Tina and Her Three Birds
Friday was going to be a warm one, it was already 50 degrees by the time I started hunting at 8. This is the third day that we have hunted this area this season and Tina has started to get a feel for the hotspots. As we walked in I saw a van parked just a bit farther up the trail from where I parked so I was worried about someone hunting right in front of me. Once I got 10 min up the trail I saw a hunter walking out, he was without a dog so I felt a bit better about our chances. We started to get into birds almost right away. Unfortunately I wasn't able to connect on any of the birds. This was going to be a theme for the morning.
We hit all of the usual spots and even a few offshoots from the trail that we normally passed on and continued to see birds and I continued to miss my shots. By the time we walked out three and a half hours later we had moved over 25 birds but hadn't put any into the game bag.
We took a long lunch and did some driving on some of the local roads to try to find a few more spots to hunt. At about 3:30 we headed back into the woods. It was over 70 degrees by now and I was a bit nervous about hunting Tina in this heat but the hunting area has a lot of mud holes and small ponds that she could keep herself cool. In fact it was one of these small ponds that Tina made the best retrieve that she has made for me. She made a nice point along an edge of small pine trees, I hit the bird and saw it drop but I could also hear it moving. I moved towards the sound as Tina was looking for the downed bird and I could hear the bird reflush across a small pond. Tina saw the bird take off and went after it through the pond and into the cover on the other side. I had given up hope that we would retrieve the bird but as I was about to give up I saw Tina bringing the bird back to me. She brought it back through the pond and right back to me. I was so excited for her. We were able to get two more birds that evening and called it a day well before it was too dark to hunt.