We had an unexpected trip up to TMT today -- unexpected in that they are normally closed on Thursdays, but for a variety of reasons Tom invited us and my friend, William, to come up and chase some pheasants. To be honest, I was really looking forward to just handling both the dogs and have William shoot so I could keep Momo on standing steady-to-fall and keeping Jozsi steady-to-shot at the very least.
Momo did great with his steady-to-fall. He's obviously started to internalize that this is what I need him to do -- and the secret, I think, was gradually transitioning from yardwork and 'stay,' to a checkcord and pinch-collar, and then phasing over to just an e-collar. And today, he needed no e-collar at all. As I said in my post about my trip up to TMT with Scott and Bob the other weekend, Tom has monster birds -- and I asked Joe, Tom's co-worker, to weigh the first cock-pheasant that Momo brought back. And yes, 4.25lbs. This picture shows him retrieving a hefty hen pheasant (and you can see what kind of cover he's having to work through). Momo also did some really nice tracking on a couple of running birds, never crowding them even after being released from his point. I was impressed.
Jozsi was actually really great today. Perhaps pheasants just stink more, or the breeze suited him better today -- but he didn't bump a single one of the four birds he located and, very admirably, didn't grab the hen pheasant that literally vaulted on to a branch a foot from his head before seeing me and William and taking (a short) flight. Here's a nice point from Mr. Enthusiasm. So, all in all, a good day and some tasty meat in the fridge. If anyone has some favorite pheasant recipes, let's hear them.
We'll be back on Sunday with HRH Brisztow Jones. Hopefully we're equally as successful.