Tuesday, March 10, 2009
A Dog with Wheels...
or a Boot Polisher... What's for you?
I've always contended that a dog that can, and will reach out far beyond gun range will produce more gunnable birds.. Provide of course that the dog is solid. Grouse will not always allow themselves to be pinned for any reasonable amount of time by a Pointing Dog, but I'll only shoot over properly handled birds, so for me at least, the prospect of shooting at birds flushed, for whatever reason is a moot point (no pun intended). I'm also not a subsistence hunter, so when I absolutely need to put a bird on the table, there's always the nearest grocery store on the trip home.
I like a thrilling dog with a lot of range, and a lot of run. In the old days, it took some serious stomach to run a dog of this type in the big woods... Out of bell, and even beeper range! There's no reeling the dog in by any artificial means. We have to believe in the dog, and when our charge doesn't check in, make haste to hopefully find the dog on point.. That was then, this is now... The Astro has changed the rules, and it has certainly taken some of that sick feeling in the pit of one's stomach when a dog goes missing on an extended cast.. They always manage to show up don't they? After providing a good dose of agita and sometimes a ride home in the dark.
In any case, to me it stands to reason that a big running dog is bound to produce more action than a dog that stays within gun range.. But, everything is a trade-off, and I wonder how much longer I'll be able to keep up with the dogs that can really motor.. The qualities that keep me comin' back for more though, is the hair standin' up on the back of my neck as I spot that blur passing in front eatin' up ground like there's no tomorrow..
It's an addiction... albeit one that at times can take a toll on our psyche..