A few weeks back, after another so-so performance at our local training group, I asked the pro trainer if I should even take “Sprig” out in the field. “Heck yes!” he said, “She’s quartering and flushing and the retrieve will come, and we can work on that next spring. You have yourself a hunting dog. Go hunting!”
You don’t have to tell me that twice, or Sprig either. We’ve been hunting our way through the early upland seasons in Minnesota, North Dakota and Montana, driving too much, eating too poorly (okay, just me) and finding enough birds along the way to keep us coming back for more. We still have a world of work to do as a hunting unit, but she’s impressed me with her drive and her eye for birdy cover – she’s developing into the little pistol I hoped she would.
As referenced earlier, while she’s performed reasonably well with dummies, Sprig hasn’t put the pieces of the field retrieve together, and I’m hoping things click as she hunts more and has more birds shot over her.
But for now, I’m a happy hunter with a tired dog, and I wouldn’t trade places with anyone…except maybe Sprig. Move over!
I’ll be wrapping up the My First Bird Dog series next weekend following the Minnesota pheasant opener and Sprig’s first pheasant hunt.
Read more in the “My First Bird Dog” series here.
Anthony’s Antics Afield is written by Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor. Email Anthony at AHauck@pheasantsforever.org and follow him on Twitter @AnthonyHauckPF.