We had a nice day out today up at Stewart. It looked like Bob was going to bring a friend -- and my friend, William, asked if he could come along and get his first exposure to some fine New York hunting -- so Bob and I made our own ways up there and figured we'd just flip-flop parking posts as we skipped from field to field.
We finally got there after a few technical hitches, mostly to do with why William's hunting license was green and mine was yellow, the Davis Sporting Goods store changing its fall hours, and a guy in the sporting goods section at the New Windsor Walmart sleeping in due to the time-change. But we met Bob and a bloody Belle. She'd managed to cut herself somewhere around her head, and being a beautiful white English setter, her neck and face were now pink. Happily nothing serious, but a little freaky. Bob ended up taking her home because she kept opening up the cut, so it was a shame not to be able to hang out with them.
The short version of the story was that, in fitting with it being the last day of the woodcock season, Momo got four flushes on timberdoodles. I took one shot on one of the dodging little mudbats and got a clean hit on a tree. William got a shot off on a bird Momo had made a statuesque point on -- and succeeded in merely trimming some foliage as well. This picture is by Nancy Whitehead and is readily for sale. I should e-mail her to find out how she got this pic... with what kind of lens... or flash... or however. The one thing this beautifully clear picture can't capture is that caramel-colored blur a timberdoodle makes as it takes evasive action.
In honor of Momo's point (which I wish I had taken a picture of), here's the picture that used to grace the 'Dogs' frontpage at Widdershins. He was this handsome -- and it was his most spectacular point on woodcock to date.
Both boys got really birdy and agitated in a couple of different spots -- which sure looked like they were trying to keep tabs on a running pheasant. And in fact, the one pheasant that did flush for us flushed about 20ft behind Momo's point and just off William's left shoulder. We watched it go and tried unsuccessfully to mark it down.
Jozsi did manage to point a rabbit in a thicket, and then a quail... which was in so deep that as we tried to get to it and flush it it managed to somehow scurry off someplace never to be found again.
I think William got an accurate sense of why hunting in the northeast can be both a) frustrating and b) pretty hard work.
PS: On an odd sidenote, I did find this unusual blog: Hunting Haiku Daily. I liked Jim Tantillo's mudbat poem from January 19th, 2006, and so now need to check out the rest.