Wednesday, November 14, 2012
The Birdless Bird Hunt
Birdless? Well, not entirely true. Birdless because the safety was never slid off? That much is correct, like so many hunts-especially in the grouse woods. Because I missed? Also frequently true, I’ll never win any wing shooting competitions. Birdless just because Molly and I never had the chance to take a shot or put game in the bag and that was the subjective score. It still was a bird hunt, a successful one at that. I’m realizing I frequently write about this same thing over and over-what “success” in a hunt really means and as most of us know, it changes over time.
Over the course of the past two seasons, I think I’m starting to read this labs movements; starting to know what she’s sensing and when to be ready… and when to be really ready for a flush. There seems to be a “I think there is a bird here somewhere” search of the grass in front of her and a “I know there is a bird here!” frantic scouring of every inch of ground. She either slows way down (except her tail) or speeds up to track down a moving bird. That’s when my thumb slides up to the safety and I scan carefully the terrain she’s probing. More often than not, the her nose was right and if I trust in it we put a bird in the air.