Is not in that danged thicket. Gunner and I went out to the forest today. Early. It was cold enough for long pants. But as the sun broke out the sky was that bright blue of Fall and it was just beautiful. I didn't take any birds with us today as I wanted to work on recall and let him just see what we could find.
So off we went up the dirt road to the clear cut field. Up and over the dirt bank and into the field. I decided on the upper trail first. Mostly to tired speedy out some and that way he could settle down some. All that energy is sometimes not great for focus. Upward we went. Didn't see anything but it was nice just the same to be out. Heard some hounds off in the distance. They were pretty far away and I think prob. at some of the houses along the way to the forest proper. They were not moving.
Gunner and I got to the top of the hill and I dropped the check cord and just let him be. Told him to "Find Bird" and off we went. I know I go on alot about how beautiful he is and how he moves but today in the early light and him flowing over the clear-cut like mercury. At speed first, up and over a thigh high log and back to me. Then slower and more deliberate looking for that bird.
Down the lower cut. He minded very well. I'd let him go a way and then call him back. He would stop and come right back. A couple of times I just changed directions and waited a few steps to see...shortly a gray streak would flow by and turn back and stop right in front of me. Big puppy grin on his face. He was up in front again and at locked up point. I walked slowly towards him at an angle and got right to him . Gave him a easy wait and stepped in front to kick in the brush to see what he had. I always look. We have skunks, and rattlers here. Glad I looked. It was a huge...pumpkin sized paper wasp nest. I grabbed his collar and we left quickly the other direction. I was elated...not at almost kicking a wasp nest but he held still for me to walk up.
We had been at it about an hour so we headed back towards the road and car to get something to drink and see how much time I had until I had to be back.
At the car we both had a nice drink and Gunner decided to lay in his bowl after he drank some. I guess he was cooling off.
We still had some time so we went to the smaller field.
Again he was loose and started with a "Find bird" and he was off . Back and forth, left and right. There are alot of tulip trees sapling and wild rose, and berry bush thickets here. He started his little fast wag tail..so I knew he was on to something. Hoping not another wasp. He had his head in the thicket and at point. I walked slowly. It was hard to be slow and calm but I didn't want him to rush in. Slowly, slowly approach off to the one side. He stayed locked up. I peered into the thicket and heard some rustling. Saw something move and a flash of brown. Grouse!! It hit the open air and was gone. Like a dream, or hallucination. And Gunner stood still. Our first grouse. It was so magic and so great and I can't stop grinning.
We just stood there for a second and Gunner was just looking at me like " Can we go find something else now" Silly boy. doesn't even know how great and rare that was. Tomorrow I 'm taking a couple of the chukar to plant. Fingers crossed he won't rush them but I have devised a plan. Looking forward to tomorrow.
PS this is not the grouse we saw just a pic of a grouse.