Veteran Northwoods Vixen (CH Westfall’s Black Ice x Northwoods Prancer, 2011) makes it look easy.
Much of Minnesota’s woods are thick and hot now during high summer but whenever I have an opportunity to work dogs on wild birds, I say, “Let’s go!”
Northwoods Carbon (Blue Riptide x Northwoods Carly Simon, 2014) found a woodcock on the edge of a grazed cattle pasture.
Just to the south of our kennel are great woodcock covers. Young and old aspen mix with alders and field edges and there is plenty of damp ground. I’ve worked one or two dogs almost every morning. This summer is especially fun as woodcock are abundant and we’ve even encountered a brood or two of pheasants.
Northwoods Jaguar (CH Elhew G Force x Northwoods Vixen, 2013) pointed a woodcock in older aspen with an understory of ferns.
It’s interesting to watch the dogs naturally shorten up in thick vegetation. Our dogs usually range 100 – 150 yards in mid-October but, now in July, they’ve hunted 20 – 40 yards from me.
One-year-old Northwoods Bismuth (Blue Riptide x Northwoods Carly Simon, 2014) pointed the first woodcock she smelled and let me flush it!
Jerry and Northwoods Chardonnay (Blue Shaquille x Houston’s Belle’s Choice, 2009). Photo by Chris Mathan, The Sportsman’s Cabinet.
Many of our clients have met our neighbor, friend and training helper Jeff Hintz. Besides his devotion to pointers and hunting wild birds, Jeff is very active online. He emails and texts to people all over the globe and has 1,145 Twitter followers. He recently sent me this post from an outdoor blog on the Garmin website. While its focus is dog training, clearly the principles apply to life in general.
Here are some highlights.
“Every day, in every way, our attitude greatly affects how each project, idea, communication, or dog training session will turn out. A calm, compassionate, yet gung-ho and positive attitude can achieve amazing results.
“Having a good attitude is very important when we want to communicate. The way we communicate with people or dogs could be the bottom-line reason things generally go well for us . . . or not.
“Using a calm voice and a steady, consistent demeanor will help our dogs…
“…use our happiest voice, even if it sounds like a gushing teen-aged girl, when we’re letting our dogs know how thrilled we are with something they just did or learned.
“…use our mean voice when it is clearly required…
“The person who allows his attitude to get bent out of shape when bad things occur, or when things don’t go his way is going to bring heaping helpings of unhappiness upon himself. And he certainly will not achieve excellent results with his dogs, goals, or the folks around him. It pays all of us to frequently think about our attitude and resolve to keep it at its best.”
Northwoods Grits, age 4
Northwoods Blue Ox x Northwoods Chablis
photo by Chris Mathan, The Sportsman’s Cabinet