After reading another post it got me thinking about how enjoyable it is to have a good dog with you when hunting and all the memories made while doing so. If you please, take this as a chance to reflect and share some stories of your favorite dogs or favorite dog moments while hunting.
I'll start with 2 of my favorites from the season so far.
#1 Hunting opening weekend of Teal with my Dad and a few friends over a cut rice field. We had a flight of 10-15 come in and dropped 4 or 5. I sent the dog to pick them up and she did fine with that. On the way in she slowed down with a bird in her mouth and just stood there and kind of walked around, I tooted her in and she sat back down waiting on the next volley. She was persistent about that spot with a little whining and wouldn't take her eyes off of it while we were sitting and waiting on more birds. Finally I gave in and sent her back to the area to see what she wanted. She dug around face first under water/mud for a solid 5 minutes with pretty much just her hindquarter and tail sticking up, coming up briefly just for air. After a show of this my Dad who's a softy when it comes to pups was begging for me to bring her in, I told him no, "I've seen this movie before". After another few minutes the friends hunting with us were starting to agree with my Dad. At about that time my girl pops up out the water with a mud covered teal that was about as alive as they get without flying! My dad nodded with approval and said, "Yep, that dog will hunt."
#2 Hunting the same pond. I brought my boss and a customer to come hunt with me after work for a quick evening hunt. We had a flight come in and my boss clipped a bird that glided behind us about 175yds into a cane pile. The 175yds to the cane pile was through high rice, up a levee and over a farm road. The boss and the customer said we can just look for it on the way out. I said nah, I'll give it a try. I sent her on the blind and within a few whistles she picked it up like she had done it time and time before! We were all impressed and I was proud to say the least!
We had a subpar teal season this year, but with the help of a dog(not always mine) we ended up salvaging the season and recovering nearly every bird. Now for big ducks and geese!