Glory Turkey Hunting~Wordless Wednesday

Last weekend Glory went turkey hunting for the first time. John took her with on his turkey hunt. She laid next to him in the line fence waited for the turkeys to come in, never moved her body just her ears when they perked up when the turkeys started talking to her. John shot and she waited for him to release her and then she was off. It took her a couple tries then she finally grabbed the turkey and brought it back to John. If I had to guess I would say the turkey weighed at least 10 pounds.

Here is a video of the hunt.

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Pheasant Hunt~FitDog Friday

The dogs finally got to do a little pheasant hunting a couple weeks ago. We have been feeding our penned up pheasants for over 8 months and the gang thought it was time to do a little hunting since they haven’t gotten to hunt a month. We put the pheasants out in the marsh and took Nellie first to get her three pheasants. She caught one by herself and one she flushed up. More old girl couldn’t hear us or just wouldn’t listen to us and was having too much fun running amuck she got put up and didn’t get to get her third pheasant. It was a cold day so we decided to take Gambler and Glory out together so we could get it done faster without having to switch out dogs. Gambler caught a couple by himself too and Glory caught one. They both got some flushes and retrieves. It was a good day for the SS gang.

After this hunt the door to the pheasant pen was left open and about 25 pheasants got out. It would of been fine if they would of just flew off and found a new home but of course they didn’t because they knew the dogs needed to stay in shape so why not stick around and have the dogs run and chase to catch them. Wednesday morning for a hour and half the dogs were running non stop catching and bringing me birds. They bought me 15 that day. There are still more that each day they bring me.

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{This Moment} See Beautiful~SS 2014 Reflections

{This Moment} See Beautiful~SS 2014 Reflections

Sand Spring Chesapeakes Year In Review 2014

With 2015 already upon us I’m taking a moment to reflect on 2014 with the Sand Spring Chesapeakes.

My first reflection is on my old gal Nellie.

Nellie turned 10 in 2014. She is still going strong, she has a few more grey hairs and some extra pounds that she is carrying around but it doesn’t slow her down out in the field. She got to a little training with Gambler and Glory as well as some pheasant hunting . We had one scare while out pheasant hunting on public property, we were in heavy tall cover and we lost Nellie in it for over a hour. It was the longest hour of my life wondering if we were going to find her. The moment I saw her running back to me was the happiest moment of my life. I learned when you take a senior dog hunting you can’t let them out of your site and the conditions and environment need to be acceptable for them so nothing happens to them. Nellie doesn’t hear as well as she used to so I figure she got on a track and didn’t hear us calling and got messed up in the tall cover. A happy ending to what could of been a sad ending. Nellie’s puppies are all growing up, their ages are 7, 5 and 3. I’m happy to say everyone is doing great and that their families are all enjoying and loving them.

My second reflection is on Gambler and Glory and the year we’ve had together. We had a year of many highs and many lows. Gambler and Glory received their Therapy Dog Inc. certifications in December of 2013. We kicked off our therapy sessions right away in January 2014 and what a amazing adventure it has been. Each dog visited 10 times during the year, according to AKC at 10 visits  you are awarded the novice therapy title (THDN) that will proudly be displayed in my home and forever on their registered name. Therapy work is work like no other work. The joy and heartwarming feeling you get from the kids interacting with your dogs is like no other joy in the world. I leave there in such a high it rubs off on my gang and they are proud that they made a difference in the life of a child and to me. We will continue our therapy work in the days, months and years ahead.

Besides receiving their AKC Novice Therapy title Gambler and Glory also received their Canine Good Citizen (CGC) and American Temperament Society Test (TT) title. These titles are great as it shows my Chesapeake’s have good manners and temperament which back in the day temperament was a big issue with Chesapeake’s. It’s nice to be able to breed the undesirable out of them and focus on the desirable.

