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Grettas first year. A year in review.

Idaho Ron

New member
Dec 24, 2000
southern Id
I got Gretta one year ago. She was the only liver female left in a litter I thought had potential.

Gretta was going to be my first pointer. I had trained spaniels up to this point and I put a Master hunter title on my Male Buzz. Gretta was also going to be my first house dog in 18 years. I got her in January so I could spend a lot of time with her after the hunting season. I put her on wild birds as soon as possable. When the nesting season came around, I went to yard work. Gretta progressed quickly, but it was apparent that her retrieving was going to need work. At 7 months I force trained her to retrieve. I took my time and she was done in two months.
By this time, nesting was done and the young birds could fly well. It was the end of August and more birds were in order. This is Gretta pointing a covey of sage grouse.

Soon came opening day. I took this 9 month old pup for her first real hunt. She did well and pointed four blue grouse.

We hunted a lot of forrest grouse in September, and October. In Oct, We got a invitation to go to Montana for a Pheasant and Sharptail hunt.

After the Montana trip, we set our sights on Chukar. These birds were the reason I got a GSP. Gretta and I were both lucky. Up to this point she was doing well with pointing birds, but she needed more contacts. This day was the day. She had 18 points, and this was her first limit of chukar.

This day was the turning point. she was a full out hunting dog after this. She was almost 11 months old on that day.
November was much the same, Chukar hunting every chance I got. December was a little better for finding birds. The last of Dec, and the first part of Jan were the best.

Gretta had four days that she provided me a full limit of Chukar. She never got skunked, she always got some birds.
Gretta got to see many new sights, like these bighorn sheep.

In the end she finished the hunting year like she started it. She provided me another limit, but this time it was chukar.

This year I shot, 78 chukar, 21 pheasant, 11 sharptail, 35 blue grouse, 5 ruffed grouse, 5 hun's, 3 sagehens, and 10 quail. I got some of these birds with my Springer Buzz. I would have to say Gretta got most of them. AS I write this Gretta is next to me. I hope our next year is as good as the first. I hope this next year we can expand on her training. She is steady to wing, and sometimes to shot. She has been a new experience for me. The addition of a GSP to my hunting pack has been a good one. I hope that in the future she helps my son Jacob get his first bird. I hope my Youngest daughter Katie gets to shoot birds if she wants to. I also hope That as I grow older that I never forget this first year. Ron
Sounds like Gretta's off to a great start! One more year like this one and she'll be in great shape. Unfortunately, I think we're going to have to work harder to get birds next year. This is a tough winter for them. I hunted in OR today and the quail were in poor condition. Chukars a little better, but I know they're having a tough time in lots of places. Six to ten inches of snow with a crust on it is hard on the birds.
I heard that some place were closed in Oregon because of the birds condition. I hope the birds don't have a huge winter kill. That would suck! Ron
Baker and Wallowa counties are closed because the birds were pushed down to lower elevations by roads and were too vulnerable. The roads are the only places they can find grit and, of course, the snow isn't as deep there. Maybe 6 inches instead of ten. The birds were so weak and concerned about conserving energy they sometimes wouldn't fly or even run when guys stopped trucks and ground sluiced them.

Yesterday we traveled to a different county to look for bare ground hillsides, which we finally found, and the birds were in good shape there. Along the way we stopped to look at some coveys of quail and chukars that were huddled up under bushes close to the road in places where the snow was deep, crusted, and had been that way for a couple weeks. We easily could have gotten out and ground sluiced them and got 8-10 with one shot. After stopping and looking a couple times we decided not to any more so the birds wouldn't get nervous and start walking away. No sense making them even a tiny bit more stressed.

There's no doubt there's been a high winter kill already in some areas, and no weather break in site.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ 01-18-2004 10:12: Message edited by: Ithaca 37 ]</font>
Seldom Ever,
I have two GPS's I have a Garmin legend, and a Camo. I us the Legend in the truck with the maps in it. I use the camo for when I am walking. I have a screen protector on the camo unit, that is why I carry it. If I put a screen protector on the legend I can't see the maps very well. Both units are very good units.

Ithaca 37, The areas I have been hunting don't have that much snow. In fact there is not enough to see tracks in most places. The birds there are in good shape with lots of fat. One area I hunted in October was sad then. The weather had been so dry that the birds had NO body fat at all. I didn't go back to hunt them. When the snow hit I heard that the F&G were calling the birds Hatchet breasts, because of the lack of meat on the breast. The guy I talked to said that the dogs were catching the birds. I hope they get some relief soon. Ron
I now pronounce you Hunter and Dog, you may now kiss your pointer.
PS: I once had a dog like that. Sqeaky shut down Field Trial Champs left and right. I cried like a baby when She died
Great story and pictures!
The pics are great and you have a wonderful companion there...Way to go on your year to date with your new friend!!! :D
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