This story started out as Bo's first pheasant....I had a nice conversation with the game warden who suggested I might try higher up in the hills. He said there were still a lot of grasshoppers and the pheasants were ranging into the draws above the meadows and marshes. He parked a ways away to continue logging his opening day hunter survey and Bo and I turned away from the marsh.
We didn't make it 50 yards from where we shot our first bird of the day when Bo got birdy and flushed a pair of hens. She was all excited running in a larger circle and bumped another hen. Then she too a line and at the crest of a small rise busted a rooster. that tried to circle behind me toward the marsh. I hit him at about 20 yards as I didn't want him to make it to the cattails or for it to appear that I was shooting near the warden's truck.
When I knew Bo had the rooster I walked away from her heading higher up the draw. I knew I would be embarassed to have the warden witness me coaxing the bird away from Bo, so I ignored her. When Bo got close, I sat on the ground and she dropped the bird in my lap. An ear scratch and "what a good girl!" and she was off hunting again. There was another rooster with the birds she'd just flushed and Bo trailed him for just a few yards before she had our limit bird in the air, all still within 150 yards of the bag lunching, warden.
I shot once as the rooster crested crested a wimpy hill heading for higher ground and saw him tip over in the air. It took me longer to get over the rise in the slippery sand and Bo was standing on the small ridge with the rooster in her jaws.
I ignored her again and walked back to the truck greeting her with a couple of hot dogs in exchange for the bird. One wasn't enough to loose her grip.
The warden drove up as I was stowing my gear, checked my last two juvenile birds and commented that he thought I had a fine young dog. He said that I was the 26 hunter he had checked and the other 25 only had one rooster between them.
I knew Bo and I were more lucky than good but I was happily on my way east to search for prairie chickens at 1:00 pm and that was good to me.