My third reflection is on conformation shows. I took a year off from showing Glory in AKC & UKC venues. Gambler was only being shown in UKC conformation shows, back in 2013 he received his Grand Champion show title (U-GRCH). At the end of 2013 he was again for the second year in a row the #1 Chesapeake Bay Retriever for the UKC Top Ten Breed And Dog Standings with 16 points. We were then invited to the 2014 UKC Premier in Kalamazoo, MI to compete in the Top Ten Invitational. Sadly we didn’t  make it to the invitational but it doesn’t make his prior year any less of a accomplishment. I am still in awe that “my dog” did so well and held the Top Ten position for two years in a row. Gambler is now retired from UKC showing.

My fourth reflection is the reflection if you have been following along with our hunt test training and testing that brought me highs and the most lows during the year. I’ve shed more tears during hunt tests then I have done before. I’ve also learned a lot during this time. We train weather permitting March – August. During this time we compete in UKC and AKC hunt tests. Each venue is slightly different so you need to train differently. I’ve learned that there is only so many hours in a day and it’s hard to train for and compete in multiple venues. I understand now why some people only do one venue a year. Does that stop me no, I have high hopes and goals so I push to do both because that is who I am.

John and I both train and run Glory, we both shared in the joy that came from Glory receiving her UKC Hunting Retriever Seasoned (HR) title during the summer of 2014. She also competed in AKC Senior level tests passing 3 out of the 4 she needed for her title. I so wanted her get her Senior Hunter title before I bred her in the fall but it wasn’t in stars. The breeding wasn’t in the stars either as I did breed her but the pregnancy didn’t take. They say everything happens for a reason, I don’t have any idea what the reason was but I have to believe it was for the best and march on.

I have done all of Gamblers training. John has run him in competition when I was at my low and couldn’t run him. We had a tough year, a tough year because again I have high expectations and thought my dog was ready for testing when he probably wasn’t. My theory on hunt test’s are you get a pass/fail. So it’s a 50/50 chance that you will pass/fail. We are running dogs and you just never know what they are going to do on a given day so I always say go for it and see what happens. Gambler is the first dog I trained by myself, the first dog I ran in UKC Finished and AKC Master level tests. We are talking big stakes here. If anyone says these stakes are easy I will have to say they are wrong. It really puts you to the test and can humble you like you have never been humbled before. This summer we ran Gambler in five UKC Finished tests passing only one, we also ran him in 7 AKC Master level tests not passing any. What I learned from this hunt test season is that even know I feel I have a good dog I need to take a step back and make sure we both are ready for the big guns. We need to work better as a team and Gambler needs to realize there is no “I” in team. He has to mature enough to realize and trust me to guide him where he needs to be and to become a team player. I think one of the biggest challenges in running hunt test competition with a fabulous hunting dog is that the hunting dog comes out in them and they want to work for themselves because they think they know where it is and that they can find it faster. After each fail I would be depressed, wondered what was wrong with me and my dog. I’ve learned that there is nothing wrong with me or my dog and that it isn’t the destination it is the journey we travel together whether we pass or fail it’s all about the time, love, joy and companionship we have for each other. We may not get that title anytime soon but we will get it and we will get it just me and him and in the end I will look back on all the shed tears and I will shed one tear as I hug him and tell him we did this together. As I am typing this Gambler has his head rested on my keyboard so hopefully he is taking this all in and 2015 will be a better year.

My fifth reflection is on our hunting adventures. We are truly blessed to be able to take our dogs on a big hunting trip. Our big hunting trip is in the fall when we travel with friends to Saskatchewan to hunt snow geese. Gambler and Glory got to travel with us this year again and what a year we had. We hunted one week and the hunting group got 307 ducks, geese and a couple cranes. It’s a week spend hanging out with friends, their dogs and hunting what could be better than that? Along the way we meet up with our other Canadian friends from Facebook and that is just another highlight of the adventure. When we get home from Saskatchewan the waterfowl season is underway and upland hunting starts. The gang didn’t get to hunt ducks too often, they got to hunt some geese and many days pheasant hunting. We are fortunate to live near so many acres of DNR public hunting that there is always some where’s to take the gang to do some hunting. Gambler had a fabulous hunting season as he was used by my friend who has a guide service in WI. Justin Kohn from All Seasons Adventures In Wisconsin kept Gambler and took him hunting the month of October. This is a dogs dream to be out hunting everyday and getting birds every day. They say Chesapeake’s are a  one person dogs but after Justin and Gambler figured out the routine they hit it off and when I would go pheasant hunting with them Gambler didn’t care about me and he stuck by Justin like glue and hunted great for him. Once Gambler was back home with me he then thought I was his best bud and hunted for me. It shows the versatility with him as he can  train for different competitions, run different competitions and hunt for different people and still do a good job doing it.

All in all I do have to say now the highs of our year really do outweigh the lows. I will leave you with this quote my friend shared with me:

I close with this poem that says it all! My motto for 2015 and the years ahead.

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”
― Neil Gaiman

Here’s to 2015!

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FitDog Friday~Snow Covered and Cold

This past Monday John and I both had off of work. With the deer season starting over the past weekend the SS gang didn’t get to go hunting so when the deer hunters went back to work we went out in the rain for a pheasant hunt. The dogs didn’t care that it was cold and raining, they were so happy to be out running and releasing some pent up energy. We ended up with one pheasant and no pictures because of the rain. After the pheasant hunt the snow started coming, John and Glory hit the road to go do a afternoon duck hunt in a corn field. I am a fair weather hunter and it was too cold and snowy for me so I stayed home with Gman and Nellie.

When the gang is hunting and burning calories we feed them a extra meal in the middle of the day to keep  their weight up. It also keeps their energy up so they can stay warm on these cold hunts. Even know they are Chesapeakes and are built for the extreme conditions we still put a neoprene vest on them to help keep their heat in and stay warm. Glory did a excellent job out in the harsh elements this day.

There were plenty of birds in the field when they got there but they didn’t want to come to where John and Justin were set up so all Glory got for her time in the cold was one duck. She didn’t care, all she cared about was getting out and spending time with the boys doing something she loves to do.

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The fun and games continue every Friday with FitDog Friday, the weekly Blog Hop brought to you by To Dog With LoveSlimDoggy and Emma from Mygbgvlife to promote a healthy active lifestyle for pets (and their people, too!). Join in every Friday by linking up your FitDog story or visiting the blogs in the Hop.

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FitDog Friday~Saskatchewan Day 7 & 8

Today’s FitDog Friday Saskatchewan Day 7 & 8 will complete the SS gang hunting trip to Saskatchewan this past Sept/Oct. This will be day 6 & 7 of hunting which is Friday & Saturday.

Here are a few pictures from our hunt on Friday.

Our total for today was 39, with 4 guys & 4 dogs.

Here are some pictures from Saturdays hunt. This was our last hunt for our vacation. We hunted til noon, picked up our decoys, came back to the farm house, cleaned the birds, loaded our gear and we were on the road to home.

Glory

Gambler

Saturdays hunt was with 5 guys and 5 dogs. Total count 43 birds. Total count for the week hunt was 307 birds. John and I took home 139 birds. When you transport birds over the border from Canada to the US you need to keep a wing attached to the breast meat and you need to label the bag correctly and have a accurate count of your birds. You will need to fill out a fish and wildlife form at the border and claim your birds. If  they are package or labeled wrong you could get a fine. Once home we clean the wings off the breast and take the meat to a local butcher shop and have all the meat made into sausage, brats and hotsticks. This was the best year we have had in Saskatchewan. It’s always a great trip with great friends, great dogs and lots of exercise for us and the dogs.

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The fun and games continue every Friday with FitDog Friday, the weekly Blog Hop brought to you by To Dog With LoveSlimDoggy and Emma from Mygbgvlife to promote a healthy active lifestyle for pets (and their people, too!). Join in every Friday by linking up your FitDog story or visiting the blogs in the Hop.

 

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Monday Mischief~8 Long Years Paid Off~Bobcat Mischief

Warning!!!         Warning!!!       Warning!!!         Warning!!!         Warning!!!       Warning!!!    Warning!!!     Warning!!!

DO NOT GO ANY FURTHER IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO HEAR ABOUT MY BOBCAT HUNT

Warning!!!         Warning!!!       Warning!!!         Warning!!!         Warning!!!       Warning!!!    Warning!!!     Warning!!!

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It’s been 8 long years and I finally got drawn for a Wisconsin Bobcat Tag. Back in the day it used to be you were able to get drawn every 3 years for a bobcat tag, not anymore. The DNR had extended the years between tags and it has taken me 8 years to draw a tag. I was super excited when I got my tag in the mail. First thing I did was call up my friend up north in Hayward and told him I had a tag and to keep me in mine when he needed someone to go hunting. Mike lives in Hayward, has hounds that he used for running, coyotes, coons, bears and bobcats. I have gone hunting with Mike in the past and have gotten a bear, John has gotten a bear an bobcat. It was now my time again to go hunting up north.

It all started last Sunday night……ring, ring, ring…….Hello…….JoAnn we are getting snow up north can you get up here midweek and go cat hunting……YES, YES, YES I can……(never mind the fact that Glory came into heat and I have to take her to the vet on certain days to run progesterone tests so we know when we can breed her. Never mind the fact that my new car came in and I have to pick that up. Never mind the fact that I need to be back Saturday to meet my friends for my Birthday celebration).

I’m not a fan of driving so I asked my nephew if he wouldn’t mind taking off of school and coming with me so I didn’t have to make the 5 hour trip by myself. Of course he said YES, YES, YES.

We took off Wednesday after school. I took the first driving gig, got a hour and half away from where we were suppose to be, stopped for supper and hit the road again. At this time is has become dark and the roads are all snow covered. Joey said “how come you got the easy driving and I get the snow”? Hmmmmm that’s why your along! Joey had to drive 40 mph while I tried to watch for road signs in the blowing snow and make sure we got on the right roads. We finally made it up to Mikes, jumped in bed and started our day off again at 5am.

We jumped in Mikes truck with his 3 hounds, took off looking for tracks in the fresh snow. Once we got into the national forest the snow was over a foot deep. The truck brush guard was pushing the snow as we tried to blaze a trail. It was just crazy the amount of snow there was. I thought for sure we were going to get stuck, or I was going to have a heart attack if I had to get out and run after the dogs in that snow. We drove around for 1 1/4 hrs until we finally came across a big track that was made during the night along a creek bottom. Mike released the hounds and we waited to hear what they were going to do.

It was less than 10 minutes and the hounds were barking up a storm which meant they must of tree’d the cat. So I grabbed my gun which is a Benelli automatic shotgun with 3″ BB for shells and off we went. We followed the barking and met up with the dogs that indeed had the cat tree’d. Normally cat’s don’t tree, they run and run and run because they can out run the dogs but because the snow was over a foot deep and by the looks of it this cat had it’s belly full it tree’d right away. Mike walked around the tree and found the right spot for me to stand and it was all over then.

My first bobcat, which is a male and weighed 35#.

Mike and his talented hounds.

Joey being the nice nephew he is and carrying out my cat.

Carrying out the cat, we ended up going in only 150 yards.

The drive home.

G & G smell something.

This isn’t MK!

The hunt was done and over in a half hour. Nothing wrong with that as it was only 13 degree’s and started to snow again. I was very happy with the day and waiting 8 years was worth it. When I googled the average weight of a male bobcat it came up with 21# so I was extremely happy with the one I got which was 35#. I will be sending him to the taxidermist to be mounted and he will join the other critters in my house. This was indeed a great mischief day.

Bobcats are mainly hunted for the sport of hunting and for keeping the cat populations at bay. The DNR does take the carcass and does all kinds of research on it.

On a side note: I made it back in time to get Glory’s progesterone test done and will be repeating it again today and hopefully breeding the middle to end of this week and last Friday Joey took me to pick up my new car! I got a 2015 Honda Fit and I love it. 17 years I had my Toyota Tercel and it was time to give it up.

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