Mia goes solo

Mia, at McTucker, 11-22-13

Mia, at McTucker, 11-22-13

Friday was probably my last Pheasant hunt of the season so I took both Mia and Doc on separate solo hunts. Mia has been braced with Doc all year and I wanted to give her some one-on-one quality time in the field, so I took her to McTucker Springs.

Mia started the day by going on a nice solid point just after starting out and I flushed two hen Pheasants. As it turned out, the sun made it difficult to see the birds because hunting into the slight breeze also meant hunting directly into the sun.

Mia wading at McTucker Springs.

Mia wading at McTucker Springs.

I walked the access road while Mia hunted the bank of the springs. At one point I stepped off the road to wait while she worked her way up to me, and almost stepped on a big rooster. Unfortunately, I had my hands in my pockets (tip: when your wife suggests wearing gloves while hunting, listen to her!) and by the time I got them out of my pockets and fumbled with the safety, the ringneck had disappeared into some Russian Olives. For some reason the birds were holding very tight and didn’t flush until you were right on top of them.

Pheasant hunting with Mia in heavy brush. Can you find her?

Pheasant hunting with Mia in heavy brush. Can you find her?

Suddenly Pheasants were bursting out of the brush between me and Mia but with the sun directly in my eyes, I couldn’t even see them well enough to shoot. We hunted for a bit before heading downstream. While checking the stream for ducks, we came upon a pair of Mallards and I missed an easy shot at the greenhead. That miss signified how the entire day would go, and after starting the hunting season with great shooting, I’ve lapsed back into missing shots.

Mia is standing inside the red circle.

Mia is standing inside the red circle.

We hunted our way into a thick forest of willows and during the course of the morning flushed almost a dozen roosters. Although there were a lot of birds, the thick brush prevented me from taking shots. Mia got lost again for a few minutes – or at least she was busy hunting and not responding, so this has become another place to avoid until I get a GPS collar. But while calling and whistling for her, a rooster flushed right next to me and I missed the shot.

A band of wild horses at McTucker.

A band of wild horses at McTucker.

Mia heard the shot and came running back and we continued on. While working some scrub brush, she went on a rock solid point. I flushed two roosters and missed my shot. I had one more shot that I missed and ended the morning going 0-for-4 on birds. However Mia showed me that she’s really settled into a solid, dependable hunter.

Mia works the trees for Pheasants at McTucker.

Mia works the trees for Pheasants at McTucker.

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2 Responses to “Mia goes solo”

  1. 2browndawgs Says:

    Bummer on missing your shots. That is how it goes some days. Good job Mia. It sure looks pretty where you hunt. We had the same problem of our dogs getting lost in the cover when we hunted on the pheasant farm. We did have ecollars on them so gave them a correction with a “here” and they came running. I would want a GPS collar if we ever went out west for sure.

    • murphydogs Says:

      GPS’s are a necessity in many areas around here. Since I train the guys myself, we have a good hunting relationship and know how each other hunts so we generally reconnect when hunting in heavy brush, but always times when you get separated. Generally if I can’t see or hear they guys for a minute or so, I assume they’re either on point or we’ve become separated.

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