September 22, 2009

Fisher Goes to Bird Camp

Fisher with sharp-tailed grouse, North Dakota, Sept. 2009. Photo by Chas S. Clifton
Fisher and I came back from North Dakota on the 17th, after four days of driving and four days of sharp-tailed grouse and dove-hunting with my old friend Galen (who is now blogging again).

Since our return, M. and I have both noted a change in the little Chessie. He seems a tad more mature. Still pushy and hyperactive, but not quite so much.

Cookie, Galen's German wirehaired pointer, was his tutor on the grouse, and I think he learned some things, when not chasing her madly across the prairie, liberated after two days in a kennel crate.

And I managed to down two grouse, which is two more than last year, when we never saw one within shotgun range.

Mixed grill of game birds and sausage. Photo by Chas S. Clifton.
They and some doves went into this mixed grill of apple-smoked game birds, sausage, and squash.


LSP said...

That looks absolutely delicious - top mixed grill - you've inspired me to add squash to dove, bacon, venison sausage!

mdmnm said...

Lovely mixed grill!

Glad you and Fisher got on some birds and had a good time. Nice that you had a chance to run him with a good dog that could show him the program. How're his water issues coming?

Chas S. Clifton said...

The water issues are ... coming. Still not ready for ducks this year, I'm afraid. I am debating whether it's sensible and/or ethical to go without a dog (but with a collapsible spinning rod and a floating plug?).

Galen Geer said...

And the food was very good, eh?
Water issues? I thought it was an overdose on drugs. But, I think you'll have him ready for a combination upland/waterfowl hunt next year--eh? Maybe we could even get Holly to leave California and discover some truly fantastic waterfowl hunting.

mdmnm said...


Maybe he'll get a bit more focused around water once he figures out birds are involved. As for hunting w/o a dog, I don't know about sensible but I think it can be ethical. On the Rio, I only lost 2 birds in six years, though I did get some pretty exciting wading in. I'd think a rod & floater for the deep ones would be a good plan.

Chad Love said...

Is this your first chessie? Good looking dog. If you don't mind me asking, what are his water issues?

Chas S. Clifton said...


Fisher is a "rescue dog." Got him just before his 2nd birthday this summer.

He is my third Chessie (my first was a gift 1986).

He has a water-freaking problem, something I had never encountered before. Both previous dogs were good water dogs.

But he's bright and interested, and we are making some progress.

Chad Love said...

OK, gotcha. My male had (and still has) some water-freaking issues himself. He pretty much grew out of the swimming aspect of it by the time he was about a year or so, but he still goes nuts for water hoses.

When I'm watering or cleaning out kennels I'll bring him to heel and sit him as I'm washing them out.

He's gotten to the point where he won't break. Mostly. It doesn't manifest itself while I'm hunting so I don't worry about it too much.

For that matter my female went through an adolescent water-freaking stage, too and grew out of it. I once yelled myself hoarse as she swam endless circles around a local park pond chasing park ducks...

Who knows, maybe it's just something endemic to chessies.

Chas S. Clifton said...

It is endemic, so I have learned. They love water not wisely but too well.