Saturday, March 16, 2013
THE VERY EFFICIENT HUNTERS
What do I mean by efficient hunters? How about getting four pheasants with three shots in less than 20 minutes? It really happened. Keep reading for the details.
There were five humans with two shotguns and four dogs. The four dogs were Jolie (the model for Juliet in my current WIP, "The Deadly Dog Show"), her daughter Schöne (who has, by far, the best nose for birds in the family), her brother Tyger, and Cloud, a friend’s English Pointer. We were hunting just before the end of the season so it was pretty crowded and the fields had been pretty thoroughly hunted over before we got there. We didn’t expect to see (m)any birds on this hunt.
About two minutes walk into the field brought us to a German Shorthaired Pointer (GSP) scrum. Schöne was on a rock hard point, with Jolie and Tyger honoring her point. Cloud was wandering somewhere else—she didn’t have the nose of the GSPs. Someone kicked the bird to flush it, a shot rang out, and we had a bird falling out of the sky being retrieved by a GSP. Off went the dogs and less than two minutes later we had another point by Schöne and a replay of the first scene. Less than a minute later Schöne found the third bird and the scene was repeated once again.
At this point we had three birds in three shots in about 6 minutes. Things quieted down quite a bit until ten minutes or so later when Elaine noticed that Jolie was missing. In the terrain we were walking through, that probably meant she was hunting in one of the irrigation ditches that lined the field. Elaine tried to call her in to where we were. No answer, no response. She whistled a recall.
Jolie suddenly materialized in a clump of high grass where she had been on a solid point. There was no way she was going to come back to us without her bird. She pounced, got the bird in her mouth, and brought it back to us in perfectly good condition---no bird shot, no tooth marks.
We got four birds with three shots in less than twenty minutes. All true!