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gspman

The Road Bird

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gspman

The Road Bird

After striking out on a WMA in the morning I decided to go back to town, gather the kids and grandma and take them out to lunch. Nothing like eating lunch in a small town restaurant to boost the spirits. Good food and conversation and a nice little break before heading out again. Any small town restaurant worth it's salt will have at least a couple dice shakers full of dice and this one was no different. I gave the kids a short lesson on how to play 6-5-4 and we played a few rounds for single French fries. Needless to say when the meals came out I had to pass out a few fries off my plate. A lady I know noticed I was decked out in hunting attire and asked how I was doing in my quest for pheasants. After my report she invited me to hunt a piece of set aside ground she and her husband own. I was happy to oblige and after dropping the kids and grandma off I proceeded to head to said piece of land.

This piece of ground is of a thin oblong shape that runs North to South and is about a half mile long by about 100-300 yards wide. It's mostly grass of varying types with a large willow thicket at about the halfway point and a small cattail patch on the southern tip. There is farmland on the West border, plowed up corn this year, and the other sides are bordered by roads. The wind was out of the North at about 20 mph so I pulled up on the Southern end thinking that the birds would be on the West edge of the grass near the corn. With the gun loaded I opened the crate and Dixie leapt out and we were off to the races with Dixie's bell

jingling away. She proceeded to head up the Western edge casting back and forth about 40-80 yards out. At times the grass grew quite thin so Dixie instinctively would head to the middle where the grass was thicker. We ran the whole 1/2 mile without Dixie getting birdy even once.

We then turned East and worked the North end toward the East road. Dixie started getting birdy about halfway to the road. The grass was very thin and I was certain she was on a runner. She pointed solid once, broke point and moved 30 yds and pointed again. I got about even with her and a hen flushed wild about 50 yds in front of the dog. We worked up to where the bird flushed in hopes that she had some friends that had stuck around but to no avail.

At this point the only thing to do was head South. The gnarly willow thicket was beckoning in the distance. A willow thicket like that is almost guaranteed to hold at least a bird or two every time you go through it. This time was no different. The grass was high in and around the brush and with the wind at my back I couldn't hear Dixie's bell very well so it was difficult to hear or see what she was up to. Dixie arrived at the thicket about 40 yards in front of me and disappeared into it. When I arrived I paused at the edge to give a listen and see what the dog was up to. I couldn't hear the bell jingling. Figuring she was on the other side of it I proceeded to work my way through the West edge. Getting to the other side I could hear no bell nor could I see any sign of a little white dog bounding through the grass. I called out loudly for her and heard the bell lightly jingle behind me on the other side of the thicket. Then I heard the unmistakable whir of wings beating up through the grass and brush. The little shorthair had been pointing a hen. Backtracking to where she was I could tell that I passed about 15 feet from her while she was on point and didn't see her. We proceeded to work the thicket a bit but it produced no more birds so we moved on.

Next stop is the cattail patch. It's about 400 yards away there's a large expanse of thick grass between us and the cattails that even I being 6 foot 4 was having a hard time stepping through. Dixie had been hunting hard for a day and a half and decided the tangled grass was too much and proceeded to take the 2 track road to the cattails. Normally I'd call her into the grass but she was tiring and I thought I'd give her a break. After trotting about 50 yards down the road her tail started buzzing madly. She's working a bird from the road. Every so often she'd pick up scent, jump into the grass to make a sweep and then hop back onto the road. Then she'd move down the road, the tail would start buzzing and she'd jump into the grass again. She's working a runner. After the third time going down the road she hits scent again and jumps into the grass. This time instead of making a sweep and jumping back onto the road, Dixie moves farther in and instantly goes from a bobtailed whirlwind to a bundle of nervous energy frozen in time. The tension is electric. The bird is there. Right there. There's no denying it. You know it. The dog knows it. All of creation knows it. This is the moment you've been waiting for. You want this to end perfectly with a nice reward for a good piece of work from the dog. I walk in to flush and when I get even with Dixie the rooster flushes 30 feet to the front. I raise the gun and shoulder it a little too low and fire. The bird is still flying. I decide to remount the gun properly and fire again. The bird tumbles into the grass with Dixie in hot pursuit. She gets her reward. I get to savor the moment. The entire sequence probably took less than 2 minutes but it's a couple minutes of time in my life that I'll replay in my mind over and over for years to come. The road bird.

Dixie with her prize, the Road Bird...

RoadBird.jpg

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RogerMN

Very well written...Dixie does look a little tired.

Roger

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Sartell Angler

sweet story! sounds like you both had fun!

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Heidi

Good tale. Sometimes I lose track of my little brittany while she is on point.

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Try Too Fish

Your writing reminds me of the narration on Prairie Outdoorsman on public tv.It was Good You should write a book!

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gspman

Thanks for the compliments. I'm more of a wannabe than a real writer. A small story now and then works okay for me. A book would be quite a stretch. I should have paid more attention in my English classes in high school and college. blush.gif

Here's another pic of Dixie with a bird she miraculously pointed in a standing corn field. It could be the subject of another story some day.

CornBird.jpg

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harvey lee

Very nice pic and good looking pooch. smile.gif

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Brfive

Great story. Feia would be proud!!!!!!!! laugh.gif

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gspman

After reading my stuff Feia would be wondering where he went wrong with me.

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hanson

Good Stuff! I love the first photo!

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koonie

Feia would be spitting all over you after that little compilation of yours GSP. smile.gif

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