This is about the time of year when we start making to-do lists for next season, based in large part on the goofs, gaffes, errors and omissions of last season. Maybe some of these tips will help …
– As the day goes on and ground heats up, warm air rises from the bottom of draws, valleys, river canyons, creating an uphill or upstream breeze almost everywhere. As the sun rises, hunt from above the best bird hideouts and you’ll help your dog intercept scent as he leads you along a ridgeline or down a draw.
– Sports shows – especially on the last day – can be a bargain-hunters’ paradise, whether you’re shopping for gear or a guided trip.
– You might have better luck getting a lost dog returned to you if you change the information on his collar tag. Leave his name off – fewer bad guys are interested in stealing a dog whose name they don’t know because he will be less likely to respond to the thief’s commands. Avoid engraving “Reward,” then your phone numbers on the tag. It could encourage ransom requests. Instead, put “Requires daily medication.” Good-hearted folk will work hard to return your dog, and baddies will avoid a dog that might cost them money.
– Do you own a TriTronics Upland G3 Special? Turning on the beeper remotely from the collar is sometimes a sketchy situation. Try this: once you’ve pressed the button on the beeper to turn it on, hold the collar so the prongs on the battery unit face the base of the beeper. Then hit the green button on the handheld transmitter to turn it off.
– Chukar hunters should be loath to give up altitude. If you are finding birds at one elevation, stay there, sidehilling to cover ground. Unless there’s a good reason, don’t follow escaping birds down the hill only to have to climb it again.
– The best bedding in an outside dog kennel or house is grass hay. It breaks down slower than straw and makes less dust. Cedar shavings are pretty strong-smelling and might impact a dog’s scenting ability.
– Remove the entrails of shot birds immediately after they’re retrieved to help them cool quickly. In wintry conditions, stuff some snow into the body cavity. Scuff a hole in the dirt and bury the guts – unless your dog is riding in the back of the truck – bird innards are fart fuel.
– When fogged-over shooting glasses leave you stranded in a pea-soup of your own making, turn your hat around. Put the bill in back where it won’t catch your exhaled breath, hang around your glasses, and condense on the lens.