Thursday, September 17, 2009

Season is upon us

Rusty, a mixed Lab, waits on point from the goose blind in St. Clair County, Michigan.

I've been out four times for geese and once for grouse since the early goose season commenced Sept. 1 and yet to zing lead or steel downrange.

The small game season opened Sept. 15 here in Michigan.

As the new hopeful star player nudges my leg with his cold, wet nose while I write this in the Clyde Township man cave, I'm wondering when the light will go on for him. For us.

We just finished our nightly walk around the path in our back woods which I've strategically marked with reflective tacks.

Now I sit down to rap out a few graphs about the five outings and can say only, "It's early."

Early in the season and early for the dog.

He minds well and has a heart of gold, but remains locked on my heels in the grouse and woodcock cover.

Being he is only 5 months old, I know, I'm being a trifle impatient.

If he were to stick close and merely venture out another five yards around me while on patrol, I would be fairly happy. It would take some getting used to after 14 years with a highly rangy and sometimes aloof springer.

Many times I would be ready to blow a gasket when I would watch Henry blow through cover without the trailing gun corps in range.

So what I'm saying is there is a give and take between a rangy dog and a close one, and I'm learning.

Now, this is not to say he won't fire up at some point, but I'm keeping my expectations fairly low. While he is of the mixed lab genetics, he also came at the discount price.

Regardless, if we fail to flush or down a bird this fall, at least we'll look the part. He certainly is made up with nice Lab features.

We'll dazzle the game birds to death.

(Look for Mac's Deer Hunting Goals on


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