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September 2013
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.
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.
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!
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.