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Had a chance to get out after some SE MI Woodcock this AM. We had some wet conditions to deal with, but Jaeger handled all the birds well.

Called it quits for the Spring as we found a nest with eggs. I didn't know it when I snapped the photo but- this was to be his last wild bird point until Mid July.

Just thought I would put up the caution about nesting birds...seemed early to me but...

 

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Joel, Thanks for the Headsup.

We found a WC nest Friday up here as well. So we're done for the Spring running in the woods also. I think the DNR dates are targeted towards deer rather than Upland birds.

Natty B.
 

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Holy Maccaroni & Cheese that dog has as much stuff on as today Solider.

Needs night vision with heat seeking capabilitys and a side mounted holster for your shotgun your all set.

Great photo...
 

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Richard its just his normal center ring with a bell hung from it and my Tri-tronics E collar.


Rooster_Smasher said:
Holy Maccaroni & Cheese that dog has as much stuff on as today Solider.

Needs night vision with heat seeking capabilitys and a side mounted holster for your shotgun your all set.

Great photo...

Dont be silly Tom he never wears that additional gear until the real hunting season rolls around!!:lol:

He does look like some kind of commando when hes got that skid plate on...the Phragmites in that area really can tear a dog up so he was combat equipped today!
 

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You may be onto something Joel.
I went out today for the first run of the Spring for my knuckleheads and here is the results of the first point. I thought Awww Crap! Our day is done before we even get rollin'. Heeled the dogs out of there after a couple quick snapshots and left mother Hen to her work. I've been running dogs in this spot for many springs and never have found a bird on eggs before the 10th or so. This little gal was in a hurry to get started.
Three more finds and no other nests on the way out but I bet the way some of them flew that maybe I missed seeing the nest or they are days away from laying.

The black spot on the bottom egg is a small spider.

 

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Found this one yesterday. Vixen wont disturb them but the little one wasn't far behind.



I don't remember seeing snakes this time of year either.



It was an interesting day. It started out with a point on two ducks swimming in my flooded blueberries. Vixen pointed 4 woodcock. The one on the nest was bumped and she stopped to flush. I've heard sitting hens don't put off much scent? I also ran into a dozen or so snipe in a wet field on a neighboring property. Vixen pointed them and held as they all flew a few at a time. Valley pretty much just tagged along. Beautiful day. :)
 

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I believe it to be true about sitting hens shutting off the scent. Sort of a defense mechanism that Mother Nature kicks in for them.

What the hell kind of snake is that? Any fear of it being an egg eater?
 

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It's a water snake. They mostly eat frogs. It wasn't close to the nest anyway. It was only about 4 - 4.5 feet but quite thick.
 

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I commend you guys for thinking of the birds welfare and leaving them be. They need all the help they can get. Good job.
 

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Scott, I think you're right about reduced scent. I also think it's harder for the dogs to scent the birds because the hens don't walk around and feed near the nest and I've never found woodcock splash near the nest. I believe the hen does whatever she can to reduce scent near the nest. The hen will also lead her chicks from the nest area shortly after they are hatched to reduce the threat of predation.
 

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Merimac said:
How many batches of eggs do woodcock lay a year?
According to Woolner, one nesting of four eggs is usual (rarely five). If something happens to the first nest (floods, predators, etc), then a second nest may be established but with less than four eggs.
(Right- Scott G??):D

NB
 

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NATTY BUMPO said:
According to Woolner, one nesting of four eggs is usual (rarely five). If something happens to the first nest (floods, predators, etc), then a second nest may be established but with less than four eggs.
(Right- Scott G??):D

NB
Thanks for the note of confidence Natty :) .
I had this talk yesterday with a woodcock bander and as long as the eggs do not hatch she may re-nest. If she hatches the chicks and she starts brooding them something hormonally changes within and she will not attempt a renest that season.
Like Natty says, if the eggs are destroyed before hatching the hen will likely reattempt. I believe this is true of most ground nesting birds.
 
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