Sunday, December 8, 2013

What Happened in the Reeds?

What happened in the reeds this morning?  I wish I knew, because Bailey came out battered after coming out of the tall reeds with the very live pheasant I had shot (nicked).

you can see the blood just below his collar
It was a cool 28 degrees when we headed out into the fields of Hastings Island this morning at the start time of 7:30.
The low overnight had been 23 degrees and the ground was frozen.

  This first pheasant of the day was huge with  very long talons.  I could not see the "battle" in the reeds between the bird and my dog, but I could hear it and the quick howl of pain from my dog.
  A few moments later Bailey busted through the reeds with the bird in his mouth.  When he handed the bird over to me the bird was still fighting me.  If this was a "farm raised" pheasant, it was the alpha male of the brood.
We had been in the field all of 10 minutes when all this occurred.  We continued our hunting and the next point was great.  I was surprised when three pheasants flushed as I got close.  They burst noisily into the air at one time.  I took aim on one of the bird and missed.  Bailey held perfectly.  I watched where that bird had flown and we headed out that way.  Five minutes later Bailey went on point and I flushed and shot the bird after it flew over a small canal.  Bailey went for the retrieve with drive and purpose, but after checking out the bird, just left it on the ground and took off continuing to hunt.  Very unusual.
I asked him several times with a "here Bailey, here" to bring me the bird but it wasn't going to happen.  So I walked around the canal and back to the bird.  There I put Bailey on a leash and headed for the Jeep. (I could not reward him with continuing to hunt after failing a retrieve)
 We were still only an hour in and I decided to hunt a bit longer after I put Bailey on leash for 10 minutes.  Bailey went on point one last time and I flushed the bird and dropped it only 20 yards away.  Bailey went over, checked the bird over and then left the area again.

This is where I wish Bailey could have told me what had happened in the reeds.   This is a problem I will need to figure out.  I have known a few friends with Vizslas who have "shut down" on retrieving for the rest of their lives after a fight with a tough bird.

What happened in those reeds Bailey?  If you could only tell me.

Below is how I got Bailey out of his "funk."  Double click for full screen view.

1 comment:

Kay said...

I imagine that the fighting rooster got Bailey good so he was playing it safe with the rest by not retreiving . He ain't dumb that's for sure!