More out of sense of duty than desire, I picked up my gun and headed for the door. The two older dogs got up, but the young pup already stood at the door. Leaving the wirehairs at home, I put Georgia in my truck.
We drove to an alder patch, one that is near the house and I usually can walk to, but high water in a stream that must be crossed changed all that. On the way down from an old gravel pit where I parked, Georgia poked through the woods on either side of the grassy tote road. At the bottom of a slippery slope an old meadow borders the stream. Deer and moose tracks cover the ground.
I lead her across the field and through a hole in a falling-down fence, where we enter the alders. Almost immediately I notice a woodcock splash on the fallen leaves and look for Georgia.
She’s locked up on point, crouches low and muscles taught, I’m sure the scent of woodcock filling her nostrils, her stature guided by knowledge that’s been passed in her genes. A picture would have been priceless, but I’m not sure how long the bird or dog would hold.
I stepped ahead of the dog and the bird twitters toward sky, curling back over the stream. I pass on the shot, not wanting the bird to fall in the water or on the far side, unsure of what the dog would do. The stream is several feet deep and running fast, more than a young dog needs to get into.
A few minutes later Georgia found another woodcock, and just as she points the bird it climbs for the sky…another lesson for the young dog.We hunt through the rest of the patch and then head for home. What a great first day for her.