Bo's lucky that I've been at this bird hunting thing for so long. There was little doubt that we would shoot at least a chicken or two today after spending nearly 30 years chasing prairie grouse in five states. Just the day before was her first hunting day and we shot the Nebraska bag limit of just sharptails. I usually have to sort birds in flight to be certain of a limit of just chickens or just sharptails but yesterday all three birds came in less than a half hour from loading up and all three out of a broken flock of sharpies.
Today we hunted a different corner of the same section. It took us about an hour and a half to bag the three birds. We took a single in the first half mile and when we reached the back of the section Bo busted a medium sized flock of about 8 birds. Chickens always appear darker than sharptails and when you get the right angle on them their square tails are a dead giveaway.
I've read that chickens cluck like sharptails but in the thousands of birds I've flushed I've not found that to be the case. Once a few years ago I shot a chicken that clucked, but in hand I found it to be a sharptail/chicken cross.
These birds were silent at their flush and I missed with my lower barrel and hit a bird to the right hard with the upper, reloaded and took a late flushing straightaway.
So far the big bang and falling birds are really exciting for Bo. She had no idea that running around with birds in the grass could be so much fun. I hope she doesn't always expect the birds falling from the sky thing because I know it won't last.
She's still acting like a Lab and delivering to hand but I sense a little added hesitation in her grasp before letting go.
There were few doves around so not much to do the rest of the day but loaf around the lake.