Until the NA Test. Are we nervous?? Well I am but Gunner is having a ball. Today we took the chukars out to the forest field. Thom hid 3 of them and one got away and flew up on a hillside. Gunner and I went for a walk while Thom planted the birds. On our walk through the fields Gunner pointed a nice "dickey bird". After about 10 min. we headed back down the road toward the bird field. Told Gunner to "find" and off he went. Thom doesn't make it easy. Had to climb over a big log...Gunner just hops over it. He is out a bit in front. and it is a little hard to see him. He points and holds. The bird flies. Gunner chased for about 20-30 feet and I call him and he comes back. Tell him to "find" and he is off again determined and then his little nubbin' tail starts to go in that now recognizable pattern when he is on a bird. Then WAM...point. He holds but due the tall grass and briars I can't get there and the bird again flies. Gunner chases a bit but comes right back. So off again through a ditch...did I mention that my Loving Hubby planted these birds. And then through some more briar's. He hits point again and this time I can get there and flush it. Gunner gives chase but less than before. Gunner is now covered in grass seed and bits of leaves and stuff but his doggie face is just so happy. Thom sez' you wanna see if he can find the one that flew up the hillside. Sure I said. And sent my lovely boy up the hillside. Did you ever see Sleeping Beauty, with the Prince hacking through all the thorns and briar's...that is what that hillside was like. I could have used a Sword. Gunner was game and just followed his nose back and forth up the hillside. He points hard at a brier thicket. I get there and bless him he is still at point but wanting to get in the brush. I look but don't see anything. Gunner is insistant, so I Send him in the brush and follow him in. He is right at ground level and I still don't see anything. So I get even closer and am about to pull him out and off figuring the bird or what ever has moved and he is on old scent. Right about then the Chukar moves and Gunner goes to get him. That crazy chukar was actually buried under the leaves. Gunner does grab him but gives him right to me when I ask.
I was amazed that he found this bird and amazed that it buried itself under the leaves like that. So we went back down the hillside. Gunner nimble and just flowing down. Me crashing down like a crippled bear. We got back to the road and he was happy and I was too. Excited that he did so well today. Then we went to the pond and did some retrieves. He did great and not a problem. We ended with a short hike to dry the Gunner-man off and them home to pic thorns out of me. Gunner didn't get any. Tomorrow is just an exercise day. I am so proud of him handling that territory like an experienced cover dog.