|Tina With Deer River, Mn Grouse and Woodcock
We got a bit of a late start as we decided to make breakfast and eat at the cabin. We decided to start with an area near Bigfork, MN. When we arrived at the location there was a pop-up camper parked by the forest road. This area receives a fair number of hunters but has been decent in the past even when there were other hunters. Tony unloaded his two GSPs. Quetico was starting his second hunting season and Stone is now 12 years old. I started out with Tina. As we worked down the trail a little Brit came shooting out of the woods. It’s owner wasn’t too far down the trail, in shorts and a short sleeve shirt. We guessed he wasn’t doing too much off trail hunting... He told us that his buddy was by a beaver pond working a one year old GSP. We later heard a dog yelping quite loudly. It sounded like the owner had just figured out how to work an ecollar. From the dog’s response he was creating a future client for an actual dog trainer...
We hit the turnaround with only moving one bird. This same weekend last year we were moving 20+ birds in the same amount of time on the same trail. We started to hear some rumbling off in the distance. We picked up the pace on the way back to the trucks and didn’t move any birds. We made it to the vehicles just as the rain started. After lunch and rest at a bar/grill in Big Fork we started to work to the west and south.
We ended up just north of Deer River at an area that I had tried a few times in the past. With three hunters and three dogs it was clear that we weren’t going to sneak up on any birds. A short way down the trail Tina started to get birdy and locked up. I swung up the trail and moved in towards her. She stayed staunch. I could see her eyes looking just off to her left and I moved that way. Up came a woodcock and I decided to try take it as a reward for her hard work. I missed, but saw where it landed and released Tina and made our way in that direction. She made another nice point and I didn’t miss this time.
We made it to an area with some younger pine trees and Tina started to work off the trail so I decided to bushwhack it a bit. Tina was working to the trail and then off to my side. She started to slow and was getting ready to point when I heard a flush at the same time Mark called out. The grouse came my way and I was able to connect on a going away shot. Tina made a nice retrieve.
We ended up back at the truck without moving any more birds. We decided a totally new area ( new to us anyway ) was in order for the following day.
On the way back Tina either bit her tongue or it got poked by a stick and was bleeding all over her front. She looked a mess but I think was mostly tired.
|Tina All Bloody
After riding home and getting washed up in the lake she was all set for her dinner and some sleep before the next day.