Friday morning, rather than hunting, I spent a little time with the guys working on steadiness and honoring. It’s been a challenge adjusting to wild birds after having been trained on planted ones, so I wanted to do a little refresher to make sure they were still on track. I also wanted to start training them on honoring, since they haven’t had a lot of opportunities while hunting this year.
We worked with my two remaining pigeons and partridge, and both Mia and Elettra did quite well in spite of the fact that my last white pigeon didn’t survive the training session. I put Elettra on point with the first bird and then brought Mia in to honor before flushing it for Elettra. Mia did a great job of remaining steady while Elettra gave chase. By the time I got over to Elettra and the bird, it was in rough shape so I finished it off.
The second bird was for Mia, and when she went on point I brought Elettra around to honor. After steadying Elettra to honor Mia, I flushed the bird for Mia, however it slipped the card and flew off. The partridge was the last bird and I gave Elettra the point then brought Mia around to honor, which she did nicely. After returning Mia and Elettra to the house, I wanted see what Doc would do with the partridge since it was out and already carded. I really wanted to put Doc on a pigeon but since it had flown off, later returning to the loft, I had only the partridge too work with. Normally I wouldn’t put a pup his age on a bird but I figured that Doc wouldn’t be intimidated.
Immediately after turning him loose, Doc hit on the pigeon scent from Mia and Elettra’s earlier training session. The wind was around 20 mph but little Doc proved he could keep his nose to the ground as he worked his way upwind to the patch of grass where the bird had been planted. After running the pasture a bit, I brought Doc around to the partridge that I’d planted for him, and he worked his way up the scent cone and right onto the bird which had buried itself into the grass.
After the morning’s training session, Elvis and I made our scheduled visit to the assisted living center and then our first visit to the rehab center. He did great and the people we visited really enjoyed him. Two hours of visiting was a little long for him given that some of the rooms were kept a little hot.