This was from Saturday afternoon's hunt. Ruger really had a break out day. Almost, makes me forgive him for all the birds we've passed on this year due to his/my incompitence.
His first point resulted in no shots fired. Before I could get to him a rooster flushed about 30 yards in front of Ruger and about 50 yards in front of me. Ruger held his point. Something he's never done. He always breaks on the wing. I continue in and flush a hen that was about 10 yards in front of his nose. Nice. And yes, he did chase her for probably as long as he could see her... Another thing to work on this summer.
The second yielded Ruger's first opportunity to handle a hard running cripple. Ruger no more than locked up and a rooster exploded about 25 yards in front of us from the edge of the woods/CRP. I made a pretty marginal shot and he tumbled through the trees and hit the ground running like he'd never been shot at all. Ruger was off to the races. After a 100 meter sprint through the woods Ruger was on top of him with a mouth full of feathers. He then brought me the bird, still very much alive.
The second kill actually entailed Ruger's third, fourth, and fifth points for the day. And is a bird that I will never forget. He first flushed wild about 200 yards out the end of a little pot hole we hunt. I watched as he flew across the stubble field and lit into the corner of a thick little wood lot. We headed across the stubble field and when we got about 20 yards from the wood lot, Ruger locks up. Couldn't believe it. I figured the bird would have hit the ground running. Nope. I go in for the flush and the rooster thunders out behind me. I couldn't get my gun through the tangle of multiflora rose fast enough for a shot. As luck would have it. I saw where he lit again - a 2 acre switch grass plot. Ruger and I were back after him.
We got about half way through the switch grass and Ruger's beeper went off. I couldn't see him but he was holding solid. Just before I got to him, the rooster flushed out of the end of the switch grass, just out of range. He must have ran prior to flushing. I had to grin as I watched that shifty cock glide across a winter wheat field and lite in a fence row. Game back on!
I took Ruger on the down wind side of the fence row and started working to where the bird lit. After about 100 yards or so Ruger hit point again. I took a step into the fence row about 10 yards in front of him. Nothing. I figured the bird probalby was one of the famous fence row runners. I start coming back out of the fence row and that darned rooster pops up right in front of me. Giving me a shot that even I could handle. He piled up in a corn stubble field. Giving me a great view to watch Ruger retrieve him. After 4 flushes, three of which were pointed nicely, Ruger finally had his prize.
I've shared a lot of my frustrations and solicited advice from a lot of you guys and gals. Just thought I'd share a success too. More failures to come, but I'm gonna savor that afternoon for a while. Now to find the perfect frame to display that pic in my office...