Upland Hunting Articles
The rising sun gleamed brightly off the unbroken rows of frost covered cabbages as we climbed into the warm cab of the idling pick-up truck. The pre-dawn temperature was in the mid-twenties, but the combination of a light wind and the sea air made it feel twice as cold. At the wheel sat Mr. Kim, our guide for two days of pheasant hunting on Chejudo Island, in The
Republic of South Korea.
Shooting preserves offer wingshooters and gundog owners many advantages; like the chance to pursue game birds well before and long after the regular gunning seasons. In heavily populated areas, they also allow hunters to escape the crowds, but their best benefit could be for your dog.
Whether it is in frozen corn stubble chasing pheasants, snow covered conifers in search of grouse or some small hole of open water in a frozen landscape awaiting the last waterfowl of the season; late season hunting can be very productive if you are prepared to brave the elements. “Dear to me for his stout heart, faith in me, and an absorbing devotion to the gun.”
This line from Nash Buckingham’s essay “Not Unsung” in his classic book “Tattered Coat” about his Springer “Chub,” has for me, always summed-up the essence of the English springer spaniel.
Keeping your hunting dog cool and hydrated, especially during late summer training and the early portion of the hunting season, means recognizing the signs of heat-related illnesses, knowing how to prevent them and what to do if your dog succumbs.
As late September days become shorter and cool evenings awaken to vibrant blue skies with sugar maples beginning to blush crimson and as the beeches turn to gold, my spirit seems to be revitalized once more. Maybe it is a calling somewhere deep in my primeval memory to prepare for the coming winter. Or maybe it is because I am acutely aware of the approaching hunting season, of the adventures which lie ahead and the beauty of nature that awaits outside the confines of my four walls. Autumn, after all, is a glorious season and a time of reflection.