October 29, 2012

First "Official" Quail Hunt!

Riley went on her first official quail hunt today! MagicandNucky joined us with his handsome pup and the two had a blast. We weren't sure if we would find anything, but the pups ended up flushing a large covey of quail and then finding several birds. I have never heard a covey of wild quail fly off like that & the sound of all those wings beating was amazing. Riley impressed me by locating and pointing out a quail about 10 ft up in a tree! That girl has such a good nose. She's been a little hesitant around shotguns in the past. No issues this time - tail was up and wagging the entire hunt & she went nuts every time she heard the birds fly off. No birds to bring home, although one was *just* nicked as it took off & the pups went crazy over the feathers on the ground.

Cooper waited in the car until we were done because I don't want to make him gun shy. When we returned to the car, he got to run around with his sister. Riley pointed a quail in a bush and even held her point while it flushed. I think she's learning!

We're excited for our next hunting trip!

October 21, 2012

Quail "Hunting"

We took the pups on their first two quail "hunting" trips this weekend. I say "hunting" because neither of us have a permit or a shotgun! We did bring a blank gun just in case Riley pointed any wild quail & I wore my new, fashionable day-glo orange vest. Saturday was a total bust. We parked in the wrong area & had to hike for about an hour before we even got to good quail habitat. Today we started out in the right area, but too late in the morning. All the quail had been scared off already by other hunters. We heard a lone quail calling out, but it was from across the freeway in the (protected) state park. Riley had a great point on one of the bushes, but we quickly discovered it was a scent point with no bird. The pups had so much fun! Riley was in full-on hunting mode most of the time & it was an amazing thing to watch her work the hillsides. Cooper is learning to follow in the footsteps of his big sister & always honors her points! We gave up looking for quail after about 2 hours & headed back to the car. It was then, of course, that Riley's little cheeks started puffing and she took off full-speed for the base of a tree in some long grasses. Next thing we knew, a quail came running full speed out from under the tree and flew off! It was nice to find at least one. Next time we'll go much earlier! :)

October 11, 2012

Why Hunting Is A Dying Sport in California

I was trying to figure out for the longest time why hunting is such a dying sport in CA and it finally dawned on me yesterday. It is expensive enough to just make a living in CA, put a roof over your head, food in your mouth, and have a decent car to get to/from work. It makes sense why mostly the older generation are into hunting because they have more time and spare money for hunting. I was very excited to get Riley back into hunt training full-time this month now that her leg is 100% and hunting season is upon us. Then it happened - Reuben's starter in the truck went out (there goes $300), a rock bounced up and hit my car windshield to create a nice 1ft long crack (another $250), and we received a letter in the mail the other day saying our property has been reassessed so our taxes are going up.

It's very frustrating looking into those beautiful brown eyes and know you are depriving your dog of something they were born to do, but unfortunately hunt training is going to have to wait, yet again. :(

October 8, 2012

Crab Fishing & Fort Funston

Crabs are delicious, so when my hubby said he wanted to take me crab fishing in Pacifica as my birthday present, I was ecstatic! It turns out the actual fishing part is rather boring, so I left that to my hubby & brother in law, while my sister & I took the pups to Fort Funston. They had a blast running around & stalking/chasing birds. The men caught 4 crabs, which we cleaned & cooked for dinner. I can honestly say it was the best crab I've ever eaten! We're all very excited for Dungeness season to start in November. We would have brought home about 10-15 crabs if we could have kept the Dungeness we caught!

Ranfery & Reuben with their first crab
One of the many Dungeness caught (and released)
Red crab up close
Riley posing for the camera
Me & my beautiful pups!
Riley "hunting" birds at the beach
She was frozen on-point until they flew off