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  • Page 11 of 37 FirstFirst ... 91011121321 ... LastLast
    Results 101 to 110 of 370
    1. #101
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      Sunday 12-16-12
      Today was our last club hunt for 2012. I have to stop saving my club pheasants for so late. Our hunt began at 0800 in twenty degree temperature. Of the eight stocked birds Bay found seven and three came home with us.

      There is a downside to teaching your bird dog on stocked club birds. The birds are never too far from a trail. Bay does really well with hand commands to hunt left or right. But I notice she doesn't cast far from the road. Also she has a tendency to get out ahead of me on the trail looking for birds. Today I sure would have liked to have an E collar but I know the answer to this problem and going forward my plan is to resolve it.

      Our shoot only lasted a couple hours. What started as spitting snow turned pretty steady at the base of Green Mountain. Knowing I still had to pack up camp and drive home in the snow lessened my excitement of the hunt. Bay had no objections to leaving so we bid the club goodbye, headed back and packed up camp and pointed the Ford southbound.

      It was a great weekend with man's best friend.

    2. #102
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      12-20-12 PM
      Had the afternoon off so Bay and I went looking for a Christmas grouse in one of our local covers. I've never hunted partridge there before but knew the cover should support some birds of supersonic nature. We arrived at 1430 and I knew our time would be limited. Today is one of the shortest days of the the year being the day before the winter solstice.

      The piece of woods we hunted is a NH WMA that was logged about six years ago to help wildlife. The cutting was done in strips and the roads were reseeded. The state even put up signs at different places in the woods describing what was done and the benefit it would have for critters who lived there. The strips have grown back and are thick with raspberry bushes.

      Our choice of location turned out to be wise. We flushed two partridge early on. The first one should have been a gimme. I heard the birds wings flapping against brush as it tried to get airborne from under a small hemlock right under my feet. Bay had scented it up to the edge of the tote road where it hunkered down. It was so close I could see it was of the red variety with its tail fan fully extended in flight as my #6 birdshot cleared a lane miserably low underneath the hastily retreating grouse.

      The next bird was a runner. As Bay began to make game we both heard it flush wild. I am impressed that Bay knows the sound of a flush and it excites her.

      The rest of the fleeting daylight was spent on recon for another visit to this well maintained NH WMA. There is a much older cut full of whips about a mile in along an old power-line.

      That will be our first destination Saturday weather permitting.

    3. #103
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      12-28-12
      Tomorrow and Sunday are the last days Bay and I will be able to hunt in 2012. Monday the 31st ends the partridge season in NH and Maine.

      Due to the snow received inland yesterday I am choosing to hunt our local covers on the NH seacoast. Not as many birds but there is a light dusting of snow on a 2" crust that should reveal what is and what isn't around.

      It seems just like yesterday when we took our end of the season hunt in NH last year. When I was young time seemed to pass so slow. Now that I am older time goes by so fast it is hard to catch.

      This was Bay's "Coming of Age" season, It has taken three years to get her to this point on hunting ability. But she has been in the woods since she was 10 weeks old and outdoors is second nature to her. She is not a brush buster but rather as graceful as a deer.

      As a hobby bird hunter I am guilty of expecting too much too quick from my dog. There was no easy street. It has required lots of shoe leather and a commitment I wasn't planning to invest.

      As we head into our last hunt of the season gone is the puppy. Today Bay stands mature and totally understands why we are afield with the sulfur smelling stick and all the bright orange colors.

      Whatever this weekends outcome my game bag is always full after a day spent afield with my best canine friend.


    4. #104
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      Last hunt of 2012
      Saturday 12-29-12 found us at Family Grounds for our last hunt. It is a tradition in our deer hunting gang to select this piece of woods for our last deer hunts of the year. We might as well make it birds too.



      We had jumped a few partridge during deer season in an old cutoff on the north side. There was just enough snow on the ground to tell woodland stories. Only one thing stood in our way to getting there....beaver.



      On the way to the brook crossing we saw where deer, fox, coyote and fisher had traveled. I like to take note of where the deer cross the trail for future stands and what pattern the fisher are hunting in. The deer were browsing on hemlock tips and hardwood shoots. The fishers were hunting squirrels.

      The crossing at the brook was a little hairy. The recent rain had flooded the marsh and it wasn't quite frozen enough yet to support my weight. The only thing standing in our way in getting to the choppings was the four foot wide waterway where the brook had reclaimed itself from the old dam. The ice looked safe enough but sagged and cracked as I set my weight on it. Not to be denied access to the cutoff I laid down so my weight was all spread out and with one good push slid across the narrow gap. The Initial Tree here we come.



      While we did see a couple of partridge tracks in the cutoff we never put a bird to flight. What really perked my interest was the amount of snowshoe hare tracks on the fresh snow. WOW this place is white bunny heaven. There is no easy way to get to the Initial Tree choppings. It is quite a hike so this hare honey hole should be safe from other hunters who chase the white ghost.

      It started snowing so after a quick check of the GPS and we pointed the hunt home. This will not be our last trip to Family Grounds this winter. Hare hunting and snowshoeing are definitely in our future.

      Thank you for coming along with Bay and I on our 2012 bird hunting adventures.


    5. #105
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      01-15-13
      I've been walking Bay nightly. It is a real dream to be able to walk your lab with absolutely no pulling on the lead. Gotta credit this to our puppy class teacher for recommending the pinch collar. Bay knows when it is on and especially when it is off.

      Our neighbor has a young yellow male. I watch the dog walk him. He asked me a while back how we got Bay to heel so well. I told him about the pinch collar and he frowned like it was a cruelty tool. I can see from the amount of effort he expends to walk the dog he has not heeded my recommendation.

