Today was a good day. My boy not only found the appetite to eat two good meals, but hunted for an hour without being totally exhausted, a huge improvement from yesterday. His sniffer is working okay but not like normal, but he is smelling birds again.
We chose a snake free area to hunt but it was cold enough to eliminate any real concern there anyway: snow.
The hunt was special in more way than one. Not only did Rusty get to hunt, but I took Dad's Weatherby Olympian O/U with me and bagged two sage grouse. There is significance to this.
The gun was an anniversary present from my Mom to my Dad a long time ago. Dad's health turned south by time I took an interest in hunting. We only went on one bird hunt together, at this particular location.
My Dad doubled on sage grouse then turned back to go lean on my truck. Our dog at the time, Shasa, and I retrieved his two birds and my one. I will never forget his words. "I was doing real good until I remembered I can't breathe."
Every year, I take the Weatherby back there and remember. This time the act weighed even heavier on my mind when I realized that this was Rusty's first real hunt after I feared I would never hunt with him again.
Yes I cried while writing this.
Last edited by WyoChukar on Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:49 pm; edited 1 time in total _________________ Only catch snowflakes on your tongue AFTER the birds fly south for the winter...
Joined: 12 Mar 2005
Ohio Wirehair wrote:
Here in Ohio it's a $5000.00 fine to kill a rattlesnake or copperhead. The same fine as killing a eagle. Figure that one out.
I lived, hunted and fished in the central Florida area for over a decade. We had our share of cotton mouths and EDBs which could definately be hazardous to one's well being if provoked. But I never provoked them if they were out where they were supposed to be. I'd always give them their space. Live and let live was my motto here. Not so in residential areas. I was not skilled enough (or brave enough) to try to capture and relocate them. So they'd quickly and quietly get dispatched w/ a stout forked stick I kept in the work shed and in the back of my pick up. But in the time I lived there, I dispatched fewer than a half dozen. They seemed understand that humans were a whole bunch more dangerous than they were, and tended not to get too involved with us. So maybe snakes are generally smarter in that respect than most people after all.
Cotton mouths seemed to be the most aggressive or territorial. Usually, they'd head for water ASAP if it was nearby. But if they were high and dry, they would usually curl up and repeatedly strike at an interloper, even if he was well out of range. I figure anyone who was stupid enough to purposely get within range was a bit shy in smarts and deserved getting punctured.
Eastern diamond backs almost always weren't ready for a fight--even the real big ones. They would almost always either crawl off for cover ASAP or curl up, rattle, and wait it out if no cover was nearby. Again, anyone who knowingly went in harms way was probably too dumb to be walking around unattended anyway. I've heard that the Western variety DBs are a lot more aggressive. But I've never had the pleasure of meeting one, so I can't say.
We also had a bunch of pygmy rattlers in our area. They weren't all that dangerous since they were rather tiny and didn't pack much of a punch. I figure the only way they could bite me was if I was being stupid enough to go probing around in the scrubs bare handed (which I wasn't) But they were very hard to see unless I was looking for them. I have stepped on a few and could feel them whacking the hell out of my boot in protest.
But in your situation OW, I suspect the Ohio politicos are attempting to extend some professional courtesy. And I have to ask; just how would anyone know if you quietly killed one with a stout forked stick. Snakes don't talk...especially dead ones.
Good to hear your bud is rebounding and back in the game.
The dad memories are tough. Mine left this earth 20 years ago this coming week.
He was a big Native American history buff and loved Indian tradition and ceremony. He kept a leather neck pouch with some sacred items in it. 20 years ago I cached it in a hole in a cliff high on a ridge overlooking Montana's Gallatin Valley, while hunting blue grouse - 1997.
My dad is gone and so is the dog I had back then.
Next weekend I plan to go back up to that spot and visit, along with my current wire faced girl, and hunt some blues.
Joined: 17 Mar 2017
Location: Endless Mountains of Pa
Lost my Grandpa in 1969 and my Dad back in 1984, even now they walk the woods with me each and every time I am out with our current dogs. The dogs we had back then were Weimars, Small Munsterlanders and Ryman Setters. Wish I could turn back the clock for the incredible Grouse hunting with my Grandfather, Father and those dogs. Have fun visiting your Dad and hunting your Blues. Life is short live it to the fullest.
My younger girl and I headed up the mountain this AM to visit my Dad and hopefully see a few blues. Got on top and some birds immediately blasted off out of range over the abyss of the canyon - as those of you who hunt Blue Grouse surely have experienced - no shots. Literally just arrived at my Dad's spot, my girl got birdy - up go four blues. We teamed up to put one of 'em in the vest. Truth is really more interesting than fiction. A morning I'll never forget.............
Thanks folks. I have been away for the whole month, Rusty has been with me. We went up near the Canada border to visit a cherished friend who probably won't see many more hunting seasons. We hunted sandhill cranes and huns mostly. Honestly the best time I ever spent up there.
We figured out a few things and finally achieved the impossible: consistently decoying cranes. I wish I would have taken the open choked 16 ga. Lefever and some #2 steel! The Fox 16 did good on huns and what few sharp tails that were available.
A quick stop for a few days in southwest North Dakota revealed the worst pheasant numbers I have seen, even compared to the devastation after the great blizzards of the late 90's. Rusty did his job though and really saved my butt by finding the few birds there. A group with 4 GSP's worked the same area and never turned a bird, so Rusty is indeed up to snuff.
I will post some pics later when I have time, minnow harvest is on right now and I'm headed back out the door.
_________________ Only catch snowflakes on your tongue AFTER the birds fly south for the winter...
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