The Grinder


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I deduced that the birds would move to heavier cover today with the impending snow storm. Heavy cover that is 1/4 by 3/4 miles. It does take a toll on you.

Sophie and I enter and I see tracks everywhere. We begin our work. Our first two points are hens and they are sitting tight. Heavy but still air and the scenting conditions are excellent. Point three is also a hen. Our next point is straight away and it is rooster one. Not a bad start I thought as we were yet to log 15 minutes in this field. I continue to admire the amount of tracks. Numerous would be an understatement!:D

We continue to gain point after point. We are at five hen flushes when point six yields rooster number two. He wants the left to right crossing escape and he too tumbles to the shot.

We head for the right edge as I notice numerous fresh tracks heading that way. Our next three points are also hen flushes with one being a double hen flush!:) Birds are still holding very well to the flush.

We continue on and what pops up next to Sophie--coyote and he takes off parallel to her. I have to wait to shoot. It connects with his side and he bites at the shoulder when I shoot. Sophie has stopped now and shot two connects and he drops. This is a very large male coyote. Too heavy to drag out for photos--I leave him. He won't be feeding on birds the rest of this winter.

Our last rooster point comes soon after. He chooses a straight away flush and our day is done. Not quite. I open the action and work Sophie on the left side of the "Grinder" back to the truck. We have seven more hen points and four rooster points. All three birds were early hatch this season roosters.

I finally got my girl to sit for a photo!:p

Our tally for the day--26 hens(some of which could have been seen more than once) 9 roosters. A great holdover for next season!
My legs are good and we had a great day.
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There's Sophie! I'd been hoping for a photo. Pretty dog!

I too saw a big coyote this morning. Didn't have the opportunity for a shot though. He had a reddish coat, more red than any other I recall seeing. Looked very healthy. Too healthy!

IA at heart

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Ken - I remember the Grinder from previous years. As I recall, it was always a late season after the snow settles in place for you and Sophie to hit. It sounds like a bear to hunt but rewarding. As I recall, you helped plant it too???? If so, makes it even more rewarding.

I think that might be the first picture I have ever seen of Sophie. Looks like a bird machine that dreams of Roosters in her sleep.


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Thanks guys!

Like each of you my dog has a place in my heart! I took a big gamble on her in the beginning as her mother--Heidi--was a fine hunting GSP in her own right! Daddy was a black and white springer spaniel that had a helluva motor but not too disciplined on the birds! Turns out Sophie got the best of both!

Her nose and motor are what make her so special to me. Her 36lbs make her appear very small--almost fragile for a bird dog but you forget that quickly once she gets to work.

You are right IA at Heart that I helped plant the grinder. I do save it for a special hunt each year and today was the day. The coyote made the day very special as I felt I helped these birds for the rest of the season!:)


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Good looking dog KBell. Looks like a fun hunt. We noticed birds hiding in grass knocked over and covered in snow where it looked like the thinner cover instead of the thick stuff today which was weird. We did see quiet a few in some cattails too.