A couple of weeks ago John and I took all three dogs hunting pheasants in the DNR public hunting grounds. There were enough people out hunting in all the fields so we picked a field set back from the others and set off hunting. We hunted for over a hour with no birds in site. Nellie got on a couple of scents but they were a bust no birds at the end of the scent. We decided to cross the road an head into a field that is thick in cover. I’m not sure what the cover is but it’s almost like switch grass (might even be). All I know is the stuff is tall (comes up to my head) and thick. There were some hunters going around the edge of the field so John, I and the dogs went down the middle to try and kick up the ones that were burrowed in the thick cover. The dogs were sticking by us good and unable to pick up a scent. 3/4 through the thick stuff John said “let’s get the heck out of here this is not working for us”. Usually when we turn the dogs turn with us and stick with us. We got to the edge of the field and only two dogs…..where is Nellie? Nellie was just in front of me but when we turned she didn’t turn with us. We called and called and no Nellie, we went back in to where we turned off and no Nellie. For 50 minutes we walked around the field, walked in the field, went to the truck to see if she back tracked her way back to the truck, drove around the two roads to see if she was out on the road and nothing, no Nellie anywhere’s. All I could think about was we lost her and we would have to go home without her……not a feeling anyone should ever have. How was I going to explain to people what happened to her. What scared me the most was that I knew Nellie didn’t have a collar on her so she had no dog tags on her. Sure she is microchipped but unless someone took her to a vet clinic, police department or humane society they wouldn’t know she had a chip or what the number was. Not many people have Chesapeakes in our area so they might of known she was ours but a lot of the hunters that hunt there come from all over to hunt on the public land. I wasn’t going to give up so I told John I was heading back in the field where we last saw her, John headed to the truck again to see if she was there and we said we would call each other if we found her. So I called and called and out of no where’s Nellie came running down the lane. I was never so happy to see her in my life. I quickly called John and told him she was fine. We headed back to the truck and the whole way she kept sticking her head down and picking up scent and wanting to follow it. I told her no more hunting and back to the truck we went. When I got back to the truck John was talking to a gentleman who said he had seen Nellie on the other road and tried to catch her but she ran off and jumped back into the weeds. All we can figure is that she got on a scent and kept on it and got separated from us in the thick cover and being older and not so good hearing anymore she couldn’t hear us calling.
Now you might ask why we didn’t have a collar on her. We use remote collars and only have two so the young dogs wear those and Nellie being better trained doesn’t need one. We don’t put a regular collar on her with tags because for duck hunting we don’t want the tags to make noise or to shine in the sunlight and scare the ducks away. So we just never think to put a collar on her. You can bet your ass she is wearing a collar now.
I wasn’t going to let a stupid mistake on our part cost us to loose our dog. So I came home got on the net and ordered up some new tags that could easily fit on their remote collars. I found some laser-ed tags from Providence Engraving on Amazon Marketplace.
Hopefully this is one mischief that we will never have again.
I want to do a follow up since Thanksgiving is coming upon us so I would like to share their new page to their guide for Thanksgiving. You can view it here. Be sure to scroll to the bottom and get the pet friendly recipes that are safe for your pets.
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