WoodCrest Pointe Hunting Preserve, near Brush Valley,PA
Planted pheasants and chukars.
Hunting with 3 different Mikes, Ian, Tommy and Jack
48 degrees and cloudy
Mas: “We have a large group of hunters today, 6 guys. Only 4 are carrying shotguns and two of the hunters are young guys. Babe and I had to wait in the truck while Jack threw clay birds for the hunters. I guess this practice helps the hunters warm up for the real birds. And I think Jack pays close attention to how they handle their guns to make sure they are safe and that their guns actually work. I hate having to sit here smelling birds while they shoot at orange targets. Let’s get to the BIRDS!
We are hunting on the left side of the road today, up on the hill. As soon as we lined up on the first field Jack used a bunch of whistles to tell me he wanted me to hunt close to this group. I guess that makes sense with a couple of young guns along. I flushed several pheasants and chukars and the shooters did a good job on most of them. I think we got all but 3 of the first 10 I flushed. Most of the retrieves were short and not very challenging. The only retrieve worth highlighting came on the 6th field. We were getting close to the end of the field when I found a pheasant in a thick clump of sorghum stalks. As soon as I spied the bird it flushed straight back at the hunters. Jack had warned the hunters earlier not to shoot at an incoming bird so no one fired. The bird saw the hunters, did a 180, and flew back over my head gaining altitude as it went. The shooters all opened up and fired a bunch of shots, too fast for me to count. Just as the bird reached the tree line, about 50 yards in front of the hunters, one of the shots wobbled the bird. Jack immediately released me and I got to the edge of the woods in time to see the bird land. It had flown about 75 yards into the woods and landed (crashed!) next to a big grape vine thicket. Just as I got to the point of the thicket where the bird had run in, it scooted out the other side. It took me a couple of seconds to run it down and return to the group. Jack had me deliver the bird to the hunter who had made the long shot.
We hunted one more field and got two more birds before we went back to the trucks to get Babe.”
Babe: “Mas told me to hunt close to this group. There are two first time hunters and we want to give them some close shots. I did my best to keep the shots very short. They sure seemed to like it when I pointed the birds instead of flushing them. Mas really needs to learn to point when he finds birds, normally he just busts them into the air. I got 5 birds into the air for the hunters and they killed 3 with short retrieves for me. The other 2 birds, 1 chukar and 1 pheasant, were hit but they flew a long way before dropping. Since they went down in areas we had not hunted yet Jack told the hunters we would find them when we hunted those fields. Read on to see if we found them or not.
We finished all but the last two fields and headed back to the truck to add Mas to our group.”
Babe: “Mas is with us now and Jack said our job is to find the 2 birds that were shot earlier but flew to these fields before they went down. Of course we will be looking for healthy birds too! Mas and I love this part of our hunt. We are Labrador Retrievers after all and we want to keep our unblemished retrieve record intact and find those two birds. We flushed a couple of uninjured birds and the guys made some nice shots. I finally found one of the cripples. This was the missing chukar so we still needed to find the pheasant. The only place left to hunt is the patch of woods in the corner so I guess that’s where we are going. Jack lined up the hunters and released Mas and me to hunt. I found the crippled pheasant almost immediately. As I picked up the pheasant, a chukar flushed from the same area. It caught everybody by surprise, including me. Two of the guys recovered and got off some shots. Jack said the chukar flew about 150 yards and dropped out of the sky on the other side of some still standing corn stalks. I didn’t see it because I was still in the woods with the pheasant in my mouth and Mas was all the way over on the other side of the group away from the where the chukar flew. Jack called Mas and me to heel and sent us to find the chukar. I got to the bird first and picked it up for the retrieve to Jack.
Our totals for the day were 11 pheasants flushed 8 shot and retrieved, 16 chukars flushed and 8 shot and retrieved.”