My son’s Christmas break is almost over and he will be heading back to college Monday. Yesterday the two of us loaded cricket up and hit the woods with the hope of shooting a few Woodcock over crickets points.
Tyler shot the first bird of the day. He favorite upland gun is my old Ithaca.
It ended up a memorable day. We covered a lot of ground and both shot 3 bird limits. Also mixed into our day we had two up close and personal encounters with wild hogs. On the first encounter, Cricket went on point. He was pointing a dense tangle of beauty berry, grape vines, and black berry, beneath a dog hair thicket of 15’-20’ hardwood saplings. As my son walked in on the point the thicket came to life with pigs. Well, all my steadiness training went straight out the window. Cricket broke and all hell broke loose. Cricket dove into the thicket amid the squealing hogs and pigs. Before I could fish my zapper out of my vest he emerged with a wriggling squealing 10 pound pig in his mouth and came to heel. Hogs and pigs scattered every which way except momma who came looking for junior who was squealing his head off. Cricket completed the delivery and I put the pig down. It was gimped a bit but satisfied momma and off they went.
Talk about self rewarding, Cricket was gassed up and ready to go after that. I heeled him about a quarter mile to let him settle out of the intoxicating fur mode before resuming our bird hunt. Didn’t work. At just over 150 yards per Garmin all hell broke loose again. By the squealing and carrying on this one was full grown and Cricket was unspooling on it, letting the hog know it’s kind was not welcome. Before I could fish the zapper out I spotted the hog headed straight to us. Cricket was about 20’ behind it as they bolted out of the creek bottom. Cricket was chopping every time his front feet hit the ground and closing fast. The hog was headed straight to Tyler and he mounted his shotgun when it got to about 15 yards. When it saw him it altered course and passed by him at about 5’ and he pulled off it. By then I had the zapper in my hand. I spun the dial to max stim and stood on it. It took about 35 more yards for Cricket to disengage. He had closed to 10 feet and was not pleased about being jack knifed.
We relocated again and both scratched 3 bird limits over crickets points.
Upclose look at a timber doodle.
Not sure which encounter it was but Cricket did get nicked behind the front leg by one of the hogs.
The cut isn’t bad and dealing with hogs and trash breaking is part of bird hunting Texas. I got a pretty good correction in but don’t feel real good about it making a significant difference. Cricket hates those damn hogs and seems to enjoy rough housing with them....
I posted the few pics of our birds and the cut we found on cricket when we got home. It was a nice day with some good dog work, and some extra excitement.
Never brag on your dog or your shooting. Either one can blow up when you least expect it.