Zahra spent a couple hours at the hunting club this morning. The goal now is to build her experience while we still have tolerable weather.
It was a beautiful day with temperatures in the mid-40s. The club put out (and marked) two chukars and the breeze was just right to give Zahra a nice big scent cone to pick up. She did a bit more creeping and a little less pouncing today, which was good.
I shot over Zahra again and she didn’t seem to care at all. In fact, reports heard from a distant area perked up her attention — she looked as if she might see birds that way.
We also happened upon a rooster pheasant on our way into our field. He flushed and I noted where he came down. On the way back out, we headed in that direction. I caught a glimpse of him running as we neared, but Zahra wasn’t able to catch his scent.
Here’s another one, spotted a half mile away along a roadside. The smarter pheasants are fattening up!
Zahra had a great time in the field today. Trainer Lorraine set her up with two chukars and she found and flushed them both. We’ve done this exercise a few times before, but today the pup heard a shotgun for the first time.
To prep for this session, I grabbed some lightweight target load. I went looking for the lowest velocity shot I could find for my 12 gauge over/under. (Of course, it would have made sense to use a smaller gauge gun, but I don’t own one!) I may have done better at a specialty shop, but the best I could find at the big box sports store was a Winchester “Light Lead Load” that was on a buy-one-get-one clearance. I can’t find these shells on the Winchester site – they’re labeled “USA Game & Target” and are rated at 2 3/4 dram equivalent, 1180 feet per second, with a #6 shot.
Being a training session, our chukar’s location was marked with orange tape in some tall brush. As Zahra approached that area, I handed my gun to the trainer, and walked in with her for the flush. When the bird took flight, our trainer fired a round in the air from probably 30 feet away. Zahra, already giving chase, didn’t even notice.
Age: 4 months