Friday, December 28, 2007

Maggie's First Quail!

Today we had our first lesson with Maggie in the field on birds!

Len & Maggie waited not-so-patiently as Jenny dizzied and planted 4 quail in a field. We had a 20 foot drag lie on her just in case she started the dreaded "keep away" game. We did pretty much no handling. The point is to get her to love being in the field, looking for birds.

It's all about fun at this point.
Maggie immediately set out looking for the birds - she already knows her "job"!
One was a runner! But that didn't stop our little Maggie!
Even on a far off retrieve she didn't play "keep-away":
a game Penny knew from the very start!
So far Maggie only brings them back by the head or a wing.
Luckily they all lived to "hide" another day.
We did a few "marking" drills where Jenny threw the bird out and Maggie was immediately released and allowed to find the bird. The first couple she stopped too "short" but did eventually find them. She was better on the third and perfect by the fourth!
We stopped on that good note - with her begging for more.
A very successful training session!

Penny went out on 6 planted huns. The fields were really tough going - ice over snow. She did fairly good but not up to her normal 100% locate/retrieve. She got foot sore towards the end and we stopped. She's still not feeling 100%.

Postscript: We later retested Penny for anaplamosis - she relapsed from last spring!! She's back on Doxy. Poor girl.

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