Got out on a pretty cold one this morning before "The Big Game" (next thing you know they will TM that one too...). Sadie put-up another 18 birds. We took a long-time friend of mine out (so more retrieving work). We got 7:
Great morning. Birds were holding, dog was pointing and retrieving great... Lots of fun!
Nicely done! Great job to Sadie, sounds like you guys had a great time. Got to love hunting birds in frigid winter temperatures. Are those darker ones Mongolian pheasant?
I think they are called "Black Mutants" (or Melanistic Mutants). Seeing more of them at the club now - later season. Not sure why - might just be the breeder, and what they are shipping in.
We had a couple of really good opportunities. One of the mutants, I shot, and it kicked, but continued to fly at pretty good range. It went down in a clearing where we could see it (dog watched it fly off, but was pretty steady, and didn't give chase). I had a great opportunity to actually cast her to the bird (a good challenge because she didn't see it go down, and she was tempted by cover on either side). She did ok!
Second was the rooster that we shot. Sadie put it up on one side of the field, by my buddy. He had gun-issues, but the bird kind-of circled around (out of my range), and toward my Dad. I have trained my dad not to shoot birds that the dog did not point (has taken two dogs to do it, LOL!), so he watched as it circled around (and we were yelling to take the shot). Dog was watching it too, so she got on it as soon as it landed, and put it up again. Dad shot it.
In all, Sadie did REALLY well steadying (something we have been working on), in fact one Hen she was working spooked as soon as she locked-up on it and she just watched it fly-off, and came running back to us. It was a really good day for her.