Two forward, one back

Sometimes we regress.
After steady points and shot birds, I suddenly had a second flushing dog – a long-range flushing dog.
As a remedy we cruised the roads and looked for coveys of huns to point in roadside ditches on a check cord.
So when I saw a dozen roosters run from a tilled field into a 100 foot circle of CRP, I held out little hope.
But I knocked anyway and with permission granted I unhooked the check cord.
And watched her go on point.
My little setter every bit Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde nowhere in sight, I walked in, flushed and shot the first rooster she had ever seen dead on the ground.
So we went a little further and she pointed again. This time a hen, no shot.
The next bird was a rooster that she didn’t point but flushed by pushing too hard. I knew I was pushing my luck, but before I could think about it too much, she went on point again. When I walked past her I noticed the tip of her tail pointing up at the sky and hoped for a shootable bird.
He got up further away than I expected, and I wondered if she pointed him from so far away or if he had been on the move.
It was an old bird and there was no cackle. He swung right and I pushed the barrels and squeezed the trigger.
He landed on his back in the tilled field and when I walked up my little setter was trying in vain to pick him up but getting nothing but a mouthful of feathers.
We’d come only halfway around this piece of cover and I knew there are more birds, but we’d pushed our luck far enough.
We headed for the truck, for once, moving forward.Iphone hunting

Lunatastrophe

This is not a dog.
This is a nuclear-powered starship headed for another galaxy. It is only coincidence that brings her to earth where she will flush birds at high speed and low regard until she escapes from gravity and continues on her interstellar journey.
Iphone hunting
A covey of sharptails explodes like cosmic dust in front of her and for a moment, while their trajectory lines with her own, she gives chase. When they turn, she stays her course, occasionally leaping sage brush and other obstacles with the glee and grace of a cape wearing nine-year-old.
I watch her turn in a long loop, not because she is re-centering on me, but because she was running out of field and had no choice but to alter course.
“She’ll settle in,” I tell myself, just before she blasts through a covey of huns without so much as easing off the accellerator. A few days ago, she pointed a covey of huns so perfectly, so steady and confidently, that this disregard for her pointing accumen is startling to me.
I whistle her in and try to settle her down but when I turn her loose, I can already tell that she is going to make another break against the bounds of gravity.
So when she blows through another covey of sharpies then proceeds to flush two dozen pheasants one after another without even tapping the brakes, I know that last week was not a turning point, but an anomally.
And so we go home, back to the check chord.
Back to the blue grouse and the huns on the road, back to known birds, back to “whoa” in the garage and yard work.
Back to school for both of us, learning to pilot a rocket ship.