I’ve really been slacking here, busy with work, family, dogs. The rush has finally seemed to subside and as so has peenting at half-light with woodcock sure to begin their spring nesting. We’ll shift back to some grouse training action before the heat is here and were on training birds again. Dogs have begun lining up for haircuts in the last week, Pop started things off followed by the two newb’s, pups Breeze and Hoot from here. Breeze is for sale… as I’d kept her on here in case her brother seemed to lack that extra fire needed to trial… his spunk hasn’t disappointed but being off-age, and considerably younger than their competition, they’ll have an uphill battle in trials until they hit all-age. I’m a little reluctant to sell Breeze, she’s biddable and shows a lot of bird desire. She’ll be a nice one and I better stop there before I start waffling.
Pop, a few pounds heavy ran in two trials this past weekend. The Venango Derby and the PA Grouse Club’s National Grouse Derby. He finished both courses but the heat didn’t help a strong race on Friday afternoon. Saturday was an hour-long course with plenty of hard turns and having to get on him, to make sure he made the turn with a dog that likes to range forward, seemed to shorten him up and throw him off to some small degree. Our bracemate took First and it was nice to see that all things considered, Pop wasn’t seemingly too far out of contention comparing apples to apples with the stake winner… (and I’m my own dog’s biggest critic). We’ve got a few more trials we’d like to do this spring.
I suppose the conditioning department here has received an upgrade in the form of a decent Mtn. bike, and a dog “walking” system that attaches to the seat post. I allows you to add two dogs, they pull, fast… the bike gets the equivalent of a 50cc upgrade. Whiteknuckling would be the appropriate term and is accompanied by the hum of the tire treads slicing through the air. I’m of the opinion that I’ll I should order replacement brakes sooner that later. Pop and Blaze took it through it’s paces a few weeks ago. Blaze proceeded to drag the riderless bike 50 yards while I was on the other side of the truck getting Pop situated. Dirty rat.
Pigeons have been replenished with the coop receiving an upgrade or two. Hopefully they’ll speed through the homing process and I won’t have to tether birds and be limited to working broke dogs on them. The older dogs have been out working training birds in the woods this week getting some manner reminders on bird scenarios that they may come across at trials… running quail mostly that may flush their direction or run under their legs even. Blaze’s first bird in his first shooting dog stake did that and tempted him to take a few steps, which I picked him up after… it was a nice find too.