Dreaming ...

Yes, this is that time of the year when all grouse hunters and dog owners are dreaming of the season coming only five months away. Not only are we thinking of birds and beautiful crisp autumn days that remind us of a kaleidoscopic postcard, but we're likely obsessing about the performances of our four legged friends, and probably ourselves too.

This is the time of year when we should be training our dogs (and ourselves) for the rigors of what lies ahead. If it's an older dog, you're brushing up on what (hopefully) he or she already knows. If it's a pup, you've got your work cut out for you, but great days of discovery lie ahead. Fortunately, the last couple of weeks have seen a significant reduction in our snow pack and some decent days to be out in the field, which has made for some good training on our wild birds in the north country.

While still rusty, Rudy and Monty have enjoyed their time in the woods this spring, and have begun to exhibit that form that we remember from last fall. Yes, the boys enjoy their "down time" during the winter! Bode's doing a nice job learning and paying heed to my commands, though we still have lots of work to do on the "Whoa" command. He's getting in to birds too, and seems to be having a great time chasing them ... not so much on the pointing yet.

I just spoke with a friend and client of mine that just purchased a finished setter pup, and his exuberance for this fall was undeniable. Chris is literally chomping at the bit for this season and we should have a great fall with his two setters Dotty and Betsey.

We're only five months away now, and it can't come soon enough for me, but I have plenty of work to do on my conditioning and also to find a few more "hot spots" before the season starts.

The Woodcock Have Returned

We've started seeing a woodcock or two around this week - there's still not too much bare ground out there, but just enough to support them. The tip off was seeing swarms of robins back in the area earlier this week, a sure sign that woodcock should also be back after a long winter.

Check out this amusing video of a woodcock doing his mating "dance" to impress the ladies:


More updates to come as we get out in the woods of the north country!