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Spent a rather frigid day yesterday hunting high-country Appalachian ruffs with Ronald Phillips. It was close to zero in the morning and eventually warmed up to almost fifteen degrees. Birds were huddled in the morning and, with the six to eight inches of fluff, hard to find. Scent was locked up, no tracks indicating movement were evident, and the dogs would have to be on top of the birds to scent them. At specific elevations the snow was still piled up on every bowed and weighted twig and branch, large or small, and much of it wound up in my collar as I navigated it. We put in a solid day and finally got into some bunches as day waned. I rarely lose a shot bird of any species but, sadly, one bird I hit curled back high and out of sight and we were unable to locate it. not a track or feather. Anything that dropped into the snowy maze was extremely concealed from the eyes and nose. We made as good an effort as we could before reluctantly moving on.
Ron's youngster, Briar, acquired a case of gelidus castaneae--OUCH! As always, elevation was high, the footing sketchy and my safety thumb was frozen. But it's always a good hunt with hard core groused, Ronald Phillips. Until I return.
VC Elk and I in the snowy covert.
#fieldsport #coveyrise #gsp #gspsofinstagram #gspoftheday #vcaspen #vcrimrocksaspen #rimrockskennel #pointingdog #pointingdogsofinstagram #gundog_tv #gundogs #treasuredheritage
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Solstice Day hunt this afternoon. The noise from the crunchy snow had Ruff on edge and busting out ahead of us. Five minutes into our hunt, I lost a crack at two birds that went out behind me and across the road just as two vehicles crossed. The drivers must have seen both birds cross. 😳 Then I couldn't find Elk for five minutes ( I was running sans bell, beeper only). As I was still a bit close to the road I got a little nervous, despite his being a reliable checker inner. I dropped my guard and called him and, as soon as I did, Ruff blasted out from Elk’s point within the treeline not eight yards from me. He showed himself out of the woodline for a piece of a second before tucking back in eighty or so yards ahead. I had forgotten to turn on the Lovetts beeper collar--DOH! 🙂 Good thing Elk holds no grudges!
We had a few more contacts, all birds getting out well ahead, almost all from trees. I only had a few points from Elk (though he didn't bump a bird). The flushes do keep it exciting.
As the shortest day wound down we hunted a bench with ground cover and dead falls upon a ridge, above a good stand of dense hawthorn from which maze I'd moved a couple of birds on our way up, though no shots. I was about to turn back as official sunset was approaching. Then, one last point and a bird rocketing out before I quite got there but I was fortunate in my hail Mary shot and felled the jumpy woodlander and closed the day in the failing light with a nice fat partridge in hand. Elk worked very hard and was as pleased as I to have that lovely hen in his mouth. A great afternoon. It's all uphill from here.
#fieldsport #coveyrise #gsp #americanwoodcocksociety #gspsofinstagram #gspoftheday #germanshorthair #germandogs #deutschkurzhaar #versatiledog #versatilechampion #americanwoodcocksociety #purinaproplan #americanwoodcock #vcaspen #vcrimrocksaspen #rimrockskennel #pointingdog #pointingdogsofinstagram #gundog_tv #gundogs #treasuredheritage
#gundoghunting #orvis #fieldsport #coveyrise #marylandupland #timberdoodle #woodcock #mudbat #treasuredheritagesportingimages

An evening high country grouse hunt. Spotted this guy in eighteen inches of water at the edge of a farm pond, no longer used. Curious, I attempted to stretch and get it with a reed. Ever one to help, Elk spotted me in my efforts and came to join in. In no time he’d pushed the amphibian into the mud and raised a cloud of murk. Then, after I’d waited for the silt to resettle I got it, looked at it and tossed it back in. Elk was sure that was a mistake and sought to reacquire it. A fun diversion between coverts. Oh, yes. Two points, three flushes, one shot taken, nought in the sack. Good times.
The upland life. (2017)
#orvis #fieldsport #coveyrise #timberdoodle #woodcock #mudbat #labradortwister #gsp #americanwoodcocksociety #gspsofinstagram #gspoftheday #germanshorthair #germandogs #deutschkurzhaar #versatiledog #versatilechampion #americanwoodcocksociety #purinaproplan #americanwoodcock #vcaspen #vcrimrocksaspen #rimrockskennel #pointingdog #pointingdogsofinstagram #gundog_tv #gundogs #treasuredheritage
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Last day in the north country of New York State. The woodcock rode in yesterday on a cool wind by the light of a fat moon. Ran in the am with young Elk, and Brian Mihans was kind enough to grab my camera for the shot of Elk and me. Four flushes off of four points but no birds in the bag with Elk, despite stellar work. Next I hunted with Larry Giordano and Brian Mihans over Brian's Dutchess (Elk's sister). She did an outstanding job. Larry was our flusher and walked in on a point by Dutchess. Luck came to me as a bird went almost straightaway and as I pulled up on it I saw a second bird in the periphery. I was able to connect on bird one, swing ninety degrees and take bird two--my first TRUE double on woodcock despite hunting them these past decades. SWEET! Went out with Aspen for twenty minutes and together we picked up my last woodcock of the day. It was a wonderful day hunting in ideal, overcast, cool conditions. Will say good bye tomorrow. Au revoir, little fellas. See you shortly a bit south.
#sportingphotography #uplandtradition #uplandlife #sportingart #gsp #woodcock #aspenthicket #americanwoodcocksociety #ruffedgrousesociety #michiganupland #naturesbounty #thesportinglife #treasuredheritagesportingimages #goodeating #eatingwild #gundog #gundogmagazine #pointingdogjournal #coveyrisemagazine #shootingsportsmanmagazine #uplandjournal #uplandlife

Reservoir Britts Spruce, (NA 1, UT2). He is bred, owned, trained, handled by Eric Affuso of New York. He just missed a prize 1 as he broke on the steady portion of the marked retrieve. He's a beauty and only two years old.
#brittanysofinstagram #americanbrittany #brittany #uplandart #uplandphotography #gundog #navhda #versatiledog #coveyrise #fieldsport #fielddog #grousedog #sportingart #uplandart #treasuredheritagesportingimages #treasuredheritage #gundogtraining #delmarsmith #smithmethod

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