have 6-1/2 month old Weimaraner. We'll see if he hunts. Smart enough to
be sure. 6/20/2008
|Our dog "Trooper" (Weim) made his
first bust today. We went over to our lease in the town of Solon, which
connects to Baker Schoolhouse State Forest, plenty of room to work a
dog. We had only walked in three-four hundred yards, and I
spotted a flock up ahead of us on another logging road. I walked him
over to the roadway, and that was all it took. Once he hit fresh scent,
Trooper was on a mission. 12-13 birds (mixed flock), he got all the
birds up in the air, and I think he came close to catching a few, as
they went straight up in the trees. No bark on this break, hope we can
do something about that. I got him to settle down behind a stake blind,
and called birds in. Funny, I scolded him for low volume growling as I
had birds out in front kee-keeing, second time he growled, I turned to
look, and had the two jennies coming in from behind. I managed to turn
around, and shoot the bigger one off hand. Trooper had no problem with
the shotgun blast. At the shot, the second bird ran towards us. I could
have shot, but the birds were small to start with. Trooper went after
it, flushing the bird. I believe there were a few more with the two,
just could not see them.
Trooper Turns 10 months old on Monday, and I could not be more pleased with him. We have a lot more training to do, but he did well today. Trooper had a ball, and is passed out as I type this. 10/4/2008
Trooper makes good on another flockLast Friday, I took Trooper out for an evening run for turkeys, and it ended up a short evening. We headed up to our north end, and Trooper started ranging nicely for me. Once we came up around a corn field, Trooper caught scent, and started to work it hard, moments later, he took off in a straight shot. Just as he disappeared from view, turkeys start putting, and clucking, then wing beats. Two birds flew over head, no shot with the trees in the way. Best I could figure, 10-12 birds in the flock. Trooper has amazing speed when motivated.
Trooper came back a few minutes later, and we set up along a side bank, against a big old maple tree. For a rambunctious Wiem, I was surprised how quickly he settled down behind the blind. Ten minutes later, he perked his ears up, and I began calling. Shorty after, I could start hearing turkeys kee-keeing, and yelping. A single jenny came in on my hard right, and slightly behind us. Trooper saw her before I did, but never made a sound. He was starting to get excited, but stayed put. As the bird crossed out in front, I switched the shotgun, from my offside to my preferred right side, and shot, when the bird stopped to take a better look. The turkey started flopping, and I commanded Trooper to get the bird. He come out of the blind like he was on fire, and pinned the bird down to the ground in a manner of a few seconds. By the time I got there, the bird had one remaining tail feather left. Since this was the second bird shot over him, I let him get all the scent he wanted. Trooper definitely got the idea now. I was out less than 30 minutes, and I was walking back to the house.
I took him down to the ice cream stand (very nice warm day in NY), as they have what they call a dog treat (small dish of ice cream with two dog biscuits.) Young girl at the stand saw the birds flush from across the road, and she confirmed that it was 10 birds that she saw fly up over the corn field.
Trooper has the instinct, I just have to take advantage of it, and train him properly.
Very happy that I filled both tags over him this fall. 10/13/08
took Trooper out yesterday for the women's hunt, and he did well
breaking a single bird, then caught up to the flock going up hill.
Amazing how such a big dog can power his way up a hill. No kill on this
break, as it was a formidable hill for the hunt participants to climb.
|March 9, 2009 - bad day today,
Trooper ran up the hill chasing a squirrel or a rabbit and was hit and
killed this morning. We think it was a black truck, but they never
stopped. Nothing we could do for him. He was 15 months old on March
6th. We lost him a good 14-15 years too early. Mike
Read Trooper's obituary
|Iit’s been very quiet & sad
since we had lost Trooper on that fateful morning. We learned soon
after, that Trooper’s parents were expecting another litter in late
April/early May. A few weeks after losing him, we found an adorable
female Weim with huge ears and feet (much like Trooper) up in
Minnesota. We had her flown in the next day, and welcomed her into our
family. We named her Abby (short for Abigail). Very sweet girl, but
also alert and very fast. Shows strong
instincts to hunt, and is at full attention at any type of a turkey
call. We had three 2 year old gobblers within 12 yards of the deck
before season, and she got an eye/earful of gobblers. Being a pack of
two year olds, they gobbled 100+ times and Abby knows for sure what a
Early April we got terrible news that Trooper’s father was hit and killed, and the expecting litter would be the last of the bloodline (mother would be fixed after weaning the pups.) The father was a blue Weim, and as it turned out, one of the pups was a blue male (the owners would keep him.) We picked out the largest male and named him Jake. Also sweet, and very alert. Too soon to tell on how he’ll do on turkey’s but there are some indications. Already chasing laser pointer dots. We hope to get them on turkeys this fall, we’ll know more then. For now, things are much more lively at our home, and as it should be. For us, it is where it all started. By the way, the pics with Abby and the deer decoy, was when she actually first "discovered" the deer. We won the decoy at a banquet, keep it by the house, and expect to find a young deer bedded down by it someday. Abby was all worked up when she finally saw it, with her hair raised on the back of her neck. Mike 6/19/09
|Jake & Abby, finally made
good on a flock last night! Both dogs are young pups (6-1/2 months
& 10 months) and have been showing promise. This being their
first season, the difficulty has been getting them into fresh
scent/scratchings and then following thru to the actual flock. Been
able to get into fresh that day stuff, but the flocks would move off
the property, and I would have to pull them off. Most of the season I
would run one dog for 3-4 hours, and then switch to the other. Last
night I decided on taking both as I had been out of town for the past
five days deer hunting in the Adirondacks. Both of them needed to get out. Although
both my tags are filled this season, I was hoping to go out with Paul
(hunting buddie). Paul is still recovering from an illness, so I went
to one of my leases anyway as a training walkabout. As it turned out,
the entire top of the lease (300 acres) was torn up by turkeys. It took
a long time to walk it as the dogs were working it over hard. We worked
it down the one side to the end, and went around to work it back on the
other, and that is when they both took off in a dead run. Normally they
range 40-60 yards. I heard putting and saw the first turkey take flight
about a 100 yards out, then I could spot both dogs running circles and
turkeys going up all around them. Jake leaped at one bird taking
flight, and missed by less than a foot. I counted 12 birds take to the
air, and was sure none ran off as I could see down through the woods.
Very cool to watch them work together chasing the birds. They both got
lots of praise, and I wished I could have followed thru with calling
them back in, but it was too close to dark. Things are looking up, both
Jake and Abby got one under their belt, and are excited to get out
there. Hopefully more to come. Mike 11/12/09
Stories and Travels of a Turkey Hunter by nature
author and outdoorsman Mike Joyner.
Also: Tales from the Turkey Woods: Mornings of My Better Days, plus two books coming soon:
Father and Son: A Life’s Journey Together in the Turkey Woods, and Empire State Limb Hangers.
|"The reason a dog has so many
friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue."
-- Don Hetland
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