The hunting preserve is sometimes close enough to the real thing. The dogs certainly love the day, and that really is the point, if you will forgive the pun. The wild bird season is over now; not nearly enough time in the field for either puppies or hunters, so this is a lovely morning in a 20 mph batting cage hitting nothing but home runs! These pictures are from two hunts, one at The Bluffs and the other at Kiowa Creek Sporting Club, both in Colorado.
Henry is two years old now, and we look forward to his 3rd season. God willing, it will be another wonderful time of wandering the Great Plains and stumbling through the desert with hardly a care.
Meet Dodger and Layla, two exceptional English Setters. Here are some shots from a fun afternoon on preserve chukars. It was dastardly cold, but the light was wonderful. Dodger is six, at the top of his game, and Layla is about 7 months. She performed well, naturally honoring and retrieving. I hope you enjoy these beautiful bird dogs.
After a dove hunt in Texas and a long walk in a Wyoming prairie, we thought it would be fun to hit the local hunting preserve before the next season opens. Another reason to get on “bought” birds is that after those two out-of-state hunting trips I have yet to fire my gun! I can understand tough bird hunting in Wyoming, but no dove in Texas?!?! The bird forecast for the upcoming pheasant season in North Dakota is dismal as well, so this interlude was good for the dogs to be reminded what game birds smell like.
Appreciation of the good things in life is intensified by contrast. These lean seasons give us reason to appreciate the seasons of abundance. So far this is a year of paying dues, hoping that we will be rewarded for our persistence. Happily we are old enough and wise enough to understand that the joy of the hunt is not a carcass count. The real satisfaction of bird hunting comes from the time afield with our friends and our dogs . . . but a covey flush every now and then would be nice!
Colorado weather is awesome. This weekend was in the 80s, we wore shorts to the Rockies baseball game but last weekend we had a foot of snow! We took English Setter Oak out on that snowy Sunday for a spin on some chukars.
The real hunting is over for now but we are fortunate to have some very nice preserves or hunt clubs on the Colorado front range. Kiowa Creek, The Bluffs, Quail Run are all great venues, but this weekend we tried Rocky Mountain Roosters . This is a great way to extend the season and get the dogs a little more time in the field.
Here are the rest of the pictures from our hunt at The Bluffs. Be sure to check out “Part 1” as well.
The small Shorthair is a 6 month old bitch named Roux (pronounced [roo]). This is one of the puppies from the earlier post “Cajun-German Shorthaired Pointer Pups Available” where you can see her as a newborn pup. This was her first time hunting and she was astoundingly good!
About an hour east of Denver, The Bluffs is one of the Colorado’s premier hunting preserves. Birds are not ordered and planted for hunts but instead the club manages and augments sustainable populations of game birds such as Pheasants, Quail, Chukar and Hungarian Partridge. The limited membership hunt on 4,000 acres for birds that seem for the most part pretty wild. I think this is as close as you can get to a wild bird hunt without going on a wild bird hunt. We recently spent a full day hunting The Bluffs and here are the pictures. To keep this from being too big I have split this into two posts so be sure to check out “Part 2“.
Cost and time effective, the hunting preserve provides an accessible escape for the time-strapped hunter. The shortcomings of a staged event are offset by the opportunity to get the dogs on birds and let them enjoy a morning practicing their art. Most compelling is that a bunch of points are a sure thing. Like finding a date at a strip club, the game is abundant as long as the $20s hold out. Last sunday we hit a perfect morning at Kiowa Creek Sporting Club and captured these shots.