Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: New York
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Today I hunted Thor again, part of his continuing education. We had five pheasants and two chukar planted over 100 acres of mixed woodland, swamp, and fields. I hunted alone and conditions were not ideal. The following conditions make for hard hunting:
1. Temperature 23 deg
2. Thin crusted snow
3. Thin layer of ice on swamps and deep puddles
4. Jeep trails that were solid ice
Birds run on the crust while dogs break through the crust and must struggle in their pursuit. At this low temperature scenting conditions are less than ideal. In spite of these conditions Thor put up all seven birds plus an additional holdover for a total of eight birds. My shooting was not good today (notice---no brag).
My one big mistake was leaving my ice cleats back at the car. I took a spill on ice that banged my knee and threw my shooting glasses ten feet away, not easy to do, my frames loop around my ears. I took this spill as I was hustling across a jeep trail for a re-flush of a cockbird. Later on I went back to the car for the cleats and boy what a difference. They are awesome ice cleats. Another mistake---I had Musher's Secret for Thor but didn't use it, thought he didn't need it. Should have used it.
Thor is now working the way I want him to and I am very happy. I need to re-do my strategy for hunting in this kind of snow, I could have done better positioning myself for the shot. And I may be working on something new with Thor, secret for now.
Equipment tip: I have been using Huberd's Shoe Grease on my boots. The stuff is great. It waterproofs and reconditions the leather. And I like the smell.