Today was forecasted to be a beautiful January day in Colorado. When we saw we could expect a day in the mid-fifties, we knew we had to seize the opportunity to get some bird work in. Rather than gamble on late season pheasants, we headed to our sporting club, Quail Run, to get some guaranteed bird contact. Since we are fostering Piper right now, we also wanted to see if she would show any interest in birds.
We were joined by Tim, our go to hunting buddy, and Caitlin who has a 4 month old puppy from Cruiser Vizsas (where we got The Karm!) It was a good mix of old and new 🙂
We let Karm work with Caymus on the first two birds. First bird Karm found and gave us that beautiful 3-legged oh-so-stylish point she loves to throw. Her steadiness to flush and shot was the complete opposite. She threw an absolute fit. Hmm, this was going to make for an interesting day. She hustled back with her retrieve to hand — at least she can point and retrieve! Next bird Caymus points, and Karma naturally honors! The fit she threw on this flush and shot was considerably better, but this bird evaded the shot and Karm seriously considered a delayed chase. Boy!! Two birds in and we already have several things to work on…
Next up was 4 month old (today!) Ila. At first she thought she and Caitlin were going on a walk, then she caught scent, curiously inspected, bumped the bird, and chased! From there she was hooked. She had a great time and even figured out a very cute point! Ila also problem solved her way through figuring out how to pick up the bird. First she tried to lift it by the head, then by a foot, a wing, and finally she got a decent hold on the body. It was too cute. After a short, sweet, and **FUN** intro to birds Ila headed back to the car for a nap.
Piper came out with Ila initially, but she quickly showed us birds were not her thing. She gave a spontaneous point, almost like she couldn’t help it, and then quickly broke point and went to Marc’s side…it was almost weird. Like she was blinking (pretending she didn’t see it) the bird? Who knows, but if it wasn’t fun, we weren’t going to force her. She did however very much like walking along side us…such a sweetie pie.
Then Karma came out with Gavi. We let Gavi get on the bird and then got another natural honor out of Karm. This time when Jenny went to collar her (to prevent her from breaking at the flush and/or shot) Karma relocated herself. Little stinker. Karma was picked up and placed at the location of her original honor. This time she didn’t flinch at the flush or shot, but did let out a little whine so we would know she wasn’t happy about it. Point taken, Karm.
Back to the car to let Indy, Stoli, and Caymus join Karm and Gavi. Gavi hits a point, Stoli and Caymus hit the brakes to honor off her left flank. Karm stops to honor off her right flank. We call Indy (he was over the hill hunting down the bank) and he crests the hill and slams into an honor lined up behind Karma. We have a perfect V of honoring dogs, with the 11 year old Gavi at the tip of the “V”. Seriously one of the coolest honoring situations we’ve seen — and we hunt these 5 together frequently! You can see everyone in the photo below besides Indy who was too far away to make the picture. Unfortunately, this bird flew right over towards Caitlin and Marc so Tim didn’t have a shot. We worked around the field in a big “U” and Indy got in his point and retrieve (Karma only whined a little — this time not on the flush or the shot, but when she saw Marc release Indy to retrieve.) This girl is spoiled something terrible…who could possibly be to blame 😉
The nice thing about having 5 birdy dogs — we usually find the ones that get away! Sure enough, Stoli found our escape artist who unfortunately for him, didn’t fly towards Marc & Caitlin this time! And finally, Karma honored, held threw the flush, shot, and retrieve and didn’t even make a peep! Maybe some progress?!
Ila and Piper joined back in for another big lap around the field to burn off any left over energy. Then we crated up our pups and stopped in Elizabeth for a hard earned lunch. Caitlin was glowing and making plans to buy check cords, hunting collars, etc — we think she caught the bug!