|Another day, another try. As always once the tailgate opens, Kaiser raises his nose and air scents.|
Lou is a hunting buddy of mine. We first met at a NAVHDA meet and became fast friends as he had a drahthaar and a Land Rover and I the same. Discovering we have similar taste in dogs, guns, trucks, and just about all thing Teutonic, it was easy to develop a friendship. Over the years I got him into Merkels, Meindl boots and Darnes. I've learned a lot about upland hunting from Lou as he hunts probably at least 80 days of the upland season (that will change now that he has a kid on the way). We have shared a lot of our "secret" locations to on another, vowing never to reveal them to anyone else. I have kept my part of the bargain, I believe Lou has as well.
It was 9am when Lou called us at the motel, letting us know that he'd be at the spot at 10. So we waited and done some sight seeing. The fall colors have finally come and even though sparse with trees the area was quite a sight.
We arrive just as Lou was making his way to the location. Lou's pack was minus one dog. Summer is in heat and was left home but the four others made the trip. I rarely get to hunt with Lou anymore, the reason is his drahthaar Arnold is not dog-friendly. We have had some issues with Arnie attacking Kaiser. This never happens in the field but when we are making camp. Its easier to just not hunt together. Lou's other dogs, on the other hand, are some of the sweetest dogs ever and a true pleasure to be around. Arnie was purchased semi-finished years ago from a trainer. That trainer did a poor job of socializing him which is a shame and really does the purchaser a disservice by selling such a dog. Thankfully Lou's other dogs were properly socialized since their birth and are friendly and playful.
|The Pack minus one dog.|
I started ahead of Lou so that we wouldn't have any issues with Arnie. Eventually Lou was to my right a few hundred yards away. Not long in our hunt a cottontail flushed and I fired with the IC then the mod barrel, missed. It eventually flushed again but I missed with the only shot I had. As we moved on, my dad was having a hard time keeping up so I told him to hunt this field as we were headed toward the mountain and planned to climb it to get to the other side. We finally reached the mountain, as I looked at it from the base I told Lou I don't think I have it in me to climb. So he climbed and I skirted around the base to reach the other side. I was hugging alongside private property fence when a covey of 30 birds flush. I took two shots missing because I flock shot it like an idiot. They landed in the private property so I did not give chase.
|The Pack backing one another.|
The back side is named by me as Shangri-La. Its been about two years since I've been back here. Its not hunted much by anyone as its difficult to get to and private property surrounds much of it. There are mountain quail, valley quail and chuckar here. Lou and I flushed huge coveys back here. Today though we couldn't find a single one. What a shame. This just proves how difficult this year is going to be. Lou managed to flush a cottontail but could not connect with his Darne R10. After sometime in Shangri-La we headed back. One of the pack pointed and the rest of the dogs backed. It was quite a scene unfortunately it was just a tweety bird. A few rabbits and jacks flushed but of course I missed all the cottontails and managed another jack.
It was almost three and Lou was don for the day ready to head back to civilization. I didn't want to deal with Friday LA traffic and decided to wait it out and stay to hunt another area. We said our goodbyes and I headed to another area. The new area was colder and there was slight snow. It was not cold enough for the frost to last. Once the flakes hit something it basically melted. Tried I hunted for about an hour or so before giving up and calling it a trip.