Today, Patty and I hunted hard for three hours and we only put up one rooster. At a hunting club like Hastings Island, you might think that’s a bad day. But you’d be wrong. Any day out hunting with Patty is a good day.
I intentionally chose a part of the island that isn’t typically seeded with released birds so it doesn’t attract a lot of hunters. It’s called the duck pond (for historical reasons) and is generally used for dog training, not hunting. Patty and I had more room to ourselves there but we also had to work hard to even generate a chance.
When Patty finally did catch some scent he’d been running hard for almost two hours. Even so, he locked up hard. Sometimes, when he’s less certain, his tail will flag but this time it was proud and still so I knew we’d be putting up a bird.
I worried that my streak of bad shooting might continue and when the flush finally came, I tried my best. Unfortunately, the big rooster flew on, apparently unhurt.
I kept my eye on him and when he was out about 250 yards, he coasted down and made a bit of a hard landing. I must have got a pellet or two into him after all!
It took Patty a while to track him down but eventually he did and made the longest retrieve of the year so far. I couldn’t have been prouder of him and once the bird was in the vest, I started to think that he might be proud of me too, finally making a shot.
A good day indeed.