This was from March 2nd:
Hearing woodcock sighting in the southern portion of the state last week had the dogs and I headed a few miles down the road to our always-find-one woodcock spot. I was feeling the tension of the morning, dog that were rank with the aromas they’d been collecting all week in the periodic rain and ensuing mud and we were in my wife’s preferred ride (The truck was loaded down with 18 kennel panels). I was sure to keep the windows cracked at all times and rode with the windows completely down later on for the last mile home. We got out late and HAD to be back by noon to get out the door on time to go coach the kids’ basketball game. I was all ready fairly certain time would not allow me to run all three dogs individually… And then we pulled in.
I sat in the drivers seat for about a half hour staring at a 30 acre patch we’d taken 27 birds out of the last two seasons, beyond that an addition 200 acres that flight birds have regularly used. It was all but flattened. A few trees still stood with the splintered remains of everything else scattered amongst them, that was all that remained. It really threw us off, Blaze was the only dog that was run and we did not find a bird. I’m confident however the birds will back in double numbers as the work done to this ground was in fact for their benefit. Short-term loss, in the meantime we’ll go exploring.