We had a chance to take Luna back into the field friday. She has not really been on birds for over a month now. Between starting the process of breaking/steadying her, the weather and her coming into season, things have not been going overly smooth, But we are on our way to being able to finish things up with her. This is a brief run down of how it went in the field friday (for those few that follow this as a hunting dog blog)
Chris set out 5 Chukar in the bird field while I tried to distract Luna before we headed down to the bird field. I released her to hunt up the field. She found the first bird and locked onto point, I whoa-ed her as chris worked on the flush. She did not move until we kicked the bird out and then she took off. I corrected her and did not let her get the retrieve though the bird had been shot. I brought her back to the spot she broke from and whoaed her again. With the next 2 birds she did not break as far from the original spot. I corrected her when she broke but as it was only by a foot or two this time I sent her for the retrieve. She was more business with the retrieves this time in the field. The 3rd bird was still kinda kicking so she hesitated a bit but eventually got the idea that we had shot it and wanted her to get it. This is an area she is still working on. In the past she has gotten in trouble for chasing moving birds, so she is slightly confused about whether she is allowed to chase them down and finish the job. I believe she will start to put the shot to a falling bird and get the picture, just takes experience. The last 2 birds went better. She held herself back for the most part, if nothing else she went into a sit so she got to retrieve them. Overall it was a productive session.. When she found the birds she was markedly more steady than the last time she was in the field. I saw no creeping in on the birds, her points were intense and she worked hard. Her retrieves were overall better than some others I’ve seen from her. And at the end of it all, she found a bonus left over bird from another session. Chris noticed she was on point as we were leaving the field and I put two and two together and sure enough, a chukar was sitting not 3 feet from her looking all sorts of perky. This would normally have been a prime time for her to creep and try to catch the bird but she waited until the flush to make any movements.
Before the next session I will work her in the yard on a bird with a cap gun. My goal is to get her steady as a bird is thrown, capped off and then send her to retrieve. She already does this with the bumper launcher and I feel she will get it quickly even with a bird in the picture. But hopefully it will help her fill in any other missing links with her in the field. But in anycase, it is nice to get her back in the field. Somehow I think she agrees.
No worries, the meat will go to good use too. I cleaned it and it’s currently in the freezer. And Luna is currently sleeping at her breeders, getting ready for her second show this weekend. Here’s to hoping she brings home some pretty ribbons tomorrow.