second highest and some South American countries may rival our country for dog populations, except nobody seems to own all the strays that roam the streets.
HUNTING — An Internet oldie from the singles ads.
SINGLE BLACK FEMALE seeks male companionship, ethnicity unimportant. I'm a very good girl who LOVES to play. I love long walks in the woods, riding in your pickup truck, hunting, camping and fishing trips, cozy winter nights lying by the fire. Candlelight dinners will have me eating out of your hand. I'll be at the front door when you get home from work, wearing only what nature gave me.
Call (509) 467-5235 and ask for Annie, I'll be waiting….
Phone number is for the Spokane Humane Society in case you're interested in adopting a dog.
HUNTING — I don't want to jinx the odds, but a lot of upland bird hunters are noticing this is the driest weather we've had in several years for the peak period of the wild quail, chukar and pheasant hatching season.
Upland bird chicks are particularly vulnerable to hypothermia if cool, wet weather persists in early June.
Last year's season was boosted by a good second hatch of birds.
This could be the year the first hatch blossoms.
HUNTING — A clinic for owners of pointing dogs of all ages and abilities is set by the Spokane Bird Dog Association for 8 a.m.-noon on June 8 at the club's Espanola training grounds west of Medical Lake.
Pro trainer Dan Hoke of Dunfur Kennels will present a clinic, after which participants can work their own dogs on pigeons and chukars provided by the club.
Cost: $20. Bring a lunch.
Preregister with Bill Colyar to assure enough birds are ordered, (509) 953-8682.
HUNTING DOGS — It's easy to be prepared for the unexpected but inevitable day your hunting dog is sprayed by a skunk.
And you should ALWAYS be ready. Even at home, as I experienced this week when my dog was sprayed in the backyard just before I was to leave for work.
Since an Eastern Washington University chemistry professor tipped me off to the formula in the 1980s, I've kept a skunk kit in my pickup and in my bird hunting gear basket. I've given the kits as holiday gifts to my hunting buddies.
(See my dog, Scout, above, looking at the kit as though he knows it's his only ticket back into the house.)
I once took a midnight call from a friend who was in Montana with his daughter and dog. They were in a pickle. They were camping with his wife's new SUV and she'd warned them they'd better take care of it in her absence. But their dog got sprayed by a skunk 300 miles from Spokane and father-daughter needed the recipe or they'd be in the dog house with the dog.
I gave them the recipe and two days later I found a thank you note and a bottle of wine on my door step.
THE RECIPE is simple: One quart of hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup baking soda, 1 teaspoon liquid dish soap.
THE KIT makes it easy to apply. Buy a small Tupperware-type container just big enough to hold two quart bottles of hydrogen peroxide, two plastic zipper bags with measured amounts of baking soda and a small plastic bottle with dish soap.
(I like this “double” recipe approach just in case two dogs get too friendly with a skunk at one time. You don't have to make choice on which dog “gets lost” on the way home.)
Also in the container, include one or two pairs of Latex or rubber gloves, a wash rag and a small drying towel. You're set.
Should your dog get sprayed, you can remove the skunk odor in the field (if you have rinse water) without stinking up your rig.
Mix the ingredients at the time they are needed, NOT BEFORE. Wash the dog with all of the solution. Having the washcloth helps you keep it out of the dog's eyes.
Rinse thoroughly. You may want to do a second wash with dog shampoo, but a thorough rinse seems to work fine and prevents the peroxide from changing the color of your dog's fur.
By the way, when I came to work Monday and mentioned that my dog had been sprayed by a skunk, a colleague came over with her wallet and pulled out the de-skunking recipe I'd published in the S-R Outdoors section years ago. “It saved me once, and I wanted to make sure I always had it just in case,” she said.
BIRD DOGGING — A Facebook friend recently sent me several poignant quotations regarding dogs, which made me think fondly back over the German shorthairs, Brittanys and English setters I've been privileged to own, know, love and hunt.
But honestly, I couldn't help but make a few reality checks after thinking about these Dog Wisdoms for a moment. I've added my two cents from decades of experience in bold face.
*Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful. Indeed, the tail wagging may be a devious attempt to delay you from discovering the chewed up bamboo fly rod. - Ann Landers
*If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went, unless it's into the barnyard to roll in cow pies. - Will Rogers
*There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face, and that's a good thing because a psychiatrist is much more likely than a puppy to have been licking something icky before it licked you. - Ben Williams
*A neutered dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance, and to turn around three times before lying down. - Robert Benchley
*If your dog is fat, you aren't getting enough exercise and you clearly aren't a chukar hunter. - Unknown
HUNTING — I took Scout, my English setter, out for two, short, early morning hunts this weekend to celebrate the opening of the quail and partridge seasons. Emphasis on short.
It's simply too dry and warm out there to be working a dog too hard.
In case you missed it in the Sunday Outdoors section, dog trainer Dan Hoke of Dunfur Kennel near Cheney has some excellent early-season tips for hunting with bird dogs.
But I did see enough birds on my short hunts to be optimistic that late hatches produced a decent crop of quail, Huns — and even pheasants. (I saw two young roosters that still weren't feathered out.)
November and December will be prime time.
HUNTING — A nice, easy, fulfilling start to the hunting seasons.
Scout and I have three and a half months to go!