Friday, October 13, 2006

Woodcocking

Cagey and I managed to get out for an afternoon of woodcocking yesterday, and we were glad we did. It was close to 60 deg F and blustery, but we ran into what we assumed was a flight of woodcock. In about two hours of hunting we put up close to 20 birds, over a dozen or so over Katie's points, and reflushing several--so all told there were probably 15 or more individual birds that we pushed around.

We were in the Bower Road pasture once again, and right away I got on the board with a second barrel shot at a bird that Keith had gone in to flush. That was to be it for the next hour and a half, however, as we engaged in one of our annual blastfests as birds ran and flew hither and yon. At one point I went in to flush a bird in the gnarlies, and seeing it on the ground two feet in front of Katie's nose, I threw a stick at it. Hit it, too! That was the only thing I would hit during the long dry spell that defined the middle of the hunt.

Keith finally got on the board with a nice shot from deep within the Thicker 'N Hell covert. It took Katie a while to find the bird, which was resting dead at the feet of a live 'cock who flushed at our approach to Katie's point. At the flush Katie moved in and tasted a mouthful of feathers from Keith's dead bird: and there was much rejoicing.

Keith had to leave by 5:15, so we hunted our way out after 4:30. Of course we pushed one little bird back and forth across the covert at about 4:55, and at one point the cock got up between us, flew straight up, and we both proceeded to dork out with both barrels before said bird landed unharmed elsewhere on the hill. We never did kill that bird.

Right on the way out Katie pointed one last bird in some brush, and I moved in to flush. Away it went, and from a crouch I managed a snap shot that dropped the bird cleanly. Every now and then one goes your way.

I don't know about Cabin Boy's shell count, but I ended up with two birds on about 2 for 6 shooting.

This morning:

Things went so well last night, and there were so many birds, that I returned to the scene of the crime this morning. It was still blustery, 34 deg. F at the truck, and I wore my tattered blue air force sweater under the ancient Carhart hunting vest that I really ought to replace. We were in the covert by 8:30.

By 9:16 I had killed my third bird. This is this.

2 comments:

KGT said...

Nice write up Jim!

For the record, I was a humbling 1 for 17 (though MANY expended rounds were let loose in my self-inflicted training on how to properly approach pointy dogge in the thick stuff and manage a reasonable shot. Obviously, much more training required.)

It was a banner day from the aesthetics stand point. I will be heading for the "Jim's Comeuppance" covert later today in hopes of a repeat of the joys of hunting, if not the joys of shooting and killing.

KGT said...

Went to "Jim's Comeuppance" last eve. Got my three, missed many before the third one finally fell. Flushed two grouse. Artemis showed flashes of both brilliance and retardation, but I gave her the benefit of the doubt in the swirling winds as she bumped previously flushed birds.