OVERLOOKING LAWYER’S CREEK, IDAHO: It was warming already, “it” being 6:40 a.m. in the wheat stubble west of the Clearwater River near Kamiah, Idaho. Flying B Ranch head guide Rich Coe pre-wet his pointer and shorthair, so I did the same with Buddy and we were off on a quest for chukar partridge.
A fence corner and rock pile produced the first point, but the long-tailed dog broke off and trotted toward us. Buddy locked up in the same vicinity and a bird flew wild. Minutes later, a solid point by the shorthair and the first bird was brought to bag as we gazed downward, panting, a thousand feet into the canyon that holds the Flying B.
TV SHOW LAUNCH UPDATE: Wingshooting USA debuts Sept. 30! Go here for more details.
That first productive point prompted Rich’s question, which I’d hoped would never come on this three-dog hunt: “does your dog back?” The answer of course, is not really, but with some verbal encouragement from his owner and a lot of self-discipline, Buddy began honing his honoring skills. He had plenty of opportunities to practice in the target-rich environment that was the breaks between canyon and cropland.
Birds had been scattered by something: hawk? Coyote? Cows? Whatever, we hunting singles and pairs as the sun – and temperature – rose. A limit later, Rich asked to borrow my gun. His pointer had vanished over a ridgeline, not responding to whistles or calls. If you’ve been there, you know it’s time to hightail it toward the last known coordinates for said dog, with a good chance he’s locked up on a bird. Camera operators Tad Newberry and Lynn Berland strung along behind just in case.
The contrasting likelihood motivated me to head over the opposite ridge just in case he’d gone that way and was headed the intersection of lost and hopeless. About give-up time, here came Rich trailing both dogs, carrying a chukar and flanked by camera guys, with a story of adventure which you’ll see on an upcoming episode of Wingshooting USA.
See it here first: this will be part of next season’s TV shows. Here’s a very raw taste of the country courtesy of camera operator Lynn Berland, operating our secret HD “sky cam”:
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