Monday, September 21, 2009

Baffin Cast and Blast, Dove Opening Weekend


A year and four months of love, concern, training time, swimming and trust came to fruition this weekend with my black lab pup, Kelly.

Watching Kelly retrieve her first dove was breathtaking and heartwarming. Her natural abilities took over and she became a full-fledged hunting dog, not just a retriever, right before my eyes.

Captain Aubrey Black hired me to help him guide a hunting and fishing weekend with a group of ten great guys. Since it was my first dove hunt with Kelly, I was a little nervous. I could hardly wait for opening day and when it came, I was totally surprised by everything that happened.

Just to make sure that everything was going to be ok, at first, I set myself and Kelly apart from the group a little. One other hunter was close by and happened to be a better shot than I am (but who isn't? - Aubrey, don't comment on this...).

Almost immediately after setting up, Jim shot a bird from a small group passing. I stood there and watched Kelly watching the birds fly, heard Jim's shot and after the bird hit the ground, running a straight line to retrieve it. She picked up the wounded bird, and casually trotted back to me with it in her mouth. She put it in my hand and looked up at me with feathers in her mouth. Without me saying a word, she healed and sat, waiting for the next opportunity. I walked over to Jim and dropped the bird in his bag. While I stood there talking with him, he shot another bird and Kelly galloped out to pick it up. She brought it back to us, but instead of handing it to me, she dropped it in the pile with the other birds. She healed back to me and sat there, waiting for me to give her some water. It was a pretty amazing day and Kelly, a novice to dove hunting, showed her pedigree and did what came naturally.

The next day, I had no hesitation in bringing her to another group of hunters for her to do her job. Since we were hunting in taller weeds, everyone really appreciated Kelly's ability to fetch and find the birds. Congratulations, Kelly! You worked hard, had some fun and really made me proud of you!

If you would be interested in a dove hunt or a cast and blast trip with Capt. Aubrey Black, me and Kelly, please give me a call or email!

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