      There is no e-collar in Bay's life. Just a pinch collar. With the collar on and her knowing who is boss, makes walking our yellow dog a very enjoyable experience.

      Took Bay out for a walk in Family Grounds Sunday that found us at the infamous canoe.



      Our duck hunting honey hole is totally frozen over.



      Bay is a yellow lab with no quit. We have been really fortunate owning this lab. She has never been down due to injury. She is graceful and watches her chosen paths through the woods well. Even with the crusty snow of late I have never seen her pads bleed.

      It is almost time to get Bay a buddy. Although far down the road a breeding is soon to occur between two hunting upland yellow labs. The male is from MI and the dam from WI. If all goes well by August I'll be introducing you to Carlton Brook's Great Bay Belle.

      Owning labs is an addiction I'm proud to say I have.

    6. #106
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      03-30-13
      Took a trek to camp yesterday. While spring may have sprung here in the seacoast it was still winter north of Moose Mtn on Rte 16 in Wakefield.

      A phone call to my camp neighbor Friday evening confirmed the road into Sampson's Bay was still snowbound and wet or in other words "mud season". So the jet sled and snowshoes were packed for our trip in.

      Our first chore was removing the small microwave oven that had passed into scrap during the fall. Darn thing would turn on all by itself. On its deathbed it would still light up and the tray would turn but the food would come out stone cold. There will be a 1,000 watt replacement installed in our next trip.

      The reclamation of the old homestead continues. Brought up the chainsaw and cut down some more pines in the old front yard. When the renewed sunlight hit on last years front yard pruning old flowerbeds reappeared. Looking forward to see what sprouts this spring.

      And finally what the trip to camp always means is a stroll up our favorite mountain. The was no sign of Mother Natures transformation to spring along the first flat.



      The spring seep has reappeared.



      Again the only critter sign to this point were snowshoe hare tracks. Even up the trail to the break in the stonewall the woods was devoid of deer or turkeys tracks.

      The break in the stonewall is where the terrain becomes heart pounding difficult in pursuit of the summit. After snowshoeing to this point my flat-lander legs told me today was not the day to explore the peak. But it was very encouraging to see the southeast side on the mountain starting to show itself again in preparation to chasing camp mountain gobblers.

      It wasn't far from this point my brother-in-law watched a flock of gobblers come off the roost during his first day deer stand last fall. The white oak produced many acorns on this southerly slope. I hope they don't forget their skyline goodies.



      The landowner on my side of the mountain has given us permission to upgrade an old logging road that circles around and comes out in the back pasture next to camp for four wheeler use. Bay and I decided to take this route back down the mountain to camp.

      Just before we descended down the last rise to the pasture I saw Bay's attention suddenly become focused to our right. When I heard the alarm putt my command to Bay to "get those birds" was involuntary.

      All I know is the woods exploded with flushing turkeys. What a fitting end to our most recent journey.

      Good girl Bay!

    7. #107
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      04-13-13
      Arrived at camp about 5 PM Saturday afternoon. Although gray and a little misty this was a sight for sore eyes.



      The turkey season starts in two weeks. My main priority was to check the four wheeler trail up the mountain.

      It snowed Friday night. The first hundred yards up the trail I found these tracks.



      My Co-Pilot was impressed.



      The road was not very good beyond the spring brook. In most places it was like soup. So the rest of the day and most of Sunday I spent with a shovel ditching and draining the standing water in the trail.

      While the mountain summits may be winter free a ride by an access road one town south of camp told me it is still winter in the lowlands.



      In the first picture of Camp Mountain I heard six turkeys gobbling at 0545 Sunday morning.

      Call me excited.

    8. #108
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      04-18-13
      Coming into season

      This post is just my personal opinion having owned three female hunting dogs in my life. A beagle, an English Springer and now Bay. I remember clearly as each visited the vet for the first time the question was always asked about getting them spayed or fixed.

      I've never been one for castration of young boys or a hysterectomy for young girls. We, as are our dogs, are products of millions of years of evolution. In that evolution all dogs and people go through puberty. It is a natural maturing process. So I'll go on record as a dog owner who during my dogs first five or six years of life I will leave them in tact. Eventually I did have the beagle and the springer spayed. I had no intention of breeding and each I felt had reached maturity.

      An over population of unwanted dogs and cats is a documented fact. I'll do my diligence to make sure when Bay is ripe for picking that her fruit will be armed and guarded.

      I've witnessed with all three of my female hunting dogs how much they mature after each heat cycle. Miss Bay especially.

      The bleeding has started. I just know the next couple weeks are going to be fun trying to keep her from dripping on unwanted items. But I'll face that challenge knowing when it is all done Bay will be one more heat cycle into becoming a physically and mentally mature Labrador Retriever.

      Let the hormones flow.

    9. #109
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      Nova + Jones = Carlton Brook's Great Bay Belle

      05-16-13
      Today is a day I have been waiting for. I got a message Monday that Nova



      had come into heat. I got an email yesterday saying Nova stood for Jones.



      Both have fantastic upland background. I'm hoping that Bay's love of mankind will rub off on the new pup and that the new pup will teach Bay it's natural hunting ability.

      But it really doesn't matter because



      I know we are jumping the gun but vacation has been planned for mid September and a road trip is in the works to northern WI.

      Just think, a brace of yellow dogs!

    10. #110
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      Nova's Puppies

      It happened yesterday 07-19-13. Nova gave birth to eleven yellow dogs. In eight weeks I'll introduce you to Belle.

      She is here somewhere. Good girl Nova!




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