Well I thought it would not happen today, when I was up about 4 am there was a bit of drizzle so I stayed in bed a bit later than I had planned, but by 8:30 it was clear and nice so we went out and hunted for about 2 1/2 hours till the wet frozen ground started thawing and I was afraid I might slip and fall so we headed in.
No we didn't get a limit of Chinese Chickens, but Rowdy did push up two hens which I could not shoot, but he has learned well. (This is a public lake 15 minutes or so from home and I knew it would not be the best.) So later this week or next we will head to our farm which was just hunted opening weekend for pheasants and should have better luck.
The boy made me proud of how he worked, (he's asleep on the couch right now) he needs a bit of fine tuning but works the way I want him to. I most often hunt alone and for you shotgun folks out there I use a 28 gauge 870 Skeet gun so I want a dog that works close and tries to work the bird to fly toward me rather than away if possible. Most times we hunt in big open grasslands and I just spend the day letting the dog show me where to go, it worked well with my late dog Midnite.
Anyway he was just a little wild when we first got there, but he slowed down right away and never got out further than I wanted. The first picture is when he was still running a bit right after he got out of the pick-up, the picture was taken with my point and shoot and this one is not cropped, he is out maybe 20-25 yards, the max I want him away from me, any bird he puts up should still be at the edge of my range.
The next one is him checking out where one had roosted last night, but had left before we got there.
The third one is in a slough where we got one of the hens up, if the lake had not been drained for dredging we would have never been able to get down there as warm as it is this year, these are great places to find birds late in the year when frozen so you can walk there without sinking in the mud and shows why the bigger Labs are so popular in this area, little dogs can get lost in this thick stuff. Besides that a downed bird can be hard to find with out a really good nose like a Lab. <EDIT, got the wrong pic here the first time>
The last one is one where he had lost track of me and came to an open spot to make sure I was still coming. For me and the heavy cover I often hunt this is very important for the dog to do so they don't get to far out and put a bird up out of range. These wild stock pheasants do not hold well for pointing dogs.