Bird’s First Bird(s)

It’s safe to say that I’m more excited to take Birdie hunting than I am to go myself. Sometimes I’d rather have the extra hour of sleep. But since our acquisition of the world’s best bird dog, I’ve felt the obligation to bring her potential to fruition. After many birdless days – and a few well intentioned shots gone awry, Birdie was finally able to retrieve her first duck this morning. More on her pivotal moment below.

Although it was a frigid 26 degrees, we got into the blind just before first light, sitting just just in front of decoy spread. With Birdie on her pedestal next to the blind, sitting very attentive, the first 2 wood ducks showed up not more than 3 minutes after legal shooting hours. While I made quick work of my duties, Birdie sat perfectly still but ready to go. As soon as she was sent, she crashed through the thin layer of ice on the edge of the water and took out toward the drake – that apparently had only been wounded and was making a run for it. A short time later, and after not hesitating to grab the only half-dead bird, she was on her way back to the shore. Hoping to make her first duck a seamless process, I hopped out of the blind and started to make my way to the edge of the water. As luck would have it, about this time we were visited by another pair of woodies who landed in the exact same spot. This got Birdie’s attention and she dropped the drake on the edge of the grass to turn and see if this commotion might produce more playtime in the icy water. They quickly scared and I picked up the drake and sent her after the floating hen. Her second retrieve went off without a hitch and she delivered her all the way to hand. As we were leaving (still well before sunrise) we were visited by a half-dozen more winged friends. However, in order to give Davy a chance to catch up to my surmounting numbers as the #1 duckslayer at Soggy Bottom, we let these live to see another day…


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