Sunday, February 14, 2010

Bailey the Vizsla learns to pheasant hunt

This morning Bailey and I went pheasant hunting at Bird's Landing in the Sacramento Delta area. This was my first upland bird hunt behind my own dog. I was excited and a bit anxious on how he would do at this young age.

The fog was thick when we started out. Bird's Landing Hunting Preserve is one of the premiere facilities on the West Coast.

Before I fired a shot, Bailey had run down three pheasants. The birds made the mistake of trying to run for it. Bailey ran the birds down and brought them back to me.

After a couple hours, Bailey went on point and a pheasant held until I flushed it. When the bird flushed, I pulled the trigger and nothing happened. I had left the safety on. The bird flew away across the river. I apologised to Bailey for letting him down. He had done his job.

About 15 minutes later, Bailey went on point again. This time I did manage to bring that bird down and Bailey returned it to me. Finally we worked together as a hunting team. We both did our parts.

I brought back 20 pounds of pheasant home for dinners over the next couple weeks all nicely dressed out by the hunting preserve staff.

Thank you Bailey.

He is such a great hunter. Bailey is only a year and a half old. His point and hunting ability seem beyond his years.

The pheasants are "planted" in the fields. These pheasants are pin raised birds, like chickens. When the dogs flush a bird out too far, the chances of the pheasant getting away is great.
Besides Bailey, we hunted behind a sweet small lab that was five-years-old. She was a good little hunter but unlike a pointer, she would flush the bird much quicker than a Vizsla. The lab was fearless about retrieving a bird, no matter where it landed.

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