Cockers & Chukars

This morning I was sitting in my favorite diner on the Arkansas waiting for my heart attack breakfast and hoping for some streamer action on such a glorious Sunday December morning. I started day dreaming of my little black devil dog and how much fun I had following her around in the uplands of Idaho. Now…don’t get me wrong or pre-judge me…I’m a setterman dyed-in-the-wool.

My annual October trip to Idaho this year was pretty dang special! Andy and I look forward to this time of year for 11 months. In fact we talk on the phone dang near every day about it…where we gonna hit first? The Trail to Quail? Snap Trap? Tommy’s Covey? The Miracle Half Mile? Grouse Rock? The Royal MacNab? These names all hold special memories for the Wayment Clan. Great dog points and sometimes pretty poor shooting on our behalf. But none the less…these are places we visit just before drifting to sleep at night.

One day this past October was epic for me and my FB English cocker Ellie. Gretchen was pretty tattered, so I left her in the dog box. My brother and good friend Sterling decided to hunt the lower Miracle Half Mile for valley quail while I climbed to the rim rocks with Ellie. Instantly they begin shooting the place up on quail and Huns…I was wondering if I’d made a wrong choice just as Ellie’s conductor-like tail began to spin 100 rpm’s…a covey of valley quail erupted out of the sage with the devil dog in hot pursuit. I made a nice double and Ellie retrieved the birds to hand. Not to bad of a start I thought to myself.

Ellie and I continued to climb to where I’ve seen those cantankerous chukars in years past. Ellie began to get birdy again in a draw at the base of a rim rock face. Chukars exploded from dang near everywhere. My first shot was at the covey without picking out a single bird. I shot a hole in the center of the covey. I thought to myself….pick out just one bird! Gained composure and dropped 3 birds with my double AYA 453. Ellie picked up all 3 birds and delivered them to me. I let out a loud “Waaaahoooo!” Which I’m sure Sterling and Andy never heard because they were engaged in their own sorta warfare below….

Ellie and I headed off in the general direction the covey went…Ellie put up a small group of Huns 50 yards from where we got into the chukars and I managed to drop one and again she retrieved the bird to hand!

What a glorious afternoon! Ellie and I excitedly headed down to find the boys below. We were needing to get on the road to meet the entire Wayment family for Thai food in Twin.

Glorious days like these with our canine companions and friends are what keep our blood boiling. I’m looking forward to the middle of December to go back to the Miracle Half Mile and chasing my new chukar dog!

See ya on the Western prairies…





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