Another New Zealand hunting season gone, from the first Saturday in May to the last Sunday in August. Fairly good numbers of pheasants. In particular, we’ve had lots of good situations on hen pheasants (which in NZ are protected). There seemed to have been a drop in the Northland quail population, as we found far less than we normally do. Californian quail has been our main game for several years. Having the advantage of using good pointing (& retrieving) bird dogs, we’ve had a strong advantage on this type of small game. Line’s last shooting season, while Bella still is great as a worker and in fantastic shape.
Old Line and I got the first bird of the season, a nice cock pheasant before we got into some coveys of quail.
Maybe it’s only me.. but how regal does she look, Bella – watching a hen pheasant fly away from under her nose!
This pheasant Craig shot after Bella had worked around a big pile of logs in the forest. While I stood under the gale force wind while Bella worked, Craig had positioned himself on a tree stump on the other side. I could tell from watching the dog that she was on to something. Soon a wild turkey came out towards Craig and he lifted his gun but I knew there was something else. Craig wouldn’t have been able to hear me if I had tried to call out to him but he let the turkey go past, while he also waited to see if Bella would produce something else. I couldn’t see her anymore so I assumed she had locked up on a bird. I called out to her and then this cock pheasant flew out towards Craig. The strong wind quickly lifted it high up in the air but Craig managed to shoot before it sailed off. We could see it went down further along. Both Bella & Line were sent off to find it. By the time Craig and I got to the area both dogs were locked on point, more or less side by side, underneath some trees. I ordered Bella to retrieve and she pounced in and brought out the bird. Opportunity for me to bring out the camera.
Interesting weather patterns…
I’ve been hunting this farm near Kaikohe for over a decade. Bella can be seen on set. In this kind of terrain one would almost expect hobbits coming out of the trees. In this case it was a wild peacock.
Pictured promoting Norwegian chocolate Kvikk-Lunsj, obligatory in any tramping backpack. Or maybe it’s very wet weather duck shooting I’m advertising..
Line retrieving a rabbit on the last day of 2013 season.