"Here you go!
We arrived and were greeted by the eager yips of Bailey and Chloe and the hunter himself, Rod. Soon after, Tobi and his owners pulled up and after a quick coffee refuel we were off to Hasting Island Hunting Preserve. About a mile outside of the preserve we stopped to let the beasts run off some steam in the brisk early morning air. To Bailey and Chloe this was clearly routine; they were out of the car like rockets dashing through the open fields sniffing out rabbits and stretching their lean bodies. Arya and Tobi were quick to follow their lead, and soon enough there were four red streaks darting through the brush. The humans were only spectators at this point in the day, and the four dogs a pack of their own.
|Maybe this could be Arya or Tobi one day?|
Now for the exciting part: Bailey was nose to the wind the moment the Jeep’s rear door snapped open. Chloe was sad to be left inside but had to stay behind due to her sensitivity to the gun shots. Arya was right behind Bailey with a lead rope on her and the two dogs headed straight to the field. Arya needed no guidance when it came to sniffing out birds and she was happy as ever to be frolicking in the tall grass taking in all the smells nature had to offer, even flushing out a pheasant of her own.
Meanwhile Bailey was spot on with his training and zig zagged a course out in front of us, quickly picking up a trail and going on point. And with that I had my first chance to observe the hunter and his pointer in their element – Rod carefully moved forward toward Bailey who was frozen as still as a statue; upon closing, up rose a pheasant from the brush and with a quick movement the gun was aimed and CRACK! the shot burst through the air and the bird was on the ground, with Bailey off to retrieve it just a moment later. Meanwhile Arya was kept close to her people so as not to interfere with the kill, but as soon as the pheasant was retrieved she was eager as ever to get her nose in it and a mouthful of feathers, unfazed by the blast of the gun.
Bailey and Rod continued to work the field, now with Tobi in tow. Tobi was just as eager as Arya toward the birds and seemed to have a strong hunting drive as well. Although Bailey still is working on certain skills, he is clearly an extremely adept pointer – a role model for Arya and Tobi.
Thanks to the generosity of the hunter we headed home that morning with a delicious pheasant in hand which graced our dinner plates that evening. Overall we had a wonderful first time in the field and both Arya and I look forward to next season." - Lief