DL4 Western Up-land Hunting PE #2

Started Oct 6, 2010 | Discussions thread
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Birddogman
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DL4 Western Up-land Hunting PE #2
Oct 6, 2010

To follow-up on our first report ( http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1038&message=36428179 ), here are some Leica DL4 pics from the past few weeks.

On a day with rain and strong winds, we hunted a large Corps of Engineers hydroelectric project – a beautiful lake. We decided to hunt some areas by the lake. Here is a view of the lake from one of the many high promontories:

Maggie and Chase hunting the wet, wind blown headlands along the lake.

The Chaser cooling off:

Maggie worked this big slope and found a greater prairie chicken for me. The point:

It's down! I let her off the retrieving when she is tired - at nearly 13 years of age, she earned it! Besides, Chase is a retrieving fool when he's out.

We camped by this cottonwood-lined lake miles from the nearest hard road for a while:

We found one of those evocative abandoned houses in the middle of nowhere.

The four interior rooms were tiny with no apparent connections for indoor plumbing for either a kitchen of a bathroom. This family must have been into “togetherness” like most rural folks of the time. Maybe something important is lost with today’s McMansions. I can picture the family listening to Roosevelt's "fireside chats" over this radio, while the wind howled.

Chase pointing a sharptail for me. You are supposed to raise a FRONT leg when you point a bird, not a REAR leg. Oh well, not everyone is perfect.

A million diamonds sparkled on a nameless prairie lake as the sun goes down:

Tired dawgs in the MH at the end of a hard day afield:

These prairie grouse (sharptails) are what it is all about. Or is it all about the dogs? Or exploring beautiful natural places by yourself? Or the excitement of the hunt? The skill in making the shot? Maybe all of that.

We moved our camp a good bit further west, to find that the landscape is subtly different - as you can see from the pics. More arid, more cactus and snakes, steeper, more harsh, bigger and more empty.

Maggie was certainly willing to give the badlands a try, but the heat, cactus and distances eventually wore her out completely.

Chase had more stamina, but after hitting cactus for the umpteenth time (you really couldn't avoid it and I was getting nailed right through my old boots - my socks were blood soaked), we were all ready to find a more dog (and hunter) friendly area.

We found more typical grasslands about 15 miles east and north. Really had to look to find land that: (i) had not been grazed down to no cover; and (ii) was reasonably huntable. Maggie hunted this area hard. The touches of brilliant fall color on the open prairie were neat!

Right after taking this pic - Chase went on point down in the little bench you see on the left. At least half the sharptails in the Dakotas flushed out of there. I did took a double as it was getting late in the day.

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