As much fun as I have hunting at Shags Run and other clubs my goal with Rye has always been to hunt wild birds whenever possible. Rye has had hundreds of birds shot over her and pointed even more but there is nothing better for one of these dogs than wild birds. Of course, being in southern Ohio limits my access to wild birds. With that said, I do manage to find a few. Last season we tried a few times to find Woodcock. We never found any on purpose but we did point a few and shoot one or two but it always was accidental.
So far this season I’ve been out a few times and until today haven’t had any luck. Today Rye and I both enjoyed the cooler temps and a bit of moisture on the ground. I also let Rye lead the way a bit more. When Rye got into brush a bit deeper than usual I was hesitant about going in when her bell stopped but kinda thought she might be on point, in all fairness, it was so thick I could barley see her.
It took me several minutes to fight my way through the thorns and branches before I could get to Rye but when I did, she was locked up on point. I couldn’t see anything so I encouraged her to relocate. She only went about 2 feet and then I saw the bird almost under my boot. Just at that instant the bird flushed through the trees and I promptly missed with both barrels. I was so happy just to have found birds. The nature of Woodcock is if you find one, you’ll probably find more.
Feeling a bit more excited Rye began working harder and faster. In the process she ran over one or two birds but eventually got another solid point and this time I went in prepared. I did not try to spot the bird on the ground but looked skyward and trusted Rye. When the bird went up I connected and Rye was upon the bird not long after it hit the ground.
It’s such a pretty time of year. Try to get out and joy it. Definitely my favorite